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Author Topic: Australia by Tibrogargan January 2007 - present and 155216+ views later!  (Read 570377 times)
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Tibrogargan
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« Reply #520 on: May 30, 2007, 02:51:06 AM »

SECOND CUB IS NAMED 'RAHNI'

It was a double celebration at the Tiger Island with The Wiggles visit and announcing the name for the second cub.

Rahni derived from the Sumatran word Berani meaning ‘brave’.

The winner of Dreamworld’s Name a Cub Competition, attracting over 45,000 entries from around Australia, was drawn randomly from all the entries suggesting the name "Rahni"

MAKING NEW FRIENDS IS JUST SO TIRING

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« Reply #521 on: May 30, 2007, 02:56:25 AM »

ALL ABOARD THE HUMPBACK EXPRESS

Michael Wray….May 30, 2007 12:00am….Article from: The Courier Mail

THE experienced whale-watching crew aboard 1300 Whales largely mistook the season's first humpback whale for a white boat yesterday. It was 9.42am when crew member Andrew "Gus" Currie pointed to a spot a few kilometres off the Surfers Paradise coast.  Fellow crew member Dion Carter announced: "An unconfirmed sighting of the first whale of the season dead ahead." Before adding: "No, no, it's a boat." Five minutes later, Currie again saw a telltale spout. "I think there's two of them, a mother and a calf," Carter confirmed after looking through binoculars.

The whales yesterday were at the head of up to 10,000 humpbacks migrating north along Australia's east coast in search of warm water and a safe place to give birth. Adding to the anticipation this year is the prospect of seeing an all-white calf, believed to be the offspring of the world's only known all-white humpback whale Migaloo.

Director of Southern Cross University's Whale Research Centre, Associate Professor Peter Harrison, confirmed that footage taken in August 2005 by Italian tourists at Cape Byron in northern NSW was "definitely an all-white calf". "It had that beautiful aqua blue glow under water that Migaloo does, so there's a possibility that we have another all-white humpback whale, which is very special," he said.

Dr Harrison said humpbacks had made an incredible comeback since extensive whaling nearly wiped them out last century. "The numbers were down to about 100 in the 1960s after commercial whaling had devastated the population," he said. "We're starting to see approximately 10 per cent growth in the population each year. That rate will slow down, but at the moment we're getting into the significant early stages of recovery."

However, as the expanding whale-watching industry delights in the growing whale numbers breaching, splashing and swimming along the coast, the threat of Japanese whalers continues to loom large.



No breach of etiquette . . . a humpback shows off to the appreciative crew of a whale-watching boat off the Gold Coast yesterday. Picture: Tim Marsden.
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« Reply #522 on: May 31, 2007, 02:47:34 AM »

KIDMAN MOVIE'S CATTLE BATTLE

Qconfidential....May 31, 2007 12:00am

PRODUCERS of the Baz Luhrmann epic Australia have locked horns with locals over parking in Bowen's main street during the period flick's regular cattle drives, with one vehicle already a casualty.

Witnesses report it all started when one stubborn gent parked his Toyota HiLux in front of the local bakery on Tuesday and then refused to budge.

"At first the film crew asked the man to remove his vehicle and he refused, and then police asked him to move it and he still refused," a witness told Qconfidential.

"So the producers went ahead with the cattle drive (headed by Aussie Hollywood hunk Hugh Jackman) anyway."

Apparently the vehicle also made the charging cattle see red. Some of the beasts head-butted the ute, denting the chassis and covering it in a thick layer of dust.

One of the movie's ringers, taking advantage of the dust haze, then jumped down from his horse and inscribed "sucked in" with his finger on the paintwork.

But it wasn't the first time cars parked in the main street have caused issues for the production, and it won't be the last. Filming was halted last week when producers were unable to find the owner of a backpacker HiAce van parked conspicuously in shot and not in keeping with the usual 1940s mode of transport.

Fortunately, although in the cattle drive's way, this time it did not matter because the vehicle was out of the cinematographer's view.

But yesterday proved locals still haven't learned from the ute owner's costly experience, with two drivers parking in similar spots. This time both escaped the cattle – and the movie men's wrath – unscathed.
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« Reply #523 on: May 31, 2007, 03:41:29 AM »

QANTAS



In 1919, two young airmen (Paul 'Ginty' McGinness and Hudson Fysh) returned to Australia from the Middle East after World War One. In thatyear the Australian Government offered 10,000 pounds (Sterling) to the first aviators to fly from England to Australia in less than 28 days. McGinness and Fysh were inspired and sought the sponsorship of Sir Samuel McCaughey who had presented a Bristol Fighter to No 1 Squadron in which this pair had flown. McCaughey agreed to the proposal, but died suddenly and the plan was cancelled. The Chief of the General Staff, was entrusted with choosing the route from Darwin to Melbourne and he called on McGinness and Fysh to chart the section from Darwin to Longreach.

On 18 August 1919, McGinness and Fysh set out from Longreach in a Model-T Ford with George Gorham as driver. No roads existed, the Aborigines were potentially unfriendly, timber was dense and no telegraphic communications existed. It was a hazardous mission. The proposed route required the intrepid explorers to head north to Burketown and then around the coastline of the Gulf of Carpentaria to Borroloola, then to Katherine and Darwin. Fortuitously, their journey began before the wet season which would have confounded their efforts.

