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Today's Chat, No Set Topic


.........................................Something comes into your mind? share it, as everyone is different so all topics have followers :) Happy thoughts, sad thoughts or just reflective thoughts - let's enjoy chatting without agro or nastiness. Who knows what we might learn from each other..........................................:) 

(A combination of Lets Chat and Today in memory of Gerry, Geomac and Seth.) 

Please keep it general so all can be included not about subjects that can aggravate like Politics or Religion. 

Today's Date Sunday 7th May 2017   

Many thanks to RnR and Toot for making this into such an interesting topic on past events for us all to learn so much. 

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1895 – The Lumière brothers record their first footage using their newly patented cinematograph.

The Lumière brothers were among the first filmmakers in history. They patented an improved cinematograph, which in contrast to Thomas Edison's "peepshow" kinetoscope allowed simultaneous viewing by multiple parties. The Lumière brothers were born in Besançon, France. Their parents had a small photographic portrait studio where Auguste and Louis were born.

The Lumière brothers. Cinématographe Lumière at the Institut Lumière, France.

The Cinématographe was an all-in-one camera, which also served as a film projector and developer.

When their father retired in 1892 the brothers began to create moving pictures. They patented several significant processes leading up to their film camera, most notably film perforations, originally implemented by Emile Reynaud, as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector. The original cinématographe had been patented by Léon Guillaume Bouly on 12 February 1892. The brothers patented their own version on 13 February 1895. The first footage ever to be recorded using it was recorded on 19 March 1895. This first film shows workers leaving the Lumière factory.

The world's first film poster, for 1895's L'Arroseur arrosé.

The Lumières held their first private screening of projected motion pictures in 1895. The Lumières gave their first paid public screening on 28 December 1895, at Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris. This history-making presentation featured 10 short films, including their first film, Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory).

Video: Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory in Lyon on 19 March 1895 … the first projected film.


1932 – The Sydney Harbour Bridge is opened to traffic.

The bridge was formally opened on Saturday, 19 March 1932. Amongst those who attended and gave speeches were the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Philip Game, and the Minister for Public Works, Lawrence Ennis. The Premier of New South Wales, Jack Lang, was to open the bridge by cutting a ribbon at its southern end.

Francis de Groot declares the bridge open.

However, just as Lang was about to cut the ribbon, a man in military uniform rode up on a horse, slashing the ribbon with his sword and opening the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the name of the people of New South Wales before the official ceremony began. He was promptly arrested and found to be Francis de Groot.

The ribbon was hurriedly retied and Lang performed the official opening ceremony and Game thereafter inaugurated the name of the bridge as 'Sydney Harbour Bridge' and the associated roadway as the 'Bradfield Highway'. After they did so, there was a 21-gun salute and an RAAF flypast.

Aerial view of Sydney and Circular Quay on the day of the official opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 19 March 1932.

Despite the bridge opening in the midst of the Great Depression, opening celebrations included an array of decorated floats, a procession of passenger ships sailing below the bridge, and a Venetian Carnival.

After the official ceremonies, the public was allowed to walk across the bridge on the deck, something that would not be repeated until the 50th anniversary celebrations.

Estimates suggest that between 300,000 and one million people took part in the opening festivities, a phenomenal number given that the entire population of Sydney at the time was estimated to be 1,256,000.

Videos: 1. Sydney Bridge Opened. 2. Sydney's Harbour Bridge … construction. Screen Australia.


1936 – Ben Lexcen, Australian sailor and architect is born.

Benjamin Lexcen AM (born Robert Clyde Miller, 19 March 1936 – 1 May 1988) was an Australian yachtsman and marine architect. He is famous for the winged keel design applied to Australia II which, in 1983, became the first non-American yacht to win the prestigious America's Cup in 132 years.

Born in the small town of Boggabri, New South Wales on 19 March 1936. After his parents labourer Edward William Miller and Ethel Doreen abandoned him as a child he stayed briefly at Boys’ Town, Engadine, before going to his grandfather at Newcastle. He left school at age 14 to pursue a locomotive mechanic's apprenticeship but soon found his attention turning to sailboats.

