Down the years: Churchill wedding captures the Commonwealth’s heart the Commonwealth’s heart

100 years ago

Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine Hozier shortly after their marriage in 1908. Picture: Flickr/Churchill: Man of the Century

Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine Hozier shortly after their marriage in 1908. Picture: Flickr/Churchill: Man of the Century

OLIVE OIL: Mildura is firmly bound to the dried grape industry but there are side industries of importance like the little olive oil factory carried on by Mr Walter Matthews, the crop is irregular this year but should come up to average before the season ends. With improvement of machinery rubbish is now entirely eliminated and the oil is getting a reputation for purity, flavour and keeping quality in the Commonwealth, thus the oil bottled under Mr Matthews special new label with an olive wreath will find friends wherever it goes. The olive is beneficial to cutting back hard of some of the drones – one hedge was unprofitable until it was cut back, also it decreases the cost of picking, more crop over less area. (10.7.1918)

SETTLEMENT: The Merbein West soldier settlement was timbered in part of the Lambert grazing lease then thrown open to 35 irrigable blocks averaging 15 acres apiece – 35 lucky fellows got em and camping and home-making began. For those who gave all for King and country a working bee was planned, the ding-dong up-n-at-it began, it was a sight for a movie camera-man to get winding his handle. Large trees with balls of soil on their upturned roots, newly stacked piles of firewood and teams galore. Long before old S.B. got there, teams were scattered everywhere by Messrs Sanders, Griffiths, Lincoln and Picton, the masters of ceremony. Mr “Charlie” Woodham was called upon to say a few words – besides the main lunch provided by the ladies almost 20 were catered for at the camp of Mr and Mrs Forsyth. These soldier boys on blocks get medical advice free but to obtain the medicine is often unaffordable unless they are in hospital, one said 50 per cent of his pension goes to pay for his medicine. The list of the 110 team members is supplied in the article.(10.7.1918)

LOCAL NEWS: Mildura has been handicapped as a “Wowser” destination and Merbein has been warned not to have Mr Alfred Dean at the helm as there would be grave danger of many a barque being driven straight on the rocks – there will be a Temperance rally at the Merbein Skating Rink on Thursday. The mail for Egypt closes next Friday for parcels. Mr Amos Broadstock passed away – his sons Albert and harry are on military service. Lieut P Kalmer, area-officer for Mildura, served with the 6th at Gallipoli and was in the glorious charge of the 2nd brigade at Cape Helles – he owns a block at South Merbein. Twin brothers Hilary and Hubert Barnett were home on leave and are expected to sail about the 20th July, they are fine manly fellows who can be depended upon to give a good account of themselves. The YMCA huts at the front are synonymous with comfort for the soldiers. Gunner Ken Clarke, looking rather thin and using walking sticks arrived here with his mother by train – he is to be welcomed at a social at the Methodist School.

75 years ago

CHURCHILL: Winston’s choice fell on the lovely Clementine Hozier who had no fortune, was almost unknown, she was not only the woman he wanted but the woman he needed, she was gentle, patient, had humour, character and was single-hearted. London was agog for the wedding and on the eve of it the couple occupied a box at the Theatre, stealing the applause from the actors, the Cockneys liked Winston for his weird hats. The wedding took place at St Margaret’s, Westminster, the House of Commons adjourned for the occasion, the bride was cheered by crowds who packed Parliament Square the bride looked lovely and radiant as the sun shone and even the Thames murmured appreciatively as it wound its way to the sea. Later when he was fired she was waiting to take him in her arms to try and bring his fury and heartbreak to some reasonable proportion – she knew he had made blunders but the perfect wife knows that honesty, like golf needs timing. They had a son Randolph, then four daughters, Winston raved about his first daughter but when she died as a child from pneumonia he was inconsolable. Mrs Churchill had to curb the grief of a mother and turn to the most wayward of her children Winston. (10.7.1943)

 NEWS: The meat industry of Australia has been adverse to seasons in Queensland and War demands beef an veal was 559,000 tons in 1938/9 and 535 tons this year – mutton and lamb increased form 320,000 to 405,000 tons. Complaints of high prices for Oranges was directed to the Commonwealth Prices Control Order N0 993 which says no seller may make a profit of more than 25 per cent. Eg. a case bought at a wholesale price of 20/- per case can only make a 25 per cent profit. The Capitol is to hold a non-stop dancing night-a first – prizes will be awarded. Mildura Primary and High School teachers are perturbed at the cost of accommodation here – it was stated that a student teacher earning 2 pound a week was paying 1 pound 15 shillings for board. (12.7.1943)