The party reached Cloncurry on 20 August, after passing through Winton, Kynuna and McKinlay. On 24 August, they arrived in Burketown and set out again on 28 August for the 355 mile (568km) journey to Borroloola following a route first taken by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt in 1845. They reached their destination 24 days later after averaging 16 miles (26km) per day - hard going.

They arrived at Katherine on 8 October (a 51 day trip of 1354 miles or 2166km) and reported to General Legge that the route was unsuitable. They recommended an alternate route across the Barkly Tableland. McGinness was instructed to reconnoitre the alternate route while Fysh was instructed to proceed to Darwin. McGinness arrived in Cloncurry and awaited the return of Fysh. During this enforced stopover, McGinness met a lot of people and he generated interest in starting an air-service. In particular, he met two individuals who were to play their part in the history of QANTAS. One was a pioneer grazier, Alexander Kennedy, and the other was a Winton grazier, Fergus McMaster.

Fysh was caught by heavy rain on his return trip from Darwin, between Mt Isa and Cloncurry, and unable to cross the flooded Wills Creek. He spent the evening as a guest of Alexander Kennedy at Bushy Park Station. At about this time Fergus McMaster had a chance meeting with McGinness. McMaster's car broke a stub axle while crossing the Cloncurry River one Sunday afternoon. McMaster walked back to Cloncurry and came upon McGinness about to depart on a picnic. McGinness helped himself to an axle from a locked garage and proceeded to the river to fix McMaster's car.

After a number of meetings, the dream began to take shape. On 14 October 1920, the first bank account of the company was opened at the Bank of New South Wales, Winton with a deposit of 700 pounds into an "Aerial Account" by McMaster. QANTAS (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service) was registered as a company on 16 November 1920, with its first head office at Fred Riley and Co. Elderslie Street, Winton. Three Winton identities served on the first Board of the Company and 10 other Winton personalities served the company in various capacities. The company's first plane was a Avro Dyak and it was collected in Sydney on 21 January 1921. McGinness flew the Dyak while Fysh took delivery of, and flew a BE2E for a stock agent in Longreach. Both aircraft arrived in Longreach on 6 February and flew to Winton the following day arriving at 12:30pm.

On the 10 February 1921, the first QANTAS board Meeting was held at the Winton Club, where it was determined that the company should relocate to the railhead at Longreach in 1922. Although it was a brief association between Winton and QANTAS the airline was to serve outback Queensland faithfully until the end of World War Two when it became an international carrier. Winton was to be part of these eventful first years. The first paying passenger on regular service was Alexander Kennedy (aged 84), who flew with Fysh from Longreach to Winton (and then Cloncurry) on 3 November 1922. On 31 October 1924, the Honorable S.M. Bruce, Prime Minister, embarked in the first DH-50 in Winton for a flight to Longreach and became the first Australian Prime Minister to fly in an aircraft. In July 1926, Governor-General Lord Stonehaven was flown from Winton to Longreach and became the first Head of State to fly with QANTAS.

MODEL OF THE AVRO 504K, THE FIRST QANTAS PLANE





Longreach boasts the Qantas Founders Outback Museum, set within the original Qantas hangar at Longreach Airport. Once the formative headquarters of the world famous aerial service, there now sits, remarkably, a magnificent Boeing 747-200 jumbo jet, donated to the community thanks to the quiet connivance of one Joan Maloney.

The diminutive former mayor persuaded the leaders of Qantas to give the community one of its original jumbos, then extended the runway just long enough for it to land - but not so long that it could ever take off again and be brought back into service by Qantas. And so there now resides the City of Bunbury jumbo, adding to the Longreach aviation collection, the only spot in the world where full tours of that type of jet are offered.

THE BOEING 747-200 JUMBO JET



RIKI THE KOALA PILOT

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« Reply #524 on: June 01, 2007, 02:46:58 AM »

THE WILD WEST COAST OF TASMANIA

The Western region of Tasmania is a dramatic landscape that runs from the rugged mountains around Queenstown and Zeehan down to a coast that is awesome and beautiful at the same time. The winds of the ‘Roaring Forties’ rush ashore, bringing high rainfall and chill – but such times are contrasted with some of the most perfect days on earth. Clean air, waters teeming with life and a genuine feeling of being a long way from the cares of the city.

QUEENSTOWN'S "SHINBARK" OVAL
Surfaced in gravel as all vegetation had been killed off by fumes from the Smelting works.  Greenery is gradually returning and they may one day have a grass covered sports ground.



There’s also some wonderful history and unique natural and man-made wonders. The west coast is an unforgettable experience. Tasmania’s west coast was the first part of the island sighted by Europeans, yet the last part to be serviced by road.

GORMANSTONE HILL ON THE ROAD TO THE WEST COAST FROM HOBART



The west coast’s four main towns - Queenstown, Zeehan, Strahan and Rosebery, were for many years isolated from the rest of the State by the rugged forests and steep mountains of the region. One of the most beautiful rivers, the Gordon, is renowned for its mirror reflections.

