Surprise snowfall

Carnegie Library in 1915.

Carnegie Library in 1915.

 100 years ago

LOCAL ITEMS: Snow fell in many parts of the State, even at Boinka – a thing unheard of in the Mallee. Strikers at Broken Hill assaulted a fresh body of police brought into the town from Adelaide – 9 men were arrested. At Court, several parents were fined 2 shilling for not sending their children to school for the requisite days under the Education Act. Miss Harrington, housemaid, was ordered to pay Mrs Yule, of the Palace Hotel, 1 pound 19/10 (railway fare to Mildura) less 17/6, the amount of one week’s wages. The girls at the Palace Hotel worked to a timetable covering 54 hours per week, each girl had 24 consecutive hours off duty each week. The defendant was fined because she refused to adhere to the timetable hours and perform certain duties (window cleaning). (22.8.1917)

NEWS: From the 1st July 1915 to 30th June 1916, the number of books borrowed from the Carnegie Library was 27,548 by 19,672 borrowers, in the ensuing year 28,839 books were borrowed by 20,535 borrowers, with some 26 new books and 51 donated books in stock. The Council had arranged to do 2000 pounds worth of Country Road works and 100 pounds worth of its own. A tract­ion plant and screener had been recently installed with which limestone could be landed in town for 10/- per yard as limestone supplies were some distance from Mildura. Road metal was being conveyed to Mildura at a cost of .6 of a penny per mile while the Department was charged 66 (or two-thirds of a penny. The Commissioners could not afford to carry freight at a loss. Mildura people had rated themselves up to 2/3 in the pound and did not mind paying that to get good roadwork done. (26.8.1917)

OVERSEAS NEWS: The city walls of Salon­ika were half destroyed, eighty thousand people are homeless. Arabs destroyed part of the railway north of Medina, capturing Turkish posts, killing 700 and taking 700 prisoners. The steamer City of Nagpuir, bound for India, struck a reef 75 miles from Delagoa Bay, it is feared that she is a total wreck, all 200 on board were rescued. Mrs E. McKay received news that her son Private R. McKay, formerly of the Mildura Post ­Office, was admitted to Alexandria Hospital, Cosham, England, with a mild attack of Malaria. Sergeant E. Rowe, one of the original Anzacs, leaving Mildura in August,1914, has received a commission as Lieutenant in the Flying Corps. “Ernie” was in the Gallipoli landing and injured at the Lonesome Pine fight – he transferred to the Engineers as a motor mechanic. A native of Mildura. (26.8.1917)

 75 years ago

WOMEN: Women mechanics from various walks of life are being trained to overhaul the General Post Office van engines, they have already replaced younger men in postal delivery work, sorting, etc., in England. At a meeting of the VHA in Mildura, a letter is to be sent to Mr. A. Wilson, MHR, asking for his support in an endeavor to obtain pensions for spinsters of 50. They have sacrificed the best years of their lives caring for invalid and aged parents to find themselves at middle age totally unable to adequately support themselves, some also lost their fiances in the last war and had never married. A fire burnt down the spinning and finishing sections of the Yoffa Hosiery Mill in Brunswick, destroying 50,000 pounds worth of stocks of rayon and cotton. (22/26.8.1942)

RESTED: Mr Churchill arrived back in England after his visit to Egypt and Moscow. He wore an air commodore’s uniform, said he was “in disguise and not tired, as I have been refreshed.” He was mostly flown over 15,000 miles by Capt Van de Kloot, 28 years old and married to Della Carrol, who danced before Hitler in Vienna. (26.8.1942)

WASTE: Trivialities spell time waste as Steele Blayde said when he was quite young the life he entered as seaman, soldier and adventurer in what was termed the “new” lands taught me contempt of trivialities, the many little things deemed important by cuffed and collared people and which were ignored by those who had neither time nor desire to be bothered with trivialities, eg. whether one’s clothes were fashionable, one’s tie correct so I turned up home from time to time after being overseas and earned the nickname of “The Savage”. The silly, piffling things people of all kinds, from the high-ups to the folk in the street “discuss” while war goes on, and their very existence is at stake. I have retained some of that individualism that scorns being one of the flock of human sheep who follow the bell-wethers, termed leaders of thought, society etc. (26.8.1942) 

 50 years ago

HOT BOX: A teacher organization has asked that Victoria’s “hotbox” schools, including those at Mildura be air-conditioned before next Summer. (22.8.1967).

HIP: an elderly Billabong man is recovering in Mildura Base Hospital from a fracture to his hip. He fell on his kitchen’s concrete floor, could not get up so he crawled to his bed but could not get his leg under the covers, so he left it dangling out all night. He crawled from his bed the next day and called for help, a friend heard him. An x-ray showed his hip was broken, he once worked with “Big Lizzie” in Red Cliffs which is now retired at Balmoral. (22.8.1967)

RUBENS: One of the most important figures in the history of art, Rubens was a genius, a gifted linguist, speaking six European languages, a diplomat trusted by kings with delicate negotiations between states. Born in 1577, son of a lawyer, he trained to be a court page but tired of a formal life, was apprenticed to two distinguished painters then set out for Italy and became a court artist to the Duke of Mantua then the Spanish regent at Antwerp. Great mansions were filled with his paintings, King Charles I of England used him on diplomatic missions to the King of Spain and was so pleased with the results he knighted Rubens. (23.8.1967)

25 years ago

CHILDREN: Merbein South Primary School approached its history lessons through the camera’s lens. Pictured were Megan Rivett, Catherine McKay, Misty Carter and Scott Chisholm. As part of the school’s heritage studies a group of students from years 4, 5 and 6 wrote the scenario and made a film depicting one family’s struggle in the early years of colonisation, it was made at the old Mildura homestead and Apex Park. Students from Our Lady’s Primary School, Merbein, took part in the National Heart Foundation’s annual Jump Rope For Heart fundraiser. All classes participated, pictured were Kerryn and Joseph Wright, Ginnette Pisconeri and Briony Scales. (24.8.1992)

LOCALLY: Old Garnpang Homestead’s re-erection at the Sunraysia Oasis Botanic Gardens is on schedule, “It’s going together like a dream” “Believe it or not, the system worked” said Mr Mike Joslyn. Shifting the homestead, donated by Garnpang Station owner Mr T Richardson, it was dismantled and transported by the Rotary Club. (24.8.1992)

DIGGERS: Former members of the 2/6th Australian Infantry Battalion marched through the streets of Mildura accompanied by the Mildura District band. The battalion sailed for its first action in the Western Desert which lasted from December 1940 to March 1941, they then went on to Crete and Greece where 6351 of its members were taken prisoner, Ceylon was next, then Wau/Salamaya saw reinforcements join the 2/6th from across Australia. The reunion was not about the glorification of war but a time to meet old friends and remember others. (20/24.8.1992).

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