DR RATTEN AND THE FLU EPIDEMIC IN TASMANIA

DR RATTEN AND THE FLU EPIDEMIC IN TASMANIA

In 1919 Dr Victor Ratten was Surgeon Superintendent of the Hobart General Hospital. At the time he was fighting accusations that the medical certificate he had obtained in Chicago ten years earlier was fraudulent. He was a man of supreme self-confidence, never allowing the charges to distract

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WAS THERE GOLD AT GAWLER?

WAS THERE GOLD AT GAWLER?

Gawler is a tiny rural community, several kilometres inland from Ulverstone, on Tasmania’s north-west coast. On April 4 1929 a tragic event left residents of Gawler in a state of utter grief. During widespread flooding in northern Tasmania, eight young people drowned when their covered Ford truck

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DEATH IN THE YARRA

DEATH IN THE YARRA

I’ve always been interested in family history. Sometimes a snippet received from a relative leads  to an intriguing and in this case, very sad story. My maternal grandmother Nora was an Upston, from the rural district of Reedy Marsh, in  north-west Tasmania.   The family emigrated from Attleborough,

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A HISTORY BUFF’S SYDNEY HOTEL

A HISTORY BUFF'S SYDNEY HOTEL

My favourite place to stay in the city is the Sydney Hotel QVB on York Street, directly opposite the Queen Victoria Building. While it is no fancy five star hotel, for someone who appreciates and writes about history as I do, it’s pretty well perfect. For the

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AN ETERNAL DILEMMA FOR FARMERS.

AN ETERNAL DILEMMA FOR FARMERS.

I have been watching in dismay as our Australian farmers continue to battle fire and drought. One of the most heartbreaking things is seeing hard working people being forced from the land due to crop failure and the high price of hay. Of course those on vast

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A FRAUGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH BUSES!

A FRAUGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH BUSES!

From 1953 until 1968, the Tasmanian government ran the Green Coach Line service to country towns. Now due to the curse of travel sickness I have dreadful childhood memories of being a passenger on those wretched buses. The Tasman Limited train was completely different, quite exciting really.

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1948 – RIMFIRE WINS THE MELBOURNE CUP!

1948 - RIMFIRE WINS THE MELBOURNE CUP!

My father was not really a betting man, so I was surprised to come across mention of a racehorse called Rimfire in his farm diary for 1948; Rimfire was a six year chestnut, with unimpressive form ……. and sore legs after a recent (unsuccessful) outing. His usual

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THE NEWTOWN BANK BUST

THE NEWTOWN BANK BUST

On Sunday,  October 6 1929, the Commercial Bank of Australia in Enmore Road, Newtown was broken into and the contents of the safe stolen. The manager was away at the time, and the theft was reported by the caretaker, Bruce Bell. Mr Bell was required to sleep

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THE OLD SYDNEY AVIARY

THE OLD SYDNEY AVIARY

In 1860 Alfred Denison, brother of the then Governor-General, was leaving the colony and donated his collection of birds to the government. The only condition was that a suitable home be created for them. The site chosen was in Sydney’s Botanic Gardens, on the eastern boundary of

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ODE TO GOLDEN SYRUP!

ODE TO GOLDEN SYRUP!

Peter Kotz, a fellow social history buff, took the photo below. The rusting, 70 lb golden syrup drum was found on a rough bush track near Alice Springs. Golden syrup was such an integral part of life in the parched Australian outback. It replaced butter on a

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