GORDON RIVER REFLECTIONS



You can still trace the outlines of buildings on Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour, site of Australia’s most infamous penal settlement.

SARAH ISLAND RUINS



One of the most conveniently located waterfalls in Australia is the Hogarth Falls, almost in the heart of Strahan on Macquarie Harbour. At Newell Creek, nine kilometres south of Queenstown on the Mt Jukes Rd, a visitor platform offers easy access to a fine example of thamnic rainforest, complete with King Billy and Huon pine, two species not normally seen so close together.

HELLS GATES AT THE MOUTH OF MACQUARIE HARBOUR



Several different types of cruise boats operate from Strahan, on Macquarie Harbour. You can also sail to Sarah Island to walk among the historic ruins, and on to Kelly Basin. Up the Gordon River cruises stop at Heritage Landing where passengers can disembark and walk along a boardwalk to see a giant 2000-year-old Huon pine in its natural rainforest setting.
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« Reply #525 on: June 01, 2007, 02:52:37 AM »

MORE PICTURES FROM THE WEST COAST

STRAHAN BAY AND TOWNSHIP



FRANKLIN RIVER



RAFTING DOWN THE FRANKLIN RIVER



GRANVILLE HARBOUR



SOUTHERN OCEAN

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« Reply #526 on: June 02, 2007, 04:44:49 AM »

HUON PINE

Huon Pine - Lagarostrobos franklinii, (formerly. Dacrydium franklinii) is only found in Tasmania Australia. The Huon pine derives its common name from the stands which once occurred along the Huon River, itself named after Huon de Kermandec, commander of the French ship, L'Esperance. The species is restricted to western and southern Tasmania, where it is largely confined to riverine habitats.

FOREST GIANT HUON PINE


This individual tree is an estimated 2000 years of age. It was seen by the many tourists that visit Heritage Landing on the Gordon River until it fell.
(Photography by Steve Johnson)

With unique qualities of durability, longevity, amazing grains, rich golden hues that darken with age and fine texture, Huon Pine is a truly beautiful softwood timber, deep in character with exquisite aroma. Huon Pine is extremely slow growing with growth rates averaging a mere 1mm per year. Trees may attain heights of over 40 metres and are amongst the longest living organisms on the earth, they often live in excess of 2000 years and have been known to reach 3,000 years. A tree merely 20 cm in diameter could be as much as 500 years old. Only the bristle-cone pine of North America lives longer.

COMPARISON OF SIZE OF LOGS AND SAMPLE OF BIRD'S EYE GRAIN



Huon Pine is a relic of Gondwana – the first pollen records date back 135 million years. International headlines were made with the discovery of a stand of Huon pines on the west coast that is more than 10,000-years-old. All the trees are male and are genetically identical. The stand arose from one or a small number of individuals, and has maintained itself by vegetative reproduction. It is important to remember that no individual tree in the Mt Read stand is 10 000 years old -- rather, the stand itself has been in existence for that long.

LIVING HUON PINE



Convicts on Sarah Island in the west of Tasmania constructed ships from Huon Pine. The wood contains an oil which retards the growth of fungi, hence its early popularity in ship building.  The ‘Piners’, early timber getters, searched the inhospitable wilderness of Tasmania's West Coast on the Franklin and Gordon rivers to cut and haul out Huon Pine logs and floated them downstream. The timber was used for everything where durability and ease of working was required; in furniture and tables, in washtubs and ships and in machinery and patterns for casting. Remaining trees are found in the western and south-western parts of the state, growing along river banks, lake shores and swampy localities in mixed formations.

SAMPLE OF HUON PINE VENEER



The western and south-western Huon Pine stands are now wholly protected and cannot be felled. What timber is available comes from logs salvaged from rivers which can show additional rich orange tannin stain which is drawn into the timber as it lays for years in the water.  Also trees from areas flooded by hydro electric schemes or logs that are dead fallen  remains usable after hundreds of years and is still prized by modern woodworkers, not least because of its sweet aroma.

GORDON RIVER - TYPICAL OF HUON PINE COUNTRY



Huon Pine is the prince of Tasmanian timbers, the richness of its golden colour and features such as ‘birds eye’ and ‘fiddleback’, make it one of the world's most desirable furniture and veneering timbers. Its durability and workability make it one of the best boat-building timbers known. The wood contains a natural preserving oil with an unmistakable perfume which is also a natural insect repellent, its fine and even grain makes the wood exceptionally pleasant to work with hand tools.

TYPICAL HUON PINE COFFEE TABLE



Estimates of the area of living Huon pine vary, but are in the order of 10 500 ha. In addition there are about 800 ha of standing, fire-killed pine. The current area of remaining pine is the remnant of a much wider original range that has been reduced by fire, inundation, logging and mining. Today, the remaining stands are well protected within reserves, the majority being within the World Heritage Area.

LOOKOUT AT TEEPOOKANA

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« Reply #527 on: June 02, 2007, 04:52:09 AM »

KING BILLY PINE

King Billy Pine - Athrotaxis selaginoides (Also called King William Pine) is thought to derive its common name from the Tasmanian Aborigine William Lanney, who was referred to as 'King Billy'.



