Down the years: New trotting track brings change to Mildura Show

100 years ago

The addition of a new trotting track at City Oval brought about a change in the layout for the 21st Mildura Show 50 years ago. The track is pictured during the 1989 Mildura Show.

The addition of a new trotting track at City Oval brought about a change in the layout for the 21st Mildura Show 50 years ago. The track is pictured during the 1989 Mildura Show.

LOCAL ITEMS: On Tuesday evening a superheater tube split at the Billabong station, the boiler was disconnected, allowed to cool then the next day the tube was plugged. The boiler was disconnected for 10 hours, meanwhile the plant was run at a reduced rate by steam from one boiler. Later a leak developed in the feed heater coil at 90ft so a bypass was fitted while the feed heater was disconnected and a bypass fitted at a slightly reduced speed from steam from the Hawke boiler, which is fitted with an ejector. Owing for the demand for green fruit by distillers, the packed fruit shows a falling off, for quality and food-value there is no dried fruit compared to the Lexia. Driving around South Merbein the freaks of the frost fiend were displayed as they are at Koorlong, a well-known Merbein South settler noted that from the middle of September to the middle of October a watering in early September is the best time to safe-guard the crops from frost. Hay cutting has begun on the Yelta Channel area by Mr T. McMillan. Boom sprayers were doing a good job drenching the vines, blank bud were reported on vines past year. (16/19.10.1918)

WAR NEWS: News received in London that Germany has accepted President’s terms has caused great enthusiasm and a popular view that the end of the war is only a matter of weeks. The nervous tendency of Germany is illustrated by the excited scenes of joy when vast placards announced that President Wilson had accepted the German note. Border Garrisons and German munition works are having mutinies and strikes. Papers are most indignant over the cold-blooded massacre of the Leinster, which was torpedoed off the Irish coast, Lord French stated that there were only 193 survivors of the 790 on board, also there were 483 souls that perished aboard the Ortanto. The Allies are advancing on a 28-mile front from Dixmude to Wervicq. They captured Cortemarek, Moorzeele and are one mile from Menin.France has broken off diplomatic ties with Finland owing to the Finnish Diet electing the Prince of Hesse as King of Finland. The French carried the whole of Hooziede plateau taking over 7000 prisoners and 80 guns, the Allies took 12,000 prisoners and over 100 guns. (16/19.10.1918)

SOLDIERS: A sympathetic reference was made by the Bench and by the Bar that Mr S.J. Risbey, J.P., had lost his son George K.I.A. Messrs. Tilley, Forsythe and Fleetwood, returned soldiers organised the sports day for the Merbein State School. In the casualty list Oct 16, 2nd Lieut P. Malloch, Mildura, is listed as wounded. Lieut-Gen Simpson (England) listed as killed, enlisted here with Mr K. Rodwell at the outbreak of war. He had come to Mildura from Canada with a letter of instruction for Mr W.B. Chaffey, who gave him work in the distillery. He enlisted as a driver, then in charge of his horses, then an infantryman in France later he gained his commission at Cambridge. Listed on the 19th Oct are, wounded, A,T. Allen, G.T. Bell, W. Walker, all of Mildura and POW is R.N. Voullaire, Merbein. Mr A.C. Hillier, Mildura, received a post card from Pte G. Anderson a POW in Alten-Grabow, Germany, saying he received letters from Mr E. De Garis and letters from Pte Kelly also a POW. (19.10.1918)

75 years ago 

LOCAL WAR NEWS: Local man Wing Commander R.A. Norman DFC, appointed to the famous Australian Commander squadron in Britain has been reported missing as a result of air operations over Germany. The funds from the POW dance organised by the Co-op Fruit Company will go to the POW Fund, 14 local servicemen who attended are named in the item 19th Oct. After 20 months service, Pte W.Morris is spending time with his parents and Vera Bannister will return to her base tonight. Listed as Casualties are S/Sgt W. Brown, Mildura, Gunnr G. Fayles, Ouyen, Lieut J. Walters, Merbein, POWs are Ptes A.V. Chamberlain and A.R. Chapple, Merbein, Pte A. Knopp and Dvr, J.L. Curtis, Red Cliffs, Gunnrs E.W. Clifford and D.H. Powis and Gunnr R.A. Povis, Mildura, Pte J. Bellaca, Merbein, Pte. J.E. Purtill, Balranald and Pte J.W. Ryan, Karawinna. Pte J.Hogan, Red Cliffs, on the serious list, Signalwoman M. Sinclair died from accidental injuries, Pte C. McGowan, Mildura W.I.A. By contributing over 18,000 pounds to the Fourth Liberty Loan, at yesterday’s rally at the Mildura aerodrome, residents of Mildura brought the total of their monetary contribution to the war effort to 1,001,134 pounds. Strong disapproval at the apparent lack of suitable transport arrangements for Servicemen enroute to convalescent hospitals after discharge from military hospitals was voiced by councillors at the meeting last night, also the okay to carry out the extension of electricity to Bonny Cliffs was passed. (14/19.10.1943)