Ben did his sailmaking apprenticeship with Norman Wright in Queensland. Ben's designs were highly innovative. His entry, "Taipan" in the 1960 18 Footer World Championship started the modern era of the class and Ben won the World Championship in 1961 with the successor, "Venom".

With friend Craig Whitworth, he founded a boat-building, sail-making and ship-chandlery firm, Miller and Whitworth, and designed boats part-time as well. One of his lasting early successes was the design that became the International Contender. It was selected in 1967, in multi boat trials, as a potential Olympic successor to the Finn dinghy. The Contender was awarded International status in 1968 and now has fleets in more than twelve countries throughout the world.

During the first years of his partnership with Alan Bond, Miller withdrew his partnership from his sail-making company but the company retained its name of Miller and Whitworth. Soon after the 1974 Cup challenge, Miller changed his name to avoid confusion with his former company. Keen to prevent the possibility of there being any confusion surrounding his name and business interests in the future, he asked a friend who worked for Reader's Digest to find out the least-used surname within their membership. The result was Lexcen. "Ben" was the name of his dog.

Owner businessman Alan Bond, designer Ben Lexcen and skipper John Bertrand with the America's Cup trophy during presentation ceremony after defeating USA yacht in winning the series at Newport, Rhode Island in 1983.

Australia II was a revolutionary design approach with her winged keel and hull design comprising the shortest waterline length ever measured on a 12-metre. Australia II became the first challenger to wrest the America's Cup from the United States since its inception in 1870. Lexcen was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his contributions to the winning design.

Lexcen died suddenly on 1 May 1988, of a heart attack at 52 years of age, five years after Australia II’s victory.


1945 – World War II: Adolf Hitler issues his "Nero Decree" ordering all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany to be destroyed.

The Nero Decree was issued by Adolf Hitler on 19 March 1945 ordering the destruction of German infrastructure to prevent their use by Allied forces as they penetrated deep within Germany. It was officially titled Demolitions on Reich Territory Decree and has subsequently become known as the Nero Decree, after the Roman Emperor Nero, who supposedly engineered the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD. The decree was deliberately disobeyed by Albert Speer.

Hitler visits Paris in 1940 with Speer, left, and sculptor Arno Breker.

By the beginning of 1945, the German situation was desperate. Most of the conquered territories had been liberated or recaptured, the Ardennes Offensive had failed, and Allied armies were advancing on Germany proper from both the East and the West. However, Hitler was not willing to lay down arms and accept the terms of unconditional surrender.

This was not the first time Hitler had tried to destroy infrastructure before it could be taken. Shortly before the Liberation of Paris, Hitler ordered explosives to be placed around important landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, and key transportation hubs.

If the Allies came near the city, the military governor, Dietrich von Choltitz was to detonate these bombs, leaving Paris "lying in complete debris." Von Choltitz, however, did not carry out the order and surrendered to the Allies.

Dietrich von Choltitz. Albert Speer.

Hitler’s Nero Decree decree was in vain. The responsibility for carrying it out fell on Albert Speer, Hitler's Minister of Armaments and War Production. Speer was appalled by the order and lost faith in the dictator.

Just as von Choltitz had several months earlier, Speer deliberately failed to carry out the order.


1988 – NSW state election: Nick Greiner and the Liberal Party win the NSW election in a landside, removing the ALP government of Barrie Unsworth.

Elections to the 49th Parliament of New South Wales were held on Saturday 19 March 1988. The Labor government of Premier Barrie Unsworth was defeated by the Liberal-National Coalition, led by Opposition Leader Nick Greiner.

The Australian Labor Party, under Neville Wran and, since 1986, Barrie Unsworth, had been in office for 12 years. A number of corruption scandals had tarnished Labor's image. Among these was the jailing of Labor's Minister for Corrective Services Rex Jackson in 1987 for accepting bribes for the early release of prisoners. Signs that voters had turned against Labor were evident in two by-elections in 1986.