Although related to the famous redwoods of California, the King Billy pine is only a medium sized tree, usually between 25 and 40 metres high with a diameter of 60 to 90 centimetres. It is one of the endemic Tasmanian softwoods along with Huon, celery-top and pencil pines. It does not bear branches for about three-quarters of its height and the bunchy tops give the tree its characteristic appearance. The bark is slightly furrowed and fibrous. The small, pointed leaves are thick and more or less overlap. They grow stiffly in rows and are quite prickly. The male and female cones are borne on the same tree and are about 20mm in diameter, have loose scales and stand erect at the tips of branches.



King Billy pines are found in the more mountainous wetter areas of Tasmania. They are slow growing and can live for five hundred years or more if not burnt by bushfires, to which it is highly susceptible. The maximum growth rates are in the vicinity of 200mm per year.
The sapwood is yellow, but the heartwood is pink to reddish brown with distinct growth rings. It is a very soft, fine textured timber with a straight grain. It has good bending properties, works easily and seasons well with little shrinkage. The oils present in the timber preserve it very well. Present use is restricted by availability.
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« Reply #528 on: June 02, 2007, 04:56:27 AM »

RIVER CROSSING

EXPECT TO MEET SOME CHARACTERS IF YOU TRAVEL ON THE WEST COAST :

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« Reply #529 on: June 02, 2007, 11:28:05 PM »

Thank you so much for posting all the wonderful photos and information. Every time I read this thread I want to leave immediately for Australia!
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I Stand With The Girl
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« Reply #530 on: June 03, 2007, 03:29:18 AM »

FULL STEAM AHEAD

Ten years ago an unlikely dream  to restore an improbable railway through Tasmania’s rugged West Coast wilderness started to become a reality. A promise of Commonwealth funding to restore the rusting Abt railway kick-started the project, but it would be another five years before the line opened as the West Coast Wilderness Railway in 2002, which is now undeniably one of the State’s great tourist drawcards.



During that time a myriad of challenges and many people, including the Prime Minister, train enthusiasts and entrepreneurs played their part. The historic 34km railway of tight curves and spectacular bridges clambers through rugged wilderness, dense rainforest and steep gorges between Queenstown and Strahan.



Trains conquer the steep terrain using the unusual Abt system – taking its name from Swiss inventor Roman Abt – which uses a third rail of rack and pinion. Somehow forged through the rugged wilderness in dangerous conditions, the Abt railway was originally opened in 1896.



It stands as a testament to the spirit of the pioneers who built it, showcasing ingenuity and endurance in extreme surroundings. It took up to 500 men two and a half years to build the railway in treacherous conditions on the edge of plunging gorges, through massive rock faces and almost impenetrable forests – all by hand.  It took three years just to restore the railway, which showed what an amazing feat the original workers achieved. The railway ran reliably for many years transporting copper concentrates from the Queenstown mine to the Strahan port for the Mt Lyell Mining and Railway Co., but the high cost of maintenance led to its closure in 1963.



Slowly falling into rusting disrepair, the track was forgotten until the early 1980s when a restoration push gained momentum, but economic concerns killed the railway a second time.  During this time the proponents talked to old gangers, fettlers and drivers of the railway.  The fettlers said that if the railway was not restored soon, everybody would die and no-one would remember how it was made and put together. Fortunately at the next attempt at restoration there were still two or three engine drivers and a couple of fettlers still around to help put it all together again.



Construction was a nightmare as the project required the building or repair of more than 40 bridges and significant earthworks to relay stable track on steep and unstable hillsides.  Theft was common and the materials for an entire station at Lynchford disappeared, and faults and derailments delayed the planned opening by another year.



Millions were spent on buying and restoring locomotives, some over 100 years old, which were scattered around the country. Finally officially opened in 2002 the railway provides not only economic benefits but an identity to the region.  It is described as one of the major things that sum up the West Coasters, which are a unique breed, and the railway puts a major part of the portrait together.



A tight fit. The brushes help to ensure that passengers keep their heads in as the train enters the station, and another set on the inside save heads on departing trains.
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« Reply #531 on: June 03, 2007, 03:34:48 AM »

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Dinah Wilson's wedding dinghy wasn't perhaps the most romantic wedding gift in the world, but this dinghy was no doubt much appreciated by John Wilson's bride Dinah when it was presented to her shortly after they married in 1872.  During the early years of their marriage she would row the 10 km from their home in Cygnet to her husband's work place in Esperance twice a week. Although not a sturdy work boat, the dinghy was a reliable vessel and was still being rowed by Mrs Wilson 65 years later. It is the only known convict-built dinghy in Australian collections.



The dinghy was built by ex-convict Walter Paisley who had been imprisoned as a youngster at Point Puer, the boys' prison near Point Arthur. Wilson and Paisley may have met when Wilson was employed as master shipwright at Port Arthur. Wilson was the founder in the 1860s of a wooden boatbuilding business that is still operating today.