LOCAL ITEMS: Merbein’s Spring Flower Show held in the A.N.A. Hall raised 90 pounds to augment the Merbein CWA’s and the Merbein Baby Health Centre’s funds. Mrs Kneebone when presented with a floral bouquet made by Mrs A. Howard said the show had made a place for itself on the social calendar of Merbein. There are over 90 names of Sunraysia locals who entered the competition and the places achieved on the day (Item dated Tues 19th Oct). The N.S.W Teachers Federation have proposed 10 changes to alter the homework system now used. The Merbein Chamber of Commerce asked the Mildura City Council if it is possible to have a street light erected at the intersection of roads at Birdwoodton. It has been recommended that there will be no joining fee necessary for the Children’s library but a proposal of a small deposit for the privilege of joining the Children’s section of the Carnegie Library and the librarian to be given power to exercise stricter discipline over the children. Teachers have been asked to offset labour shortages during their holidays.(16/18.10.1943)

WAR NEWS: Bow and arrow tribesmen on the Assam Border have become comrades of the British Tommy and Indian soldier in the fighting in Burma. A merchantman, with 42 seamen and 15 armed guards on board, was torpedoed in the South Pacific in August, it has reached San Francisco safely. Australians are amongst POWs coming from Germany along with British Empire and United States disabled prisoners, the Germans are promising better treatment for prisoners. About 100 Australians escaping from Italy have reached Switzerland. Dr J. Mahoney, Director of the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory at the Marine Hospital, New York said that Pencillin cured Syphillis in 8 days. Japan’s last Solomons Base Kahili airport was blasted by 130 American aircraft. In the Fischhafen area 400 Japanese were wiped out. Japs Ships, Subs, Aircraft reduced to a shambles by mass Australian air-attack at Rabau. The British war fleet has left Gibraltar. Reports that prisoners from a camp in Bologna were sold to Germany three days before the Allies landed. German planes dive-bombed and set fire to the hospital ship, The Newfoundland (marked with huge illuminated red crosses and a fringe of green lights) off Salerno, no wounded on board killing six nurses, all doctors and a number of ships officers. (4/20.10.1943)

50 years ago

MILDURA SHOW: The Governor-General, Lord Casey, will open the 21st Mildura Show. There will be a new look for the show layout as the picture printed shows, the new trotting track has caused a reshuffle of ground space. The history of the Snowy Mountains Scheme and what it means to Australia will be featured at the show. Thumb-sized concentrated fertilizer tablets developed and proven in the US, widely used in Europe and tested in Canberra will be on display. Chad Morgan “The Sheik of Scrubby Creek” will be performing at the show, with 8 stitches in his hand after he said he’d show his wife how to cut bread and grabbed the wrong end of the knife from his wife – he also had 4 bottom teeth removed- luckily not his famous upper lot.(14/16.10.1963)

ITEMS: The kit-bag, which has been a trademark of the Australian soldier since WWI has received its marching orders by a new item resembling an overnight bag. The old soldier will recall carefully packing pressed uniforms into the sausage shaped canvas bag only to recover a wrinkled mess. The Australian guided missile destroyer HMAS Hobart returned from her second tour of duty in Vietnam. A fireworks display at one Red Cliffs church during the Feast of the Rosary has been blamed for disrupting services in other churches and scared people who lived over a mile away. Builders have begun work on the new foyer at Mildura’s Sacred Heart Church. An automatic telephone system went into operation at Cullulleraine on 23rd Oct at 9am. (

PEOPLE: Motor sports have been popular for many years attracting all ages but the latest – Dune or Beach Buggies – will only be for the strong hearted. Blonde Melbourne schoolgirl, Raylene Boyle, burst into top class of world sprinters winning her 2nd round heat of the Olympic Women’s100 metres in Mexico City. The flame is lit, the battle is joined, the medals are ready, if wishes were fishes Ron Clarke would have a net full. He too is ready in Mexico City. The Merbein High School debating team, Gavin Hogg, Jenny Lee and Pam Cupper, defeated St Joseph’s College team, Angela De Jong, Kevin Power and Ruth Pinnington, the subject was “Is Sunraysia providing enough activities for the young”. Local speedway star Phillip Sedgmen took top honors at Broken Hill, winning three events from four starts even with 18 stitches in his ankle after a fall weeks ago. (14/17.10.1968)

25 years ago

NEWS: First prize in St Margaret’s Pre-School raffle is a cubby house, considered fit for a king and big enough to be another bedroom. About 40 former HMAS Mildura members are to converge on Mildura for a reunion. Mildura Secondary College student, Jason Tassone year 10, Patrick Leamon year 7 and Joanna McErvale Year 9, both from St Joseph’s Secondary College finished in the top 1 per cent in their year level in the Westpac Australian Mathematics Competition. (14/15.10.1993)

WOMEN: Teaching is something Dora McClumpha has had the desire to do for as long as she can remember and left her home in Broken Hill to do so when just 16, and teaching 13-year-old boys at school when 16 was a first as only men were appointed to boys schools then. She also taught at an intellectually retarded students school in Sydney, and a kindergarten at Red Cliffs. She said teachers can learn much from parents and students. Overall winner of the needlework section at the show was Mrs K Arbuckle shown with her exceptional counted thread entry. She said she was lonely till she found the Mildura Embroiders Guild. (14/15.10.1993).

GILPIN: There was a reunion in Mildura of 100 former staff to celebrate the memory of the man who revolutionised retailing in Victoria as in 1895 Oliver Gilpin built the first of 95 drapery and ironmongery stores. Mildura’s store traded from 1908 till 1951 and women were to wear all black especially underwear for when they were up ladders, running was forbidden, also using the words “Goodo” or “Righto”. Foy and Gibson acquired the chain on his death which then became a part of Coles. (16.10.1993).

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