Posts

Showing posts from February, 2011

THE ORRORAL ROCKS - POEM 1928

Image
Because I love coming across old poems from the Canberra area. An 83 year old poem from 'Fairy' describing the view from her home in the Orroral Valley in the Australian Capital Territory. I can understand Fairy's sentiments the rocks are impressive...

The Canberra Times - 29 December 1928

National Library of Australia
MAP

View Larger Map
Share -

BILLY BILLY ROCKS - VIDEO

Image
The latest wander by John Evans and Co. in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in the Australian Capital Territory. John captures the rugged and beautiful views from atop Billy Billy Rocks. John has an amazing array of information regarding bushwalking in the Canberra region at Johnny Boy's Walkabout blog.



Share -

CANBERRA BLACKS - THE LOST TRIBE

Image
An article discussing the inhabitant numbers of Aboriginal people in the Canberra region at the time of European settlement. Explorer Dr John Lhotsky's (bio) claim that there were no Aboriginals in the Limestone Plains district in 1834 is corrected with an explanation for the Peoples absence and fluctuating population at the time of his passing through to the Australian Alps.

The Canberra Times - 17 June 1927

National Library of Australia
Share -

THE WINGED SPECTRE OF RED HILL

Image
A local Canberra ghost story from 1866. After reading of the ghost of Yarralumla I came across this 'bushman's tale' set on a journey by (believe it or not) four Irishmen, Haggerty, Sweeny, O'Toole and O'Lynn. They had all been drinking and whilst returning from a stay in Queanbeyan were confronted by what they thought a winged spectre on Red Hill. The clipping's quality makes it a little challenging to read in parts but it's a good tale. You might also note the name Canberra was being used long before 1913.
Queanbeyan Age and General Advertiser - 12 April 1866



National Library of Australia

Share

YARRALUMLA'S TALE OF BURIED TREASURE

Image
A stolen diamond finds it's final resting place amongst the bones of a murdered Aboriginal beneath a Deodor tree (Himilayan Cedar). Where? in the historic grounds of today's Governor Generals Residence in Canberra. I don't like anyones chances of recovering the gemstone today if it existed but this newspaper clipping begins the story with an 1826 tale of bushranging, to an 1841 treasure map of the booty, a murder, a ghost and culminating with an 1881 letter describing a mystery waiting to be solved. Its got it all... 
The Advertiser - 7 October 1944


National Library of Australia
Share -

GUDGENBY - TEMPORARY BAILEY BRIDGE

Image
The ACT Government has installed a temporary Smith's Road bridge over the Gudgenby River. A "Bailey's Bridge" is a prefabricated portable military bridge that can span 60 meters (200 ft) and designed to support the weight of tanks. I went for a trip down to the river to check on the progress today and took a few photos. Workmen were busy building the road approach ramps to the bridge.

The little bridge's history:
A newspaper clipping from the bridge's 1933 opening.Photos of the bridge before the flood.Photos of the damaged bridge after the flood.For updates see the Smiths Road Community website.





Mount Tennent makes for a dramatic backdrop to the bridge's approach...

MAP
View Larger Map
Share -

CORONET PEAK - VIDEO

Image
John Evans of Johnnyboys Walkabout Blog gives us another video of a 360 degree view from a peak in the Namadgi National Park in the Australian Capital Territory. For anyone interested in bushwalking in the ACT a wealth of information can be found at John's comprehensive blog. (here)

"An epic day trip via Rendezvous Creek, up over the Mavis Ridge and down to Little Creamy Flats, then up to Coronet Peak. Absolutely superb views from the top of the bare granite cap. Back via the AAWT."






Share -

NAMING - OLD CANBERRY'S BERRIES

Image
This clipping is the strangest suggestion to the name of Canberra's origin I have come across yet. There appears to have been considerable differences of opinion when it comes to the origin of the name Canberra at the time of it's establishment.

The letter to the editor by C. T. Burfitt (bio) is in reply to Mr. John Gale (bio) who, widely known in the area as "The Father of Canberra", maintained the word Canberra was of Aboriginal origin. Burfitt offers a strange English alternative of the name's origin. Canberra is apparently named after cans of berries. (specifically red berries).

Remembering that Burfitt was the secretary of the Australian Historical Society of the day his claims would I imagine have been taken quite seriously by the general populace. For the record I'll go with Gale...