Length of the dinghy: 12" 3'
Material: Huon pine, unknown Eucalypt.
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« Reply #532 on: June 04, 2007, 04:04:42 AM »

PIONEER WOMEN

by Craig Wilson

Much had been written describing the gold fields of the grand era in Australia during the two decades from 1850 -70, but little has been detailed of the trials and tribulations that all had to endure and suffer as they pioneered this great country. In particular the women of the era stand alone as great stalwarts at a time where great prosperity, was accompanied by unspeakable hardships.

These women came from all walks of life. Some born and bred in Australia, but a good percentage from more sophisticated European societies. The trials and tribulations they suffered and endured and in most cases conquered, is a testament to their pioneering spirit, tenacity and sheer guts and determination.

Accompanying their husbands into the gold fields as a good many did, her first task was to help construct some type of mean dwelling that would provide shelter to keep them warm and away from natures moods. In many places in Australia, timber and water was scarce, so selecting a suitable site for a dwelling was difficult in these locations. The dryness of the gold fields particularly in the summer months was always a concern, and certainly locating suitable water was of paramount importance.

Most structures had some sort of hearth for cooking, which was constructed of locally sourced stones. As timber was used for the construction of these early dwellings most had a substantial hearth to reduce the risk of fire. However, these dwellings were prone to fires and many lost their lives in such circumstances. Most could only be described as mean hovels, but they did serve a purpose. The roofs were constructed of all types of materials - with a favourite being bark peeled from stringy bark trees. If this material was no available, brush roofs were used. Remarkable these kept the inside of the dwelling relatively dry.



Inside the only divisions were by hessian bagging sewn together and painted with whitewash to provide some privacy. These pioneering women then made the dirt floor as even as they could and stored their few possessions and in most cases started a family. Pregnancy in those early days was a difficult time for a woman. Perhaps not during the pregnancy itself, but as doctors were scarce in those times and their knowledge fundamental a considerable number of women lost their lives during childbirth. These women knew these risks but still accepted them gladly.

Most were attended by a midwife during childbirth, as it was accepted practice. No drugs as there are today, no clean hospitals, and in a great many cases, just their husbands to tend to them as they gave birth. They were tough, and in most cases retained their femininity, as can be seen from the photographs of the era. The mortality rates from childbirth were extremely high - not just for the women but for their unborn infants. If you visit some of these old cemeteries you will find a large number of headstones that detail these death rates. Some of these gravestones make compelling reading, and provide a substantial insight to the difficulties of the times.

The fireplace within these homes was of great importance to the entire family. As well as providing the source of heat in the winter, it was where all food was cooked, water boiled, and where the family spent most evenings. This was the hub that the pioneer women created to nurture and protect her family. As time progressed if she was lucky a Colonial Oven made of cast iron replaced the open fire. This was a giant step forward for her, as with an oven there was much more flexibility in what she could do with the stove including control the heat.

As these dwellings were in general open structures, and not completely sealed to outside elements, a daily routine was required to keep the dirt floor clean of debris and food scraps that enticed insects to a food source. Coupled with this the ever present dust during summer required a daily necessity to entirely dust the house and sweep unwanted dust outside. Early photos often show a straw broom propped outside, indicating it was a well used tool.

It was a woman's work to keep the essentials of the home in place. It was her duty to daily collect water, and either purchase or gather food for her family. The most pressing difficulty in Australia was water. It was often necessary for her to walk several miles to collect water, not just for drinking, but for washing, and for cooking purposes as well. If she was lucky a wooden water barrel would be placed outside the dwelling, and filled be her daily.



Many women sourced and foraged through the bush for food and butchered animals to provide the necessaries for their young and growing families. Most grew vegetables near their homes to provide. In the gold fields there was an element of support as store holders quickly moved into these areas and provided a great deal of the necessities of life - at a price. Sharing resources was a common practice and a vital necessity for survival.

In a lot of cases although men were primarily involved in digging for gold their women often stood alongside them and shared the work load, particularly in the early gold rush days. This was not a common occurrence but some women provided total support to their men in undertaking this role as well as looking after their homes. They would dry sieve the gold and generally do those tasks that did not required heavy manual labour in the fields. There were some tough women out there, and many stories of their sacrifices abound.

Perhaps the most disastrous situation that arose from time to time was the difficulties that arose when serious diseases and epidemics swept through communities. With very little support from medical resources and no drugs to assist, many women lost children and in some instances, their own lives, while tending for them, catching the disease themselves.

As her children grew there was a necessity to educate them and if schools were not nearby it was her duty to provide the necessary instruction to ensure her children had a future. Providing the total necessities for her growing family herself was indeed a labour, but a labour of love for these great pioneering women. I salute them for what they as a group accomplished.
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« Reply #533 on: June 04, 2007, 04:11:15 AM »

THE WOMEN OF THE WEST

by George Essex Evans..(1863-1909)

They left the vine-wreathed cottage and the mansion on the hill,
The houses in the busy streets where life is never still,
The pleasures of the city, and the friends they cherished best:
For love, they faced the wilderness - the Women of the West.

The roar, the rush, and fever of the city died away,
And the old-time joys and faces - they were gone for many a day;
In their place the lurching coach-wheel, or the creaking bullock chains,
O'er the everlasting sameness of the everlasting plains.

