Down the years: Tides of war turn against Germans and Japanese

100 years ago

The German armed forces crisis started with the destruction of its 330,000 troops engaged in the defence of Stalingrad 75 years ago.

The German armed forces crisis started with the destruction of its 330,000 troops engaged in the defence of Stalingrad 75 years ago.

SCHOOL FACILITIES: Council attention has been drawn to the necessity of the establishment of a centrally situated school for the young children kindergarten and lower grades up to the age of nine years. This need is due to the continued increase in those attending the schools now established. (13.2.1918)

WAR NEWS: The Paris newspaper Le Matin special correspondent at British Headquarters says: “No doubt the opening of the offensive is near. Allied airmen frequently see the Germans rehearsing attacks behind the lines.” A Geneva message states that Austro-German military chiefs have arranged to hold a grand council to decide the final offensive. (13.2.1918)

LOCAL NEWS: Guns were very busy yesterday morning and the unsuspecting ducks had a very rude awakening. The Mildura stall-holders (Hospital Fair) have arranged a progressive euchre party for next Thursday evening in the Shire Hall Supper Room. “Big Lizzie” is still wheat-carting out Merbein way. The monster arrived at Merbein Railway station on Thursday with 872 bags of wheat – which is believed to consititute the record load delivered at any railway station in the Commonwealth. It was some load. Since Tuesday night’s change the weather has been much cooler and as windy as if it were autumn or spring. (16.2.1918)

75  years ago

SCOURGE OF THE BUSH: A remedy is close at hand for the eye disease which causes great misery and often leads to blindness. Centipede bush, or Sneezewood, scientific name Centipeda Canninghamii, after the naturalist Canningham who first discovered it, grows along sandy creeks in most outback districts. An infusion of its leaves used as an eyewash has been known to cure bad cases of sandy blight. (12.2.1943)

600 HARVEST HANDS ARRIVE: Arrangements have been finalised for the distribution of 600 harvest hands who have been transferred from the Rainbow, Balmoral, Hopetoun, Stawell and Dimboola districts, and who will arrive in Mildura by a special train from Dimboola tomorrow. (15.2.1943)

WAR COMMENTARY: With its 6th Army annihilated, its Caucasian forces shattered and its entire southern army threatened, Germany now faces its worst crisis since the military collapse in 1918. The debacle started with the encirclement and ultimate destruction of the 330,000 Germans engaged in the defence of Stalingrad. Tokyo and Washington have confirmed the Japanese withdrawal from Guadalcanal. This is the worst defeat the Japanese have yet suffered in the South Pacific. However the threat to Australia has not yet been removed and the task of forcing the enemy from his present bases is one that calls for the utmost effort from the nation aided by our comrades from USA. (16.2.1943)

50 years ago

INHUMAN ACTS: The International committee of the Red Cross yesterday denounced the “inhuman acts” it said were being committed by both sides in Vietnam, United Press International reported. Communist troops invading Hue executed 300 civilians and buried them in a mass grave south of the city, the Province Chief said yesterday. At the same time, a Vietnamese civilian reported seeing from 125 to 150 Catholics being led captive from the city on Saturday. Civilians were being subjected to aerial attacks and summary execution, torture and reprisals. (12.2.1968)

ACKER BILK VISIT: Possibly the world’s greatest clarinet player will be seen in Mildura with his Paramount Jazz Band next month. Acker Bilk will be brought to Mildura for one night only, on Sunday, March 17, by the Mildura Arts Centre Advisory Council, under the sponsorship of the Mildura Music Society. He will come here direct from the Adelaide Festival of Arts. His show will be presented in the open at the recreation reserve. Two dollars is all it will cost Mildura people to see and hear Bilk! (14.2.1968)

MERBEIN TO LONDON FRUIT: A container of dried fruit which was loaded at Merbein yesterday morning will arrive in Melbourne tomorrow. Another container was loaded yesterday afternoon in Red Cliffs. The loading was supervised in Mildura by a Trans-Ocean Containers Limited operations officer from Melbourne. From Melbourne, the two containers will be shipped to London on the MV Port Melbourne cargo ship. In transporting this way the containers need not be opened from the time they are packed to the time they arrive at their overseas destination. (14.2.1968)

 25 years ago

WEATHERMAN’S RECOGNITION: Mr Tom Fernandez has been honored for his service to the Mildura Meteorological Office. He was selected as the winner of the 1993 Bureau Individual Excellence Award in recognition of an “outstanding contribution” to the weather station. Mr Fernandez has spent 26 years with the office, and has been in charge for 21 years. Mr Fernandez felt the award also belonged to his staff. (11.2.1993)

YOTHU YINDI AT WENTWORTH: Australian of the Year, Mandawuy Yunupingu, will be in Wentworth next Thursday to perform as part of Aboriginal band Yothu Yindi. The Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) named Treaty – sung in an indigenous language – Australian Record of the Year, and Best Australian Single. The band last February supported the European release of Treaty with sell-out dates in the United Kingdom. (11.2.1993)

SETTS DOORS CLOSE TONIGHT: A mere month before its 100th birthday, Mildura’s famous Settlers Club will close its doors tonight –  possibly for the last time. Club president Mr Brian Hall said a special general meeting of members had been called for March 4 where discussions on the club’s  future will take place. (13.2.1993)

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