Down the years: One of Mildura’s earliest residences burns down

100 years ago

LOCAL ITEMS: Another of Mildura’s oldest residences was destroyed by fire last night. Erected in 1888 by Mr J. Dundas, occupied by Messrs Dundas, W. Buckle, H. Maclean, J. Hudson and Mrs E. Simmons (who conducted a boarding house there), the building was near the Coffee Palace and though owned by Mr S. Risby, it was being transferred to a prospective buyer. The need for a Society for Dumb Animals was shown on Saturday when a fox-terrier dog owned by Mr F. Bray was hacked by some fiend wielding a knife or broken bottle. It was at his home at 7.30am then seen an hour later near the Working Man’s Club gate all covered in blood. The vet said it will survive and may even help in recognising its attacker, who deserves a good flogging. (12.6.1918)

SUNDAY SCHOOL: In 1778 Robert Raikes first initiated free teaching with the Sunday School movement but it was not until 1830 that the education of poorer was taken seriously by the state and in 1870 they were able to get free education. In a word, Sunday Schools were 50 years ahead of the State. It was a belated minister and church that was not keen on Sunday School work, so in Scotland the Presbyterian Sunday Schools had lost a quarter of a million children before they woke up. The present-day generation do not know the Bible nearly as well as their parents did. (15.6.1918)

WAR NEWS: Lieut D. MacKenzie, Merbein, has been admitted to the Third London Hospital for gunshot wounds to his back, “Private” Tom MacKenzie has been wounded a third time and, although wearing his corporal stripes for over a year, the rank has not been recorded. Pte J. Voullaire has joined the flying corps and at present is spending a month with his parents at Merbein. Lance-Corporal R. Voullaire has passed all examimations to get a first-class certificate in the stiff signalling course, reading 10 words a minute on the telegraph buzzer, six on one flag and lamp disc, the theory of general signalling work obtaining a 98 per cent pass. From Guernsey a cable announced the death of Mrs Garis, it was sent to six of the De Garis family living in Mildura and one in the Serbian Army. Two Merbein halls were decorated for presentations to Ptes H. Bruce, J. Philpot, J. Evans, W. Egge, L. Alexander, W. Allan, S. Thompson, B. and C. McMonnies, and C. McInnes, Mr Kenny, representative of the Merbein Water Commission was chosen as chairman for the evening assisted by Cr E.T. Henderson. 

75 years ago 

WAR: The Lancaster which was flown from London to Melbourne made a record flight to an airport near Wellington, NZ, a first, the flight time was seven hours, 37 minutes. President F.D. Roosevelt met the President of Mexico M.A. Camacho somewhere in south-west Texas. Rice is now being harvested in Leeton, NSW, an important contribution to the Allied cause in the south-west Pacific as Australia can now feed the 

peoples of the Pacific Islands and the American forces’ needs. Land Army girls are driving the teams and operating headers, another 5000 acres of rice will soon be planted. A new supplementary ration scale will see the RAAF forces in New Guinea have sauce and pickles added to their list of rations. 

The Victoria Cross has been awarded to Major (temporary) Lieutenant-Colonel Lorne MacLaine Campbell DSO for valour in the attack upon the Wadi Akarit position in Tunisia. (10/15.6.1943)

LOCAL ITEMS: In the Gol Gol-Buronga area, 113 children were submitted for testing in the diphtheria immunisation campaign – 21 showed a positive reaction. It is proposed that an electricity scheme for Gol Gol be again brought to the notice of the State Electricity Commission. Guides and Brownies gathered for a most enjoyable evening at Crosbie’s Hall, Merbein, Miss K. Jones and Mrs Gallagher (resigning president) were presented fragrant posies by Mrs Purton and Bobby Prescott. One of the largest and representative gatherings seen in Sunraysia for many years attended the funeral of the late Samuel Risbey at his home in Deakin Avenue. The Masonic service was led by Worshipful Brother R.I. Hillard, C.P. Howie and P. Loch, 130 Masons deposited emblems as they filed past his coffin. (11/14.6.1943)