In the slab-built, zinc-roofed homestead of some lately taken run,
In the tent beside the bankment of the railway just begun,
In the huts on new selections, in the camps of man’s unrest,
On the frontiers of the Nation, live the Women of the West.

The red sun robs their beauty, and, in weariness and pain,
The slow years steal the nameless grace that never comes again;
And there are hours men cannot soothe, and words men cannot say-
The nearest woman's face may be a hundred miles away

The wide Bush holds the secrets of their longings and desires,
When the white stars in reverence light their holy altar-fires,
And silence, like the touch of God, sinks deep into the breast-
Perchance He hears and understands, the Women of the West.

For them no trumpet sounds the call, no poet plies his arts-
They only hear the beating of their gallant, loving hearts.
But they have sung with silent lives the song all songs above-
The holiness of sacrifice, the dignity of love.

Well have we held our father's creed. No call has passed us by.
We faced and fought the wilderness, we sent our sons to die.
And we have hearts to do and dare, and yet, o'er all the rest,
The hearts that made the Nation were the Women of the West.

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« Reply #534 on: June 04, 2007, 04:17:00 AM »

PIONEER HOME

Also considered a pioneer home this beautiful example was built in 1908 and has been kept in original condition.  Note the wide verandah with wrought iron lacework and railings.



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« Reply #535 on: June 05, 2007, 03:12:21 AM »

THE STORY OF AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY MUSIC

This Story of Country Music in Australia was written by John Minson and Max Ellis. It does not claim to be a detailed history but rather tries to present an overview of where Australian country music came from, the individuals who created it, how it changed over the years and how it has influenced country music in Australia today.

THE FOUNDATIONS– 1788 to 1920s

In the beginning…. the didgeridoo, bullroarer, clap-sticks and the corroboree provided the music of our country. Then in 1788 new sounds were heard in the "timeless land". The first fleet brought convicts and their gaolers, exiles in a strange and unfamiliar continent. With their chains, the new arrivals brought folk melodies and music hall ballads from the old countries and soon they were adapting these songs to reflect their new lives. They told of the hardships and isolation endured in the harsh new land… and the injustice. Many of the first Australian songs told of bushrangers or bolters. The fiddle, concertina, banjo, mouth organ, penny whistle and tea chest were popular instruments.

TEX MORTON



By the mid 1800's, the colony was expanding into the vast interior.  Free settlers joined the convicts and ticket of leavers and their children proudly called themselves Australians. The forests rang to the sound of the axe as land was cleared for the plough and the endless bush was fenced, stocked and settled. Then, the rush for gold. People came from all over the world but the songs that entertained the diggers were about Australia.  

As our nation’s story unfolded there was always a song or verse to accompany each chapter...
Like droving...
Loneliness and isolation...
Droughts and floods...
Stockmen and horsemanship …
and, of course, shearing...

In the 1880's and 90's writers for the Bulletin like Paterson, Lawson and Ogilvie, established a tradition of Bush Ballads, which is still a strong influence in Australian country music today.

SHIRLEY THOMS



The new century brought Federation. Australians were showing pride in their own music and this Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Paterson was beginning its climb into history.  Then World War one and Australia received its heroic baptism into nationhood at Gallipoli, immortalized in ceremony, story and of course, song. Looking back, we can see that today’s Australian country music was built on the same historic foundations that shaped our nation.

THE BIRTH OF COUNTRY MUSIC – 1920s to 1940s

In the 1920s. Two developments had a profound influence on the future of Australian country music... the introduction of radio in 1923 and the spread of the phonograph. By 1929 more than three hundred thousand Australians homes had a radio license, and many households had a wind-up gramophone. Meanwhile new music was taking shape in North America. In 1924 Vernon Dalhart recorded one of the first hill-billy songs on disc...  “The Prisoners Song”.. followed soon after by the famous Carter Family... and The Singing Brakeman, Jimmie Rodgers.

BUDDY WILLIAMS



By the '30s, country music was an established part of rural life.  Jimmy Rogers and other recording artists like Wilf Carter and Hank Snow soon had young Australians singing. The familiar Regal Zonophone label released some local country talent including Vince Courtney and Art Leonard.

But it was New Zealand born Robert Lane, who, as Tex Morton, earned the title "Father of Australian Country Music"  From his first recording session in February, 1936, Tex easily out sold the American stars. A talented and versatile showman, he initially sang American songs but he quickly realised people wanted him to write and sing about Australia too. He pioneered a genuine, original Australian style of country music, which had an enormous influence on aspiring young artists like Slim Dusty and Buddy Williams. Buddy, who grew up on a dairy farm near Dorrigo followed Tex into the Columbia Studios in Sydney in 1939, a boy from the country writing and singing his own songs about his life in the Australian bush. Then our first Australian country girl to record solo. Queenslander Shirley Thoms quickly became a favorite on the airwaves. Meanwhile in Melbourne a young singer and all-round entertainer started adding hill-billy music to his Hawaiian radio show, recording in 1941 and ending up some 65 years later as one of Australia's best loved country music characters, Smoky Dawson.
Australian Country Music was on the way.