 WAR NEWS: United States have landed on Japanese-held Atto in the Aleutian group. Violent battles on the Orel and Bylegored fronts with Russia saw German losses of 2600 tanks, 1100 planes and 40,000 men. A US Marine Capt J.Ford ace, 28 years from Dakota, destroyed 28 Japanese planes. At Wau Pte N Davis, once a barman at the Merbein Hotel, braved Japanese fire to save a comrade. Sgt-Pilot Mayall of Cardross died in the air battle over Malta. Flight Engineer C.R. Jones returned to duty after time with his parents at Merbein. Miss P Gersch, previously a member of the Hopetoun Red Cross in 1940, received a letter from a US soldier thanking her for the knitted socks. A number of cadets in the Merbein Flight of No 8 Squadron, Air Force Training Corp (16 to 18 years) sat for their preliminary examination in Maths and Science. The Navy has intimated that telegrams may be sent “addressed to HMAS “Basilisk” should bear the instructions “Pay Townsville” after the address-these instructions will be counted and charged for as two words. ACW Jaensch WAAAF has returned to her unit after time at her Merrinnee home. Merbein Red Cross Emergency Service Company stretcher-bearers are to meet at the Merbein South Public Hall. (13.7.1943)

50 years ago

ITEMS: Corporal R. Hewitt, of Cardross, arrived home after 12 months with a radio communications centre in support of allied operations, after 6 weeks leave he will report to Watsonia Signal Centre, then posted to a long-range field communication centre. “Red Cliffs, Red Cliffs”, muttered a dark skinned Suvian “What is a Red Cliffs? He had just been introduced to Mr A.Gatwood who was in Suva to contest the South Pacific Bowling Championship but just 18 days later the local Suvians almost believed they had been to Red Cliffs as a brilliant come-back in rain 2 inches deep on the bowling green saw Arthur win to the applause of a huge crowd who stomped their feet and cheered, now all knew the Red Cliffs man. Tasmania’s last surviving WW1 Victoria Cross winner, Mr S.CeDougall, died in Scottsdale. After the first enemy attack he charged the second wave single-handed with a rifle and bayonet, killing 7 and capturing a machine gun which he fired from the hip, causing many casualties. (8.7.1968)

LOCAL NEWS: Wentworth won the C.W.A. Drama festival – all character players are listed. The Irymple RSL Auxilliary had a huge attendance to mark its 16th birthday event. Mail will now be delivered to the Hughes Estate on Etiwanda Avenue. Austalia’s 1968 dried crop is down by 22,080 tons on last year’s crop. Merbein Red Cross has reported a record year said Mrs L. Rix, President, Mrs L.Lloyd quoted a record monetary year, Mrs Curwen Walker reported eight bags of rags, eight cartons of good clothes, cartons of shoes, medical supplies and drugs had been sent to headquarters. Mr J Lemon is the honorary auditor. (10.7.1968)

COLUMN 9: The Mildura police Inspector, received a letter from a citizen who complained that in the early morning the milky’s horse is impossible to pick up as it is not lit up. It is suggested that the horse be draped in a white harness, hooves be whitened too and the milk cart be fitted with a bright, illuminated sign such as those attached to taxi’s. (9.7.1968)

25 years ago

INVITE: An invitation has gone out to Sunraysia’s Turkish community to take part in a street march to show the world that religious differences should be set aside for peaceful co-existence. The unprecedented invitation has also been extended to other ethnic communities to take part in what has been described as “a humanitarian march for racial and religious peace and harmony”. Mr A.Cosan said the catalyst had been the massacre of more than 40 of his countrymen in Turkey who were set alight when attending festivities – we will march to show solidarity, that we have come to Australia to live in peace, raise our families and work hard. (8.7.1993)

 WINNERS: Travelling 1000 miles to Sydney two Coomealla Club chefs, Geoff Tiller and Barry Hodges, pitted themselves against 180 of their peers who had the backing of the Qantas Catering Service. Chef Geoff, head chef of the club for 14 years received a merit award for his gourmet meal and Chef Barry won a merit certificate for four main course dishes, both using as much local produce as possible. The Sydney Salon Culinair competition meals will be duplicated at the club at a special dinner next week. The Sunraysia Lapidary Club is to hold its annual Gem and Mineral Fair with dealers from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra to show their fascinating display of gems, mineral specimens and fossils. One lucky visitor will win a beautiful ring set donated by Hammertons Hour Glass Jewellers. (8.7.1993)

 PEOPLE: Mr C. Rogers, the Sound Trap’s proprietor, donated a keyboard to the Nichols Point School as having been involved with music education in schools for 15 years and on hearing about the program the school was initiating he decided it was one way he could assist. Sunnycliffs Primary School’s fight for survival has been boosted by more than 100 supporters who vowed to keep the school open – there are 80 students there now. The action has stirred interest across Victoria and could become a catalyst to fight school closures. Mildura’s Christie Centre is offering to shred office waste, they have been doing the work for Telecom for four years and are expanding the offer to local businesses – Ian Augustine is shown busy shredding, the paper is then baled up and sent to the Australian Paper Manufacturers mill in Melbourne. In years to come South Mildura’s Lynn Cohrs could become known as the Edna Daniher of Sunraysia as she is raising a family of football fanatics as all 5 of her sons pictured with their sister who encourages them to play – their grandfather Ron Gathercole is also a life member. (10.7.1993)

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