The Liberals' campaign slogan was "A change for the better". Greiner campaigned on a promise to clean up state government, foreshadowing the establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, as well as promising to freeze government expenditure, create 16,000 new employment and training positions, and pay more attention to law enforcement.


Drastic measures were needed to clean up the horrific 12 years of Labor government corruption and he did it with the introduction of ICAC.  

Scott Morrison has promised to introduce a federal ICAC but it's been touted as a watered-down version of the original.

...But the Coalition’s proposed integrity commission will operate outside of public view, with the investigative body to make no public findings, hold no public hearings, and refer any recommendations directly to prosecutors, who will make the ultimate decision on whether or not to go forward with a case.

A former commissioner of the New South Wales independent commission against corruption described the omission of public hearings as “very weak”.

1852 – Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is published in book form.

Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Uncle Tom's Cabin first appeared as a 40-week serial in The National Era, an abolitionist periodical, starting with the issue of 5 June 1851.

Uncle Tom's Cabin. Boston edition published as a book in two volumes on 20 March 1852. An engraving of Harriet Beecher Stowe from 1872.

Because of the story's popularity, the publisher John P. Jewett contacted Stowe about turning the serial into a book. While Stowe questioned if anyone would read Uncle Tom's Cabin in book form, she consented to the request. Published in book form on 20 March 1852, the novel sold 3,000 copies on that day alone, and soon sold out its complete print run.

In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States; one million copies in Great Britain. Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible.

Full-page illustration by Hammatt Billings for Uncle Tom's Cabin depicts Eliza telling Uncle Tom that he has been sold and she is running away to save her child. First edition: Boston: John P. Jewett and Company, 1852.

Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Seminary and an active abolitionist, featured the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters revolve. The sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings.

The book is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In recent years, the negative associations with Uncle Tom's Cabin have, to an extent, overshadowed the historical impact of the book as a "vital antislavery tool."


A novel, first published serially, by Harriet Beecher Stowe; it paints a grim picture of life under slavery. The title character is a pious, passive slave, who is eventually beaten to death by the overseer Simon Legree.

1912 – The SS Koombana sinks near Port Hedland, Western Australia, during a tropical cyclone, with the loss of at least 138 passengers and crew.

SS Koombana was a late Edwardian-era passenger, cargo and mail carrying steamship. From March 1909 to March 1912, she operated coastal liner services between Fremantle, Western Australia and various ports in the northwest of that State. She is best known for disappearing at an unknown location north of Port Hedland, Western Australia, during a tropical cyclone on 20 March 1912, killing 74 passengers and 76 crew; in total, 150 people died.

A postcard of SS Koombana at sea. Western Australian Museum.

Other than a small quantity of wreckage, no trace was ever found of the ship, which was presumed sunk along with several other vessels during the same storm. At least a further 15 people died in other ships and near the cyclone. As accurate passenger lists were not kept at the time, the exact number of deaths is not known; however, all on board are presumed to have perished. The loss was almost certainly Australia's worst weather-related maritime disaster in the twentieth century.

Koombana alongside the new jetty at Port Hedland, 26 April 1909. State Library of Western Australia.

In her short career, Koombana also played a significant role in the public life of Western Australia. In April/May 1909, she carried the Premier of Western Australia, Newton Moore, on a tour of the northwest, which included the official opening of the jetty at Port Hedland, now the highest tonnage port in Australia. Koombana was also the first ship to berth at that jetty.

In November 1910, Koombana was part of a welcoming flotilla of vessels at Broome, Western Australia for the inaugural arrival in Australia of the Royal Australian Navy's first two destroyers, Parramatta and Yarra. Twelve months later, in Fremantle, she was the subject of a divisive industrial dispute that had nationwide implications.

Koombana at Wyndham, circa 1911. National Library of Australia.