SMOKY DAWSON AND YOUNG FAN



COUNTRY COMES OF AGE – 1940s to 1960s

War dominated the early 40s but by 1946 a different legend was being born on a small dairy farm at Nulla Nulla Creek, in the peaceful Macleay valley near Kempsey, NSW, David Gordon Kirkpatrick turned himself into Slim Dusty and recorded the first of over a thousand songs he would put on disc during the next 55 years.  He became one of our most successful and enduring entertainers... an Australian icon, writing and singing about the land he loved.

SLIM DUSTY AND WIFE JOY McKEAN



In the late 40s and 50s country music boomed as more new stars appeared including many artists who would be famous for decades to come. Country was seen in the cinema, it played in talent quests, show grounds and town halls. It even had its own magazine… Spurs. Country reigned on radio, with Tim McNamara, Reg Lindsay and the McKean Sisters in Sydney, the Trailblazers in Melbourne, Bob Fricker in Adelaide, the Harmony Trail in Shepparton and Lismore's Radio Ranch Club. The Adventures of Smoky Dawson was heard on hundreds of radio stations all over Australia and later, seen on TV. Circus and variety shows all had country acts too.  Country Music took to the road in a tradition that continues today, with the Buddy Williams Show being joined on the outback circuit by the Slim Dusty Show, the Rick and Thel Show and many others. The familiar Regal Zonophone and Columbia labels expanded their repertoires, and ARC launched the Rodeo label.

The 1950s saw consolidation of the Slim Dusty phenomenon... launched by Australia's first major radio chart hit, the Gordon Parsons penned "Pub With No Beer" recorded and released by Slim in 1957. "The Pub" became the best selling 78 record of all time, our only gold 78 and Australia's first international Number One Hit.

BUDDY AND SLIM ENJOY A CUPPA



In 1960 Johnny Ashcroft recorded the saga of a little boy lost near Guyra, topping charts nationwide. This was followed by "I've been every where", another huge hit written by Geoff Mack, which was, and still is, being recorded all around the world. 1960 ushered in the micro groove long play stereo record and the ubiquitous Phillips cassette, as well as new labels like RCA Festival, W & G, and specialty labels like Hadley and C M .  A new crop of performers appeared including Jean Stafford, The Singing Kettles, Johnny Heap, John McSweeney, Terry Gordon and many others. In the 60's country took to Television.  In 1964 The Country and Western Hour was produced in Adelaide, compered by Roger Cardwell and later Reg Lindsay. In New South Wales registered clubs supported country music while fan clubs flourished everywhere.

But in the '60s our country music was already reflecting the major changes which were re-shaping popular music around the world.... Rock and Roll. In a relatively short time from the late 50s, rock & roll had supplanted other genres of popular music, dominating the city stages and radio and TV airwaves. It drove country music into the backblocks where travelling shows struggled to keep it alive.  It took almost a decade for that decline to be reversed.

SLIM DUSTY



In 1965 country music found a new champion.  John Minson started an Australian country music program, "Hoedown" on Tamworth's Radio 2TM, playing predominantly Australian music. It was an immediate success with support from artists and fans alike and in 1969, the people at 2TM recognised the potential, and came up with the concept of Tamworth, as Australia’s "Country Music Capital".

Australian Country Music would never be the same.
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« Reply #536 on: June 05, 2007, 03:43:44 AM »

LITTLE BOY LOST

Johnny Ashcroft's hit song 'Little Boy Lost' was one of the top selling songs in 1960, and was inspired by Steven Walls' disappearance from his dad's ute on a property at Tubbumurra near Guyra in NSW. Johnny has been friends with Steven Walls ever since and remembers the time when Steven went missing.

Steven was only four years old when he went missing on 5 February 1960. According to Johnny, Steven was with his father Jacko and his dog the day he went missing. His dad decided that he was going to go into the gully to flush out some sheep. Jacko told Steven to stay with the dog in the ute. After what seemed like forever (in a child’s' mind), Steven decided that his father had been gone for far too long and that it was time to go and look for him.

His father returned to the ute to find that his son had gone. Steven's disappearance sparked what still remains to be the largest land and air search in this country's history.  Seven aircraft were involved in the search, as were over 5000 men and women.

According to Johnny Ashcroft, Steven had kept running from the search party because he had always been taught to not to talk to strangers. Considering the small size of Guyra, Steven had never seen so many people before. The Aboriginal tracker who was working on the case discovered that the boy was in fact doubling back on the search parties, and this is when everyone realised that the boy was actually running scared from the masses of people who were searching for him.

Steven was missing for three days and four nights before he was found saying 'Where's my daddy? Where's my daddy? Where's my daddy?' When asked why he was asking where his dad was, Steven apparently replied 'Because he is lost and I've been looking for him?' Steven was found on 8 February, over 12 kilometres from where he originally went missing.

