Down the years: Deputation to call for train service return

100 years ago

RAID ON AUSTRALIAN LINES: Cable from C.E.W. Bean: The Germans have now tried to raid the Australians’ lines seven times within thirteen days. Tasmanians and Victorians two nights ago made the first Australian raid since the Ypres battle. A party rushed the German line after sunset under a sharp barrage and brought back several prisoners. Later the same night a second party rushed the same spot under a second barrage. They found a large party of Germans, who had been sent up hurriedly from the German rear to repair wire and trenches broken down during the first raid. A great number of these were killed by the barrage and raiders and several more prisoners were taken. We lost two killed. The raiders state they are certain that 50 Germans were killed and some claim many more. Brushes with patrols occur almost every night in No Man's Land. Two night’s ago a party of Australians worked behind a party of Germans in No Man’s Land. The parties saw one another and bombs were thrown, but the Germans managed to escape. Five rifles and a couple of cloth caps were on the spot when our patrols reached it. (5.12.1917)

THE COUNTRY GIRL: Madame Nellie Summerville's Comic Opera Company is to be presented in the Shire Hall on Thursday and Friday next. The nett proceeds of Thursday's performance will go to the Red Cross, while our local Hospital will benefit by the nett proceeds of the second performance on Friday. The scenic effects and stage dressing promise to be something delightful, while the costumes will be a revelation to Mildura audiences. (8.12.1917)

MILDURA'S RAILWAY SERVICE: Deputation to Melbourne Arranged. Passengers to Melbourne still have to make the double change at Maryborough and Castlemaine. Prior to 1914 we enjoyed three passenger trains a week. To-day a truck-load of goods counted more with the Railway Commissioners than passengers did. In 1914, during the drought, it was necessary to cart water from Mildura some hundreds of miles and no objection was offered when the Commissioners suggested the cutting out of two passenger trains. But Mildura never intended that they should not be restored. There is to-day a greater passenger traffic and a greater goods traffic than ever catered for. The unfortunate second class passengers are crowded in like sardines. The time has come to stand up for our rights. We should insist that the Commissioners restore to Mildura the two passenger trains which were taken away in 1914. There is no line of the same importance in any of the States which has been treated so badly as this one. (8.12.1917)

75 years ago

WAR NEWS: Our ground forces in New Guinea are slowly contracting their grip on the enemy. Our air force operated in direct support of ground units. An enemy dive bomber and two fighters were shot down. An enemy naval force of four destroyers is apparently attempting to land reinforcements. Bomber Command, after having concentrated for some days on Italy, has switched its offensive to Western Germany again. M. Laval, French traitor, is reported to have arrived in Berlin for discussions on the formation of a new Vichy Government. Berlin Radio reports that the evacuation of Genoa is already in full swing. Rome and other large Italian cities will be evacuated shortly. (4.12.1942).

EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTED: After January 10 no person will be permitted to employ a domestic servant or continue to employ a domestic servant for a period of more than 24 hours in any one week without first obtaining a permit from the Director-General of Manpower. 

The restrictions apply to the employment of chauffeurs, gardeners, laundresses, washerwomen, butlers, waitresses, nursemaids, and all other types of domestic servants, because of the shortage of domestic servants. (4.12.1942)

BEER NEWS: No increase in beer supplies for the Christmas period would be allowed, said the Minister for Customs today. 

Everything would be done to ensure that the monthly consumption of 7,200,000 gallons of liquor  fixed by the Government would not be exceeded. In the Flemington Court today two women were each fined one pound for having contravened the liquor control regulations which prohibit drinking on racecourses. 

One woman drank a glass of beer about six yards outside the white line painted around the bar. 

The other defendant said she and her husband took sandwiches and a bottle of beer to the racecourse and they were unaware they were breaking the regulations. (9.12.1942)

50 years ago

MAN GIVEN NEW HEART: Surgeons at Groote Schuur Hospital in Capetown yesterday successfully carried out the world’s first human heart transplant – putting the heart of a young girl into a 55-year-old man. The doctors worked for five hours to carry out the revolutionary operation. The male patient is now fully conscious and “satisfactory” a hospital statement said. (4.12.1967)

TOP ART STUDENT: Sixteen-year-old Dareton schoolboy, Michael Legin seems to be shaping for a successful future in the world of art. For the fourth year in a row Michael has won his form’s prize for art at the Mildura Technical School. He will receive the prize at the school’s speech night tonight at the Ozone Theatre. Michael will continue studying art at Mildura Tech for the next two years before completing his diploma in Melbourne at either Caulfield or Swinburne Technical Schools. He hopes to become an art teacher.

MERBEIN TRIBUTE: Merbein people lined the street and flags flew at half-mast yesterday morning for the funeral of Pte. Noel Pettitt (21) who lost his life in Vietnam. It was one of the biggest funerals at Merbein in years. So many cars followed the gun carriage in the procession that the gun carriage had almost reached the cemetery before the last car left the township. A large crowd of mourners attended the service at the Methodist Church, and again at the graveside. Pte Pettitt was buried with full military honours. Troops taking part came from Bendigo and Melbourne and were under Capt. Rex Bolitho, staff captain with Southern Command Headquarters. (8.12.1967)

25 years ago

HELPING CHARITY: A budget night out to aid charity is the aim of Mildura Little Theatre’s latest production entitled “Mr Scrooge” which is based on the famous Charles Dickins’ story “A Christmas Carol”. The cast is urging patrons to bring along a non-perishable food item that can be placed in a large hamper in the theatre foyer. The filled hamper will subsequently be handed over to the Salvation Army for distribution to needy district families. (3.12.1992)

MILDURA’S OLDEST LICENSED SOCIAL CLUB: The Settlers’ Club has been part of Mildura’s lifestyle since it was established in 1893. At that time the Prohibition Act prevented the establishment of more hotels in Mildura. Membership quickly grew as it was an ideal place to meet and quench a thirst after a long hard day in the fields. The building was rebuilt in 1937 and in 1939 the growth of the club was such that additions were needed to make provisions for the members’ wives and children. In 1984 female associates gained membership and in the same year the first female member was elected to the committee. (5.12.1992)

GIANT MORETON BAY FIG TO GO: Mildura’s “largest” tree will be cut down, despite opposition from the Mayor, Cr Kath Avery. By a majority of eight-to-one, the Council agreed to allow the 80-year-old tree to be cut down because development of the Douglas Avenue site was severely restricted by its presence in the centre of the lot and it takes up three quarters of the property. (9.12.1992)

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