Down the years: Fruit association product of commissions debate

 100 years ago

An Australian tunnelling company in action at Messines Ridge, Belgium.

An Australian tunnelling company in action at Messines Ridge, Belgium.

LOCAL ITEMS: One of the most important meetings held in Mildura took place in the Shire Hall when a representative gathering of fruit growers unanimously decided on the formation of a Mildura and District Citrus and Fresh Fruits Association to obtain justice for the fresh fruit grower and shipper in this district in the markets after the selling commission was raised from 7½% to 10%. The sandstone additions to the High School were opened with practically all the teachers from several local state schools attending. The Principal Mr G.A. Osbourne M.A. stated that the school would be an integral part of the district. The supervisor is to take levels to find out the best route for the ditch to take in the A.H. Pierson’s Ditch in Pattersontown. There was flooding in Walnut, Ontario, Riverside and Dyer avenues as the wooden culverts are much too small to carry the water. (17/20.4.1918)

MEDALLIONS: We had a great fight with the Education Department, who had 250,000 medallions ready for sale on Remembrance Day in Melbourne, after a great deal of discussion they were given permission to sell same up to the April 25 – part of the proceeds, I understand go to the R.S.A. Anzac Day is essentially the soldier’s day and the proceeds of Remembrance Day will go to the branch where the amount has been collected, less advertising expenses and half to the widows and orphans. Messrs Cattanach, Lang, Semmens and Stewart sat as a committee at the Court House to consider the qualifications of soldiers’ applications for land on Lambert’s Lease. (17.4.1918)

WAR: The Admiralty states that 10 German trawlers were sunk by gunfire during a sweep of the Cattegat – British crews saved the sailors. The enemy carried Wytschaete and established himself at Spanbrok, the greater part of the Messines Ridge is in enemy hands – we control the slopes. The Pall Mall Gazette says the country’s hammer-blows are weakening and morale is ebbing. The enemy is withdrawing men and munitions from distant sectors. No admission is to be expected from Ludendorff until every shred of hope has vanished as he has forseen the consequences of the gambler’s throw. Pte E.H.A. Pearse says: “Thank you very much for the dried apricots being the only fruit we get you can imagine how much we appreciate them and the tins come in handy for billies and other utensils.” (17.4.1918)

75 years ago

WAR HIGHLIGHTS: The Hon W.M. Hughes is probably the youngest old man in Australia today, and despite the harassing period he has been through as official leader of the United Australia Party, he is still an outstanding and dominating personality. 100 Japanese planes raided the Milne Bay area. Possibly 70 Japanese planes lived to fight another day, 30 paid the price for damage and casualties to Allied ships. (16/19.4.1943)

LOCAL SERVICEMEN: A seven-hour battle against the elements during a bombing raid on a target “up in the blue” is graphically related in the appended letter by Flt-Lt O Rowcroft, RAAF, formerly of Irymple. He is believed to have lost his life on February 25. 16/19.4.1943). Drivers Austin and J. Norman of the Red Cross Emergency Transport are required to report to the Mildura Base Hospital for ambulance duty. The latest RAAF casuality list names 50 members serving overseas and 15 in Australia and Australian territories including A.K. DeGaris, killed in air accident, F/O F. Stuart missing in air operations and Flt Sgt L.A. Morgan, Red Cliffs, missing believed killed. (16.4.1043)

WANTED: Unpicked washed sugar bags are wanted by the Victorian Division of the Red Cross for embroidery work by wounded men in the Heidelberg Hospital – the men will be able to make curtains, stool tops and similar items using bright wool. Those old hessians so frequently left to rot on racks are of great value in the production of munitions of war so deliver them to the nearest salvage yard. The annual Anzac Day Commemoration service will be served throughout Sunraysia. At Mildura the march of returned men will leave the RSL Hall in 10th St at 2pm. The service will be held at the Ozone Theatre at 3pm. (19/21.4.1943)

50 years ago

HIGHLIGHTS: A 23-year-old clerk, Ian Miller, won the Stawell Gift by the narrow margin of three inches. His trainer said he first saw his potential when he saw him running in a paddock. About 1200 people went back to “Patchy’s” 50 years celebrations of the school at Patchewollock – 800 of them were former students – they came from all over Australia – Mrs Carra (from Queensland) surprised them all by singing out “present sir”. Two boys were overheard talking on their way home from school discussing church and Christmas. One young chat asked the other if he believed in all that stuff about the Devil. “Naw” was the reply, “it’s just like Santa Claus … it’s your old man!” (16/17.4.1968)

FINDS: A Melbourne archeologist believes the bones found at an Aboriginal burial ground near the Robinvale bridge are over 3000 years old. A skeleton found at Moorna Station has been identified as those of a rabbit trapper who went missing 18 months ago. Prof de Bath stated that the long-term effect of DDT on humans is not known, such substances may be absorbed into the body tissue during the next 20 years, the use of it is causing untold damage in agriculture. Experiments into gamma radiation, by three research Doctors of Science from the Rice University of Texas, is to be conducted from Mildura when the delay in shipping and a strike by Melbourne dock workers is over. Three balloons will be launched and the payloads retrieved by members of the balloon launching station at the Mildura Airport. (15/17.4.1968)

FRUIT: The Gaulke brothers of Irymple did away with the conventional method of dipping sultanas this year and instead sprayed the fruit after it was spread on the racks at the end of the day with a wand shaped like a wishbone which was 18 opposing jets three inches apart. It took Mr Gaulke only 20 minutes to spray a 50 yard rack, it dried as quickly as dipped fruit and was graded as five crown so it is unlikely that they will use the dip again. The rate of application was 100 ­gallons of dip mixture to 1000 buckets of fruit, they sprayed one side of the rack then the other. (17.4.1968).

25 years ago

GEM: It seems improbable that a love of square dancing could lead to anyone becoming one of Australia’s best-known “rockers” but when Doug Wood’s son organised a fundraising square dance to the opal mining centre, White Cliffs, Doug was astounded that such beauty could come from a piece of non-descript rock – a love affair began and with it the opening of Woodsie’s Gem Shop. (15.4.1993)

HISTORY: Mr Ken McIntyre, who served in WWII, was cleaning out an old drawer when he stumbled across a piece of memorabilia, which will always remind him of his deceased father. He found a “comfort” box, which was presented to Australian Expeditionary Force diggers in WWI. His dad Douglas McIntyre served in the 4th Light Brigade after he ran away from home to act as a bugle boy in the Boer War 1899 to 1902. The comfort boxes contained biscuits, chocolates, cigarettes and other home comforts. (17.4.1993)

WORK: The Mildura Club opened in 1920 with Mr W.B. Chaffey as its president, and has taken on a new lease of life in preparation for the next 100 years. It is undergoing refurbishment at a cost of $60,000, the snooker room is relocated to make way for a bigger function room and the outside is being taken back to its original appearance with a fresh coat of paint – the punka fans are being preserved too. Coloured beanies will adorn the heads of 400 primary school students thanks to the Country Women’s Association and the Australian Wool Board. About 14,000 knitting kits have been distributed to rural Victoria and over 300 CWA members in Mildura will spend time in our schools teaching children how to knit, said the Group President of the Mildura-Millewa CWA, Mrs E Doering. (16/17.4.1993).

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