A very quiet man, Steven declined to be interviewed for this 50th birthday story, and because of his previous major celebrity status, Steven now shies away from any media attention. But of his experience as a child lost for four nights... his line is that the only thing he remembers about it is what people have told him.
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« Reply #537 on: June 06, 2007, 03:39:01 AM »

DIGGER’S REMAINS ON WAY HOME

By Max Blenkin….June 04, 2007 08:37pm….Article from: AAP

THE son of an Australian soldier killed in the Vietnam War says the return of his father's remains is something he never thought would happen. The remains of two Australian soldiers, declared missing in action in the Vietnam War, were expected to be on their way home to Australia from Hanoi tonight. Lance Corporal Richard "Tiny" Parker, 24, and Private Peter Gillson, 20, were killed on November 8, 1965, during a battle in Dong Nai province, east of Saigon.

They remained unaccounted for until a team of Australian veterans unearthed their remains in South Vietnam in April. Robert Gillson, who was just four months old when his father was killed by enemy fire, said he never he knew his father but could now bring him home. "It's something that I thought that I would never get the opportunity to do," he said to ABC radio.

The soldiers were officially farewelled at a ceremony in Hanoi attended by relatives, some of their former comrades and Veterans Affairs Minister Bruce Billson.

Former platoon Sergeant Trevor Hagan said this was the 15,151st day since the two soldiers were lost. "Going back to bring them back is one of the greatest things that will ever happen to me," he said to ABC radio. "It is an unwritten law that you never leave anyone on the battlefield and we were forced through circumstances to leave two of our soldiers, especially Tiny because Tiny was doing my job on that day. I have believed that if things had been as normal I would have been lying where Tiny was and he maybe would be searching for me."

Lance Corporal Parker and Private Gillson were serving with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) when they were shot dead by Viet Cong forces. Intense enemy fire halted repeated attempts to retrieve their bodies. Although their mates reluctantly withdrew when ordered, they never forgot, until a search conducted by the group Operation Aussies Home located their bodies.

The crucial piece of information came from an old Viet Cong soldier who revealed that the bodies had been buried in a trench at the battle site and not moved elsewhere. Terrorism expert Clive Williams, who in 1965 was a platoon commander in the battle, said there were discrepancies between the Australian and Viet Cong accounts of where the fighting occurred. "What we did was we went back to the route we had taken going into the area because we knew where we had harboured the night before and we retraced our steps," he said to ABC radio. "It became fairly obvious when we got to the position that that was the right place."

Four other Australians remain missing from the Vietnam war. Mr Billson said work was continuing to try to locate the remains of another soldier, Lance Corporal John Gillespie. He said the prospects of locating other servicemen still missing remained distant, but fresh information was still being sought about another missing soldier and two RAAF officers whose bodies were never found.

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« Reply #538 on: June 06, 2007, 03:42:30 AM »

LOST DIGGERS WELCOMED HOME

June 06, 2007 12:40pm….Article from: AAP

TWO Australian soldiers killed in the Vietnam War 42 years ago have been welcomed home in Sydney as "true heroes" and "soldiers in the finest Anzac tradition".

The remains of 24-year-old Lance Corporal Richard "Tiny" Parker and Private Peter Gillson, 20, were flown back to Australia from Hanoi on Monday, touching down in Darwin yesterday before arriving in Sydney this morning for an official repatriation ceremony.  A RAAF C-130 Hercules carrying the remains landed at Richmond airbase just before 10am (AEST) to applause from relatives and veterans.

Two wooden coffins draped in the Australian flag with wild flowers and army slouch hats on top were carried from the plane and through an honour guard.  The coffin carrying Pte Gillson was carried from the plane first, followed by Cpl Parker's coffin.

Veterans Affairs Minister Bruce Billson said the men were "soldiers in the finest Anzac tradition".  Mr Billson said the men's families had shed tears both of joy and sorrow.  "Today, two families and the broader community come together, united by tragic events so many years ago that have seen many different journeys now merge into a moment of collective mourning," he said.

"Not the kind of mourning that leaves people uneasy or uncertain about the future, but one that produces the opportunity for a sense of peace, of calm and of comfort. Denied for more than four decades, but now in the reach of many, is the prospect of a new-found serenity, certainty and closure."

Chaplain Ted McMillan said Cpl Parker was a "sincere, fun-loving and genuine guy" who loved serving in the army.  He said Pte Gillson, nicknamed Gilly, was a "lovable rascal" who enjoyed a practical joke. The two were both known for their courage, determination and valour, Mr Billson said.  "They put other people first, at the expense of themselves - even their lives," he said.

Land Commander of Australia Major General Mark Kelly presented the fallen diggers with United States Meritorious Unit Citations and Infantry Combat badges, before their former acting platoon sergeant, Trevor Hagan, read The Ode. A lone bugler played the Last Post and two Iroquois helicopters flew over the coffins during a minute's silence.

Following the ceremony, veterans from the soldiers' regiment carried their coffins to two silver hearses.  The band played Waltzing Matilda as relatives and veterans formed an honour guard to salute the cars as they left the base.  Cpl Parker and Pte Gillson will be buried in Canberra and Melbourne later this month.

.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

.
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« Reply #539 on: June 06, 2007, 03:48:23 AM »

MORE CLEVER MAILBOXES

TASMANIAN TIGER



MAIL MODEL



THIS LITTLE PIGGY



DOWN UP PEDALS

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....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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