My Articles

ASHES TO ASHES – 1905

ASHES TO ASHES - 1905

Cremation was being advocated in Tasmania in the 1890s. The following piece is from the Tasmanian Democrat, August 7 1896. A correspondent asserted that traditional burial was very costly, and that cemeteries often became eyesores. ‘For a piece of ground suitable for this purpose you will have

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WOODCHOPPING CHALLENGE 1903

WOODCHOPPING CHALLENGE 1903

The great woodchopping challenge at Ulverstone in 1903

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THE MUDDY YARRA HID EVIDENCE OF FRAUD

THE MUDDY YARRA HID EVIDENCE OF FRAUD

Where there is a commodity as precious as gold, there is a possibility of fraud. In June 1950 a twenty seven year old Melbourne man arrived in Kalgoolie hoping to do a bit of gold trading. He put the word out and soon found himself being offered

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THE BROADMEADOW BANK BUST

THE BROADMEADOW BANK BUST

In November 1931 Mr A. Laurie was employed as sole officer at the Broadmeadow (Newcastle) branch of the Bank of New South Wales. The bank was located at Belford Street, by the Nine Ways commercial centre. As a sub-branch it was only open between the hours of

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HERMANN KREFFT; IN THE SHADOW OF A FATHER

HERMANN KREFFT; IN THE SHADOW OF A FATHER

Hermann Krefft was born in 1879, the youngest child of Gerard Krefft, brilliant naturalist and controversial curator of the Australian Museum. Following disputes with the trustees, Krefft senior had been turfed out of the Museum in 1874, while still seated in his armchair. You can read about

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SONOMA…. THE SHIP & THE STOLEN GOLD

SONOMA.... THE SHIP & THE STOLEN GOLD

S.S. Sonoma was a passenger ship plying between Sydney and San Francisco in the 1920s. One hundred people boarding in Sydney in November 1921 were unaware that a very valuable cargo would accompany them to the United States. The Sonoma was loaded with newly minted gold sovereigns,

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A MYSTERY – ADELAIDE’S ‘JOHN BUNYAN BIBLE’

A MYSTERY - ADELAIDE'S 'JOHN BUNYAN BIBLE'

Could John Bunyan’s Bible, yes….Bunyan the Puritan preacher and author of Pilgrim’s Progress, have ended up in the fair city of Adelaide? Not just any of his Bibles, but the very one he used while imprisoned all those years ago in Bedford. (Following the restoration of the

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PORT ARTHUR FIRE 1895

PORT ARTHUR FIRE 1895

This article is primarily about the 1895 fire at Port Arthur in relation to the Model Prison, although the entire historic site was severely impacted. The Separate, or Model Prison at Tasmania’s Port Arthur closed in 1877. ‘Separate’ meant complete isolation. Inmates wore hoods if others were

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CURATOR KREFFT OUT THE DOOR!

CURATOR KREFFT OUT THE DOOR!

My partner and I were wandering through Sydney’s newly renovated Australian Museum recently, enjoying all the natural history treasures on display. I hardly gave the Victorian armchair pictured below a second glance until I overheard a staff member explaining it’s significance to another visitor. Oh my word,

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THE ODD HISTORY OF A GOLD NUGGET

THE ODD HISTORY OF A GOLD NUGGET

In 1887 there was great excitement over a huge gold nugget found at Maitland Bar near Mudgee. The prize was unearthed on June 22, as three miners were working their claim; Jonathan Thorpe, Isaac Holmes and Fred Leeder. After washing two tubs of material Holmes and Leeder

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