SOLDIERS: Sgt Pilot Vivian Pope, Waikerie was killed in enemy action in England, his elder and only brother Flying Officer Ralph Pope was also killed near the Dutch East Indies a year ago. Mr A.A. Mansfield has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his keeping telegraph communications open when the postmaster and his family were killed in the first raid on Darwin. The casualty list for Sunraysia and surrounding area Ptes J.K. Russ, A. Castle, R. Maddy, D. Miller, A. Potts, R.N. Taylor, S. Slater, L. Woodham, and N. Young. POW Gunner G. Bayles, Lance-Cpl Gunner P.J. Colledge, N. Nancarrow. Removed from seriously ill list, Pte J. Armstrong, Lance-Bdr A. Emmett. (15/16.6.1943)

 50 years ago

 CARS: Thousands turned up to see Aust­ralia’s annual Rolls-Royce Rally featuring 75 cars, models from 1910, a Silver Ghost tourer to a 1968 Silver Shadow V8. Others to charm were a 1912 Silver Ghost, a 1925 eight-litre 50-HP Phantom 1 Parker Torpedo, the latter having a twin cockpit. (10.6.1968)

EVENTS: Mildura Film Society is continuing its membership drive to attain 200 members if possible to enable the society to hire the Mildura Arts Centre Theatre for their very entertaining monthly screenings which at present are held in the Bolte Gallery. The Melbourne Pioneer Marching Girls swept the board in the senior section, winning four of the five events. Mildura teams gained four places in the country championship – the Mildura Cokettes were second in the Junior section with their leader Peta Roninson winning the best leader award. One of the earliest Greek settlers in Sunraysia, Mr Jerry Paizis, passed away suddenly – he came here in 1930 and started a dry-cleaning business. (10/13.6.1968)

NOTICES: The Mildura Rural City Council discussed the proposal for a lawn cemetery without headstones. Mr Tillet said that the Italians would not be in favour of that idea as they were most sentimental over headstones – the decision was adjourned for one month. More than 500 students from Sacred Heart College, the Sacred Heart Teachers College and St Columba’s School formed guards of honour for the funeral of two Roman Catholic nuns, Mother M. Paschal and Sister Matthias, who both served at Robinvale. (15.6.1968).

 25 years ago

PEOPLE: Internationally renowned aviatrix Gaby Kennard had to hitch a ride to Mildura to keep a date with the Irymple Rotary Club due to weather conditions. Cross Country winners Brook Carmody (Ranfurly Primary) and Dean Vance, (Irymple) were all smiles, satisfied with their results. Irymple Bocce Club’s champions for 1993 were (1) Felice Scalzon, (2) Mario Carfora; Ladies (1) Maria Marozzi, (2) Maria Bruniera, (3) Teresa Rodi. Army explosive technican Major Fagan and Det-Sgt Austin came to disarm an expended 25-pound smoke bomb found in a South Mildura shed, saying some people do not realise some souvenirs are alive. Undeterred by the heavy rain, Mildura City Council workers Larry, Bruce and Roger fixed an inspection pit cover that collapsed during the wettest period – 3mm. Werrimull and Meringur students will present a night of Millewa recollections and reminiscences in Cutting the Mustard. (10/12.6.1993)

ITEMS: Australia’s fascinating railway history has been depicted on a new set of stamps which feature six trains. All road coaches will be required to fit seatbelts in a national agreement with NSW only requiring coaches to be fitted with tachographs or other monitoring devices. A school fight ended up in court after a teenage girl turned to the police in desperation after she received a bruised face and a black eye. She had repeatedly been harassed and assaulted by an older male student to “toughen” her up – her parents did not know of the intimidation until she came home with the black eye. (12/10.6.1993)

TOPICS: It’s National Kidney Week, so the staff at the Mildura Base Hospital are doing a low-key promotional push this year and push for major exposure next year as the unit is a limited care facility for dialysis at present. Cambodia, crippled by generations of bloodshed, has just held its first multi-party elections for decades and Mr Gerard Kelly was there to see the nation coming to grips with its problems and preparing to plunge into the 20th century. Mr Kelly spent the year there training Cambodian agronomists in an international drive to make the nation self-sufficient in food. Mrs P. Dudley, of Mildura, has launched an appeal on behalf of her son Corporal D. Dudley, who is in Cambodia as part of Australia’s contribution to a United Nations peace-keeping mission. (10/12.6.1993).

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