A CONSTABLE WITH COURAGE AND COMPASSION

A CONSTABLE WITH COURAGE AND COMPASSION

In April 1929 there was a devastating flood in the small tin mining town of Derby, in north-eastern Tasmania. A dam burst after a period of unprecedented rain. Fourteen people lost their lives and many others their homes and livelihoods. The death toll would have been much

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THE LOST PORTRAIT OF EDITH CAVELL

THE LOST PORTRAIT OF EDITH CAVELL

IN APPRECIATION….. In 1931, Dr Victor Ratten performed life-saving surgery on 14 year old Myra Garnett at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Some weeks later the girl’s grateful father presented Dr Ratten with a generous and most appropriate gift. George Garnett was a British born art connoisseur and

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A MIRACULOUS BONE GRAFT?

A MIRACULOUS BONE GRAFT?

Stephen W. O’Flaherty was a worker in a sawmill at Derby, a small community in the north-east of Tasmania. In the early 1900s he suffered a significant injury when a lever at the mill rebounded, breaking his arm in two places. It was said that he had

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THE GRACE HOTEL

THE GRACE HOTEL

Recently I paused and looked skyward at this wonderful Sydney building. At street level it’s hard to appreciate its full, 300ft glory, sheathed in glazed cream, terra-cotta tiling. Somehow it reminds me of the toy blocks I played with during my 1950s childhood. However, it was built

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BRIDGET AND PYLON – THE ‘COATHANGER’ CATS

BRIDGET AND PYLON - THE 'COATHANGER'  CATS

Around Christmas 1950, twin white cats were spotted atop the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There they remained. It seemed the pair had decided it was the best location in the city, with world class views. Well really, who could blame them? The snowy residents

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PETER PAN …….BETTER THAN PHARLAP?

PETER PAN .......BETTER THAN PHARLAP?

The 1932 Melbourne Cup was truly an occasion to remember. It was won in extraordinary circumstances by a three year old stallion called Peter Pan. The horse was drop-dead gorgeous. His light chestnut body contrasted with a blonde mane and tail. He was owned by Mr Rodney

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A PIE CART PRANK

A PIE CART PRANK

South Australian Victor Richardson was a talented all-round sportsman. He excelled at tennis, golf baseball and Australian Rules Football. He captained Australia in cricket and played in the infamous ‘Bodyline’ cricket series alongside Don Bradman. With this in mind, perhaps we can forgive him for a bit

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TRAGEDY AT A TASMANIAN TIN MINE

TRAGEDY AT A TASMANIAN TIN MINE

My great-uncle James (Jim) Allen was a miner. At 32 he enlisted in WWI, then returned home to work in the rich Brisies tin mine at Derby, in north-eastern Tasmania. I have vague memories of my grandmother talking about relatives at Derby when I was a child,

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A WILL TO FIND JUSTICE

A WILL TO FIND JUSTICE

Mrs Margaret Roche was a hard working, shrewd business woman. She rose from the lowly position of barmaid to become the owner of considerable property. Included were two hotels in Queensland; the Telegraph Hotel at Charleville and the property she lived in, the Claren Hotel, in the

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DEATH ON YORK STREET – 1946

DEATH ON YORK STREET - 1946

The victim, Jeanette Wicks. In 1935,  Jeanette Wicks divorced her husband  of seven years on the grounds of desertion.  She  subsequently supported herself  by operating a tiny kiosk, located at the entrance to a four storey building at 97 York Street, central Sydney.  Tobacco products and lottery tickets

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