The loss of Koombana, and the associated withdrawal of her owner the Adelaide Steamship Company from the northwest coastal trade, was a major impetus for the early development of the State Shipping Service of Western Australia, which was to dominate that trade for the rest of the twentieth century.



So many ships wrecked around our coastline during the early days.

1916 – ANZACs in France: Troops from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps disembark in Marseilles.

On 19 March 1916, troopships carrying the Australian 1st and 2nd Division arrived in Marseilles in the south of France. The ANZACs disembarked on 20 March 1916 and marched through the streets to Marseille-Saint-Charles railway station accompanied by loud cheers from the local residents.

The 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Australian Divisions, were initially sent to the region of the Belgian border to gain familiarity with some of the new weapons of modern warfare, including gas. They then moved into the front-line trenches near Armentières, in an area dubbed “the nursery”. Although the Australians were in a relatively quiet sector, there were periods of sharp fighting, shelling, and some heavy raids; by the end of June over 600 men had been killed.

As a troop train carrying Australian soldiers from Marseilles makes a rest stop, the soldiers have disembarked to stretch their legs on the tracks beside the train, rest on the embankment or pick wildflowers to decorate the train carriages.

On the Western Front after enemy bombardments, waves of attacking infantry would emerge from the trenches into no man’s land and advance towards the enemy positions. The surviving Germans, protected by deep and heavily reinforced bunkers, were usually able to repel the attackers with machine-gun fire and artillery support from the rear.

Troops of 53rd Battalion wait to don equipment for the attack at Fromelles, 19 July 1916. Only three of these men survived.

In July 1916 Australian troops were introduced to this type of combat at Fromelles, where they suffered 5,533 casualties in 24 hours.

By the end of the year about 40,000 Australians had been killed or wounded on the Western Front. In 1917 a further 76,836 Australians became casualties in battles such Bullecourt, Messines, and the four-month campaign around Ypres known as the battle of Passchendaele.


I doubt if we will ever see this inane form of combat ever again, sheer stupidy from all sides.

1922 – The USS Langley is commissioned as the first United States Navy aircraft carrier.

USS Langley was the United States Navy's first aircraft carrier, converted in 1920 from the collier USS Jupiter, and also the US Navy's first turbo-electric-powered ship. Jupiter was converted into the first US aircraft carrier at the Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia, for the purpose of conducting experiments in the new idea of seaborne aviation. She recommissioned on 20 March 1922 with Commander Kenneth Whiting in command.

Langley being converted from a collier to an aircraft carrier at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in 1921.

As the first American aircraft carrier, Langley was the scene of several seminal events in US naval aviation. On 17 October 1922, Lt. Virgil C. Griffin piloted the first plane—a Vought VE-7—launched from her decks. Though this was not the first time an airplane had taken off from a ship, and though Langley was not the first ship with an installed flight deck, this one launching was of monumental importance to the modern US Navy. The era of the aircraft carrier was born introducing into the navy what was to become the vanguard of its forces in the future.

USS Langley underway, 1927.

By 15 January 1923, Langley had begun flight operations and tests in the Caribbean Sea for carrier landings. In June, she steamed to Washington, D.C., to give a demonstration at a flying exhibition before civil and military dignitaries. Langley participated in more manoeuvres and exhibitions, and spent the summer at Norfolk for repairs and alterations, she departed for the west coast late in the year and arrived in San Diego, California on 29 November to join the Pacific Battle Fleet.

In 1927, Langley was attached at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. For the next 12 years, she operated off the California coast and Hawaii engaged in training fleet units, experimentation, pilot training, and tactical-fleet problems.

On 27 February 1942, she was attacked by nine twin-engine Japanese bombers of the Japanese 21st and 23rd Naval Air Flotillas and so badly damaged that she had to be scuttled by her escorts.


Such a brilliant idea which eventually went on to have a major impact in the Battle of the Coral Sea.  It was the first pure carrier-versus-carrier battle in history when neither side actually sighted their enemy.   It was also the first time America was able to stop the Japanese advance.

