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The Perfect Poisoner

The Perfect Poisoner

    THE MYSTERIOUS DOWNFALL  OF PROFESSOR CHAPMAN It is 1918 and Sydney University’s  Professor of  Pharmacology  Henry Chapman has  set up  a unique test for his senior  students.  Their task is  to identify the deadly poison present in a  mixture he has prepared. He is amused and delighted when  even  the most

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EMPIRE DAY – LOLLIES AND CRACKERS!

EMPIRE DAY - LOLLIES AND CRACKERS!

I am an  Aussie who voted for a republic, but despite this  I have a nostalgic  affection for  Empire Day. It was  celebrated during my  1950’s  Tasmanian  childhood on May 24th, Queen Victoria’s birthday. A bag of boiled lollies  was distributed to each of us after we

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SCANDAL AT BLACKHEATH

SCANDAL AT BLACKHEATH

Wentworth Street in the Blue Mountains village of Blackheath  is filled  with tourists  during April and May, when  the deciduous trees put on a spectacular display of  autumn colour. I live just around the corner and it’s always a pleasure to walk along the street on my way

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THE SPINEBILL FUCHSIA

THE SPINEBILL FUCHSIA

 THE FUCHSIA Fuchsias were discovered growing in the Caribbean in the 17th century,  by  a French monk  called Charles Plumier.  He named them in honour of  German botanist, Leonhart Fuchs. There are so many varieties it would be impossible to   list them here. Anyway, there is only one, very

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ELIZABETH MACQUARIE AND DR JOHNSON

ELIZABETH MACQUARIE AND DR JOHNSON

                                           A WEDDING GIFT   On November 3 1807, 29 year old Elizabeth Henrietta Campbell married 46 year old Lieutenant Colonel Lachlan Macquarie at Holsworthy, in the English county of Devon. Their wedding marked the end of a long separation. Macquarie had just returned from military service in

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YARRA BEND ASYLUM CEMETERY

THE ASYLUM As the name suggests, Yarra Bend was established  in a curve of the river outside  Melbourne. Completed  in1848. It was  Victoria’s first, purpose built  mental asylum.   There was an initial intake of ten patients;   THE CEMETERY Burials at the asylum in the 1870s

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WHAT BECAME OF PRIVATE QUAMBY AT ANZAC COVE?

LOST MATES  HAUNT AN ANZAC My great-uncle,  Anzac veteran Arthur Singleton, was admitted to a Tasmanian mental asylum in 1926.  He constantly spoke of being tormented by the voices of his dead mates on Gallipolli.  Arthur  had gone on  to fight  at Lone Pine and in France, 

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The Mystery of the Lone Pine Medal

The Mystery of the Lone Pine Medal

Private Arthur Singleton (Service No. 301) was one  of the first young Australians to volunteer in WWI.  He was a farmer’s son, from South Road, Ulverstone.  Aged 20, he joined the Tasmanian 12th Battalion, sailing off  to Egypt aboard the troopship Geelong on October 20 1914. Arthur

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THE STRANGE LIFE OF EDWARD RIDLEY – PART ONE

THE STRANGE LIFE OF EDWARD RIDLEY - PART ONE

Edward Ridley Snr emigrated to New York  City from Nottinghamshire in the early 1840’s.   From humble beginnings as a hawker of ribbons and other small items he eventually built a vast emporium at Grand and Allen Streets, on the Lower East Side. It was one of the city’s

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TIGER OF THE TASMANIAN KIND

TIGER OF THE TASMANIAN KIND

For many months in 1908 the Tasmanian coastal towns  of Penguin and Ulverstone were in a state of   alarm over repeated sightings of the carnivorous  marsupial, the  Tasmanian tiger.  This was an unusual situation. Tigers had already been hunted to near extinction, with a bounty on their heads.  It

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