JOHN OSBORNE, TASMANIA’S ‘MR PINEAPPLE’

JOHN OSBORNE, TASMANIA'S  'MR PINEAPPLE'

In 1938 the Tasmanian newspaper The Mercury published the following, circa 1840s portrait of Mr John Osborne, one of the State’s pioneering horticulturalists. It’s impossible to make out from the reproduction, but he is holding….a pineapple! Osborne was born in Staffordshire England, on Christmas Day 1804. He

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The Lunch Basket

The Lunch Basket

Anyone growing up in rural Tasmania in the old days would be aware of the lunch basket, often taken out to the paddock by small children. And if a piece of cake or a biscuit disappeared on the way….well who could blame them? My farmer’s wife mother

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RIP ABC’s 7.45 NEWS BULLETIN

RIP ABC's 7.45 NEWS BULLETIN

Times change and today, September 21 2020, the final 7.45am news bulletin will be heard on the ABC. A SAD DAY……… Growing up in rural Tasmania during the 1950s, the 7.45am ABC news bulletin was the signal for me and my siblings to set off down our

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WILLIAM SINGLETON – BONE SETTER AND TEA BREWER

WILLIAM SINGLETON - BONE SETTER AND  TEA BREWER

William Singleton was my great-great grandfather. He was transported to Tasmania for life in 1828, aboard the ship Manilus. As with most convicts, his crime was the theft, in this case cheese, bread and bacon. Oh dear, a seventeen year old brickie’s lad gets very hungry. During

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DIP OUT! EXTRAORDINARY LETTERS FOLLOW THE 1975 DISMISSAL

DIP OUT! EXTRAORDINARY LETTERS FOLLOW  THE 1975 DISMISSAL

Many of us were fascinated to read the recently released, vice-regal correspondence leading up to the dismissal of the Whitlam government in November 1975 . However, as a born and bred Tasmanian I was intrigued by two letters written the following year, but prompted by the same

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OIL & WATER…. WHALING OUT OF HOBART

OIL & WATER.... WHALING OUT OF  HOBART

The following extract on whaling is from The Mercury, July 1929, re-posted from The New York Post. Please don’t take offence at its tone my fellow Taswegians; The whaling industry is to be restored to Hobart, capital of Tasmania, the little island lying south of Australia. This

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A CORDIAL INTRODUCTION TO ULVERSTONE

A CORDIAL INTRODUCTION TO ULVERSTONE

When the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition opened in 1888, produce from the small community of Ulverstone, Tasmania was represented by leather and skins from Mr T. L. Button, ploughs of polished iron and varnished blackwood from Mr L. Titmouse and…..cordials and aerated waters from Mr R. R. Hunter.

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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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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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