My Articles

FARMS FIT FOR HEROES?

FARMS FIT FOR HEROES?

Soldier Settlement was a federal, but state administered initiative which began during WWI. Land was purchased by government to provide small farms for returning servicemen, often on leasehold. One person who applied was my great-uncle Arthur Singleton, from Ulverstone. With the 12th Battalion he had taken part

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THE CHRISTMAS WONGA TWINS

THE CHRISTMAS WONGA TWINS

The resident Wonga pigeons in our Blackheath garden have just completed their fifth hatching in this extraordinary year of 2020. The couple have been with us for a number of years, but had only ever had a single, spring hatching ……until now. We wondered if they sensed

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CHRISTMAS IN EGYPT WITH THE A.I.F.

CHRISTMAS IN EGYPT WITH THE A.I.F.

Our first troops left Australia in late October 1914 following the outbreak of World War I. They disembarked in Egypt at Alexandria, and were then moved to a vast encampment near Cairo, where they continued to train in the shadow of the great pyramids. Soon, it was

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PRIME MINISTER JOE LYONS’ SOJOURN IN ULVERSTONE

PRIME MINISTER JOE LYONS' SOJOURN IN ULVERSTONE

Joseph Aloysius Lyons was four years old in 1883, when his father Michael moved the family to the Tasmanian seaside town of Ulverstone. Mr Lyons Snr. opened a bakery and butcher’s shop, but unfortunately he fitted the description of ‘feckless’ rather well, and lost everything betting on

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DR. RATTEN’S RACING CUPS

DR. RATTEN'S RACING CUPS

One of the most successful Tasmanian racehorse owners of the 1940s and 50s was the controversial surgeon Dr. Victor Ratten. He was Surgeon Superintendent of the Royal Hobart Hospital for many years (1917-1936). Dr. Ratten’s success on the track was despite the fact that in 1911 he

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STAR OF TASMANIA

STAR OF TASMANIA

In 2012 a bowl featuring the ship Star of Tasmania was offered for sale by Gowans Auction House in Hobart; Other items related to this ship have appeared for sale over the years. It must have been a very special vessel. From Launceston’s Cornwall Chronicle on Saturday,

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LOONGANA TO THE RESCUE

LOONGANA TO THE RESCUE

Loongana is an Aboriginal word meaning to be swift, or to fly. There would come a time when this ship would desperately need to live up to its name. The Loongana was built in 1904 on Scotland’s River Clyde. She plied the Bass Strait for many years

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MAKING A HASH OF IT

MAKING A HASH OF IT

Hash browns are best eaten for breakfast in a New York City diner, with eggs over-easy and crispy bacon. I have tried to recapture the experience here in Australia at Maccas……take my advice and just don’t do it. By the way, in case anyone is confused, hash

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CAPTAIN WATERSON & A DESPERATE ACT THAT BACKFIRED

CAPTAIN WATERSON & A DESPERATE ACT THAT BACKFIRED

For some years British born Captain William Waterson had been involved in an on-again, off-again relationship with Marion ‘Dorothy’ Jackson. Dorothy, 25 years old, lived with her wealthy, widowed mother Matilda at No. 2 Pillinger Street, Sandy Bay, an upmarket suburb of Tasmania’s Hobart. In 1922 the

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TASMANIA’S HAWTHORN HEDGING

TASMANIA'S HAWTHORN HEDGING

When I was growing up on a farm in north-west Tasmania our fences were mainly barbed wire, supported by blackberries. I loved seeing the English style hawthorn hedges when we ventured further south, especially driving through sheep country in the Midlands. Here is an account of hawthorn

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