My Articles

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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THE WONGA WORLD – AN INDEPENDENT SPIRIT

THE WONGA WORLD - AN INDEPENDENT SPIRIT

This is Spirit, who nearly did not make an appearance as her parents nested in a tree about to be cut down. Happily, the tree was spared. Spirit and a sibling we called Hope hatched successfully. We think a hungry fox took Hope. This a continual hazard

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A BLACKHEATH BIRTHDAY

A BLACKHEATH BIRTHDAY

Celebrating a significant birthday under lock-down Balloons from the newsagency. Rich chocolate cake from the village grocery store. All his gifts were purchased in Blackheath. Warm, cosy slippers from the newsagency (well he is seventy)

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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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THE ROSE ROBIN SENDS A MESSAGE

THE ROSE ROBIN SENDS A MESSAGE

I was involved in a heated debate on a FB community site the other day. It was all rather pointless and a waste of emotional energy. In the midst of the fray I decided enough was enough and commented, ‘Well that’s it for me. I’m off to

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A COCKATOO’S REVENGE!

A COCKATOO'S REVENGE!

Now admittedly I have been conducting a campaign against sulphur crested cockatoos. Well not against the birds themselves, but against the artificial feeding of them. Over the past 15 years their numbers have skyrocketed in the Blue Mountains. They are now competing with other hollow-nesting birds here

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EDITOR DES- BIRDWATCHER!

EDITOR DES- BIRDWATCHER!

Despite living in a bird filled garden it hasn’t been easy for my associate Editor Des to become a successful birdwatcher. He is enthusiastic enough, but lacks the patience required. You cannot just nod off! It all began with our visiting kookaburras, Toffee and Taffy. To be

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AN AUTUMN BLESSED BY NATURE

AN AUTUMN BLESSED BY NATURE

Wow, did we ever see such clear blue skies? Not that pollution is a problem in Blackheath, well apart from bushfire smoke. The birdlife has been extraordinary over the last couple of weeks. I think I see more varieties during autumn than any other season. Down in

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SAME, BUT SO DIFFERENT AT BLACKHEATH

SAME, BUT SO DIFFERENT AT BLACKHEATH

A BRIEF BREAK FROM SELF-IMPOSED ISOLATION Yesterday I ventured past my driveway for the first time in ages to walk to the chemist in Blackheath village. My little camera is always in my pocket, so here are a few pics taken along the way. April is such

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