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ROYAL WEDDING GIFTS FROM DOWN-UNDER

ROYAL WEDDING GIFTS FROM DOWN-UNDER

When Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten announced their engagement in July 1947, Australians were as excited as the British by the prospect of a royal wedding. With a November 20 date set, time was short, but every State came up with what they considered an appropriate gift.

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BIRDS – THE EYES HAVE IT!

BIRDS - THE EYES HAVE IT!

For birds, sight is the most critical of the senses for survival. Hence, their eyes are much larger in relation to the size of their heads (and brains) in comparison to other vertebrate, including we humans. A large pupil allows more light to enter. That’s why an

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JUNE MILLINERY – OH MY HAT!

JUNE MILLINERY - OH MY HAT!

Now I do like wearing a hat. I think this trait was inherited from both my mother and my paternal grandmother, particularly the latter. Buying a new one (even a basic sun hat) is the only ‘apparel shopping’ I enjoy. No need to struggle out of your

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THE WATTLE BROOCH – FIT FOR A QUEEN

THE WATTLE  BROOCH - FIT FOR A QUEEN

In 1954 Queen Elizabeth made her Coronation Tour of Australia. To celebrate the visit it was decided to present her with a very special gift; something uniquely Australian. And what better choice could there be than the country’s native flora represented in a spray of precious gems?

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FLORENCE RODWAY’S PASTEL PORTRAITS

FLORENCE RODWAY'S PASTEL PORTRAITS

Florence Rodway was born in Hobart, on November 11 1881. Her father had hoped she would become a doctor, but after showing an early aptitude for drawing, she studied at the Hobart Technical School. At 21 she became only the second pupil in Australia to be awarded

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OUTSPOKEN ALBERT OGILVIE OF THE APPLE ISLE

OUTSPOKEN ALBERT OGILVIE OF THE APPLE ISLE

Always a progressive, two world trips convinced Tasmanian Labor Premier Mr A.G. Ogilvie that Australia was a land of ‘wowsers’. He expressed his views in Sydney in 1937, after attending the coronation of George VI in London. He had called in at the harbour city on his

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EDWIN TANNER; THE PERPLEXING PAINTER

EDWIN TANNER; THE  PERPLEXING PAINTER

In June 1954, Welsh born artist Edwin Tanner was living in Tasmania, working as an engineer with the Hydro Electric Commission. He moved to Melbourne in 1957. Tanner (1920-1980) was a man of many parts. As well as being an artist and professional engineer he was an

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NORMAN LINDSAY AND THE WEIRD LADY

NORMAN LINDSAY AND THE WEIRD LADY

Someone asked me recently why people often speak of artist and author Norman Lindsay (1879 – 1969) as having lived at Springwood in the Blue Mountains, when the property is actually in the neighbouring village of Faulconbridge. One reason is that Norman himself always wrote his address

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THE SWANSEA R.A.A.F DISASTER

THE SWANSEA R.A.A.F DISASTER

Swansea is a small town on the east coast of Tasmania. This story begins in triumph, but ends in heartbreak. My thanks to friend and fellow history buff Margaret Schmidt for bringing it to my attention. In December 1933, 17 year old Swansea resident Mabel Cotton completed

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SCHOOL REBELLION AT GOULBURN

SCHOOL REBELLION AT GOULBURN

Goulburn, in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, is hardly the type of place one associates with anarchy. However, on Friday, July 13 (yes, Black Friday) 1962, the Catholic Church flexed its muscles against the State Government. Bishop John Cullinane ordered the closing of six Catholic

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