The Sydney Morning Herald - 2 June 1913

National Library of Australia
Share -

POSSUM HUNT IN THE CAPITAL 1945

Image
Unthinkable today but nearly 70 years ago 'open season' was declared on the humble Possum in the city area of Canberra. Many residents readily took to the new 'sport' and in a two month period 2000 possums were dispatched in a one mile circumference of the city center. The following two clippings relate the announcement of the open season and two months later the results. Imagine the uproar today...

The Mercury (Hobart) - 30 July 1945

National Library of Australia
And the Results...

The Canberra Times - 27 September 1945

National Library of Australia
Share -

PADDY'S RIVER BUSHRANGERS

Image
A report of highway robbery in the Canberra region in 1865. Two robberies are mentioned in the article. The first committed at Paddy's River (Southern Highlands?) by a Richard Middleton, John Wilson and Thomas Tracey and the second by the more well known bushrangers Ben Hall, John Gilbert and John Dunn who held up W. Davis of Ginnindera somewhere between Goulburn and Gunderoo just north of Canberra...

The Sydney Morning Herald - 7 March 1865
National Library of Australia
As for Tracy, Middleton and Wilson the Goulburn Circuit Court accepted a plea of guilty and deferred sentence. 
(Queanbeyan Age and General Advertiser - 27 April 1865.)

National Library of Australia
Share -

THE BITER BITTEN - SCOTS HAVE THEIR JOKE

Image
A newspaper clipping from 1935. The canny Canberra Scots, after fundraising for years with pipe bands, dances and donations, began erecting their precious monument to the Scottish poet Robert Burns. The monument was to cost between 5 and 6 thousand pounds. The clipping details the Scots response when "bitten" for land rent. I have a post on the Canberra Highland Society which endures strongly today...

The Mercury (Hobart) - 28 January 1935

National Library of Australia
MAP
View Larger Map
Share-

CANBERRA - THE CLAIMS TO THE CAPITAL

Image
"The showplace of Australia" A newspaper clipping from 1907 presenting the argument for the selection of Canberra as Australia's National Capital over the proposed Dalgety. The article describes the delights of the area's romantic scenery, its situation and it's natural facilities". The descriptions are almost Utopian...

The Sydney Morning Herald - 8 August 1907

National Library of Australia
Share -

TIDBINBILLA YOWIES

Image
Apparently thirty five years ago #Canberra was plagued by Yowies.  This is a few snippets from a lengthy article about Yowies in general with references to the Canberra / Queanbeyan region and the man that hunts them Rex Gilroy. Not withstanding that in 35 years of bushwalking in and around Canberra I have never seen, heard or smelt anything resembling a Yowie I suppose the truth is still out there....

The Australian Women's Weekly - December 1976



For the full article - National Library of Australia
My additional thoughts on the great 1976 Queanbeyan Yowie hunt:
It amazes me that with at least a couple around Queanbeyan and twenty five at Tidbinbilla and a 200K bounty that someone with a Ute, a decent spotlight and a shotgun wouldn't have at least winged  one. After extensive research however there appears to be no record of a Yowie's capture, wounding or death in the region in 1976. 
It is possible perhaps that they were found and to save the species live today a secret …

VIEWS FROM GIBRALTAR PEAK - VIDEO

Image
Another short video from Johnny Boys Walkabout Blog described simply as 'Spectacular views from Gibraltar Peak, high above the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.' Located in the Namadgi National Park in the Australian Capital Territory Gibraltar Peak is a popular rock climbing spot...


MAP

View Larger Map
Share -

FOUNDATION STONES

Image
From #Canberra's establishment in 1913 until this newspaper article written in 1920 growth of the new capital city had been slow. The First World War and the economic circumstances that war produced delayed any substantial construction. The Minister of State for Home Affairs King O'malley had visions of a huge city that was, owing to world circumstance, in limbo. I think the sentiments in this clipping portray that time well and in some ways are probably correct...

Queanbeyan Age and Queanbeyan Observer -  25 June 1920

National Library of Australia
Share -

CANBERRA'S FIRST EXPLORER

Image
The story of Captain Mark Currie (bio) and his exploration of #Canberra. Opening up today's Tuggeranong region he named the area Isabella's Plain before continuing to discover the Murrumbidgee river and open the way to the Monaro. Currie was accompanied on his journey by Major John Ovens (bio) and the bushman Joseph Wild (bio)...

The Sydney Morning Herald - 9 May 1927
National Library of Australia
Share -