1942 – WWII: MacArthur's Escape: General Douglas MacArthur, makes his famous speech regarding the fall of the Philippines at Terowie in South Australia, in which he says: "I came out of Bataan and I shall return".

MacArthur was a well-known and experienced officer with a distinguished record in World War I, who had retired from the United States Army in 1937 and had become a defence advisor to the Philippine government. He was recalled to active duty with the United States Army in July 1941 to become commander of United States Army Forces in the Far East, uniting the Philippine and United States Armies under one command.

By March 1942, the Japanese invasion of the Philippines had compelled MacArthur to withdraw his forces on Luzon to Bataan, while his headquarters and his family moved to Corregidor. The doomed defence of Bataan captured the imagination of the American public. At a time when the news from all fronts was uniformly bad, MacArthur became a living symbol of Allied resistance to the Japanese.

PT-32, one of the four PT-20 class motor torpedo boats involved.

Fearing that Corregidor would soon fall, and MacArthur would be taken prisoner, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to go to Australia. A submarine was made available, but MacArthur elected to break through the Japanese blockade in PT boats.

MacArthur's escape from the Philippines began on 11 March 1942, when MacArthur was accompanied by his family, wife Jean and four-year-old son Arthur and staff left Corregidor Island, travelled in PT boats through stormy seas patrolled by Japanese warships, and reached Mindanao two days later.

From there, MacArthur and his party flew to Australia in a pair of Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses. As the two planes approached Darwin on 17 March 1942, word was received that a Japanese air raid was in progress there. The two B-17s therefore flew on to Batchelor Airfield, where they touched down at 09:30. Then Batchelor received word of an incoming Japanese air raid. The MacArthurs were hurried onto another aircraft, which took off just as the air raid siren sounded, heading for Alice Springs.

General Douglas MacArthur being greeted by Major Claude Rogers, the CO of the Terowie Staging Camp at Terowie Railway station on 20 March 1942.

At Alice Springs, the party split up. MacArthur, his family and three close members of staff took a special train that the commander of U.S. Army Forces in Australia had borrowed from the Australians, while the rest of the staff flew down to Melbourne via Adelaide in the DC-3s.

MacArthur’s famous speech, in which he said, "I came through and I shall return", was first made at Terowie railway station in South Australia, on 20 March, where his group changed trains.

General Douglas MacArthur, his wife Jean and son Arthur at Terowie, 20 March 1942.

On 21 March, the MacArthur's journey was completed when the train rolled into Melbourne's Spencer Street station, where they were greeted by the Australian Minister for the Army, Frank Forde.

Following the harrowing escape from the Philippines with his father and mother, young Arthur MacArthur receives a much needed haircut in Melbourne.


Did not know that the Philippines was attacked by Japan on 8 December 1941 - nine hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor 

1995 – The Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo carries out the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack, killing 12 and wounding over 1,300 people.

The Tokyo subway sarin attack was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated on 20 March 1995, in Tokyo, Japan, by members of the cult movement Aum Shinrikyo.

In five coordinated attacks, the perpetrators released sarin on three lines of the present-day Tokyo Metro, then part of the Tokyo subway, during rush hour, killing 12 people, severely injuring 50 and causing temporary vision problems for nearly 1,000 others. The attack was directed against trains passing through Kasumigaseki and Nagatacho, home to the Japanese government.

On the day of the attack, ambulances transported 688 patients and nearly five thousand people reached hospitals by other means. Hospitals saw 5,510 patients, seventeen of whom were deemed critical, thirty-seven severe and 984 moderately ill with vision problems. Most of those reporting to hospitals were the "worried well", who had to be distinguished from those who were ill.

By mid-afternoon, the mildly affected victims had recovered from vision problems and were released from hospital. Most of the remaining patients were well enough to go home the following day, and within a week only a few critical patients remained in hospital. Until the Myojo 56 building fire on 1 September 2001, it was the deadliest incident to occur in Japan since the end of World War II.


I remember that incident -  don't normally associate Japan with having cults, just proves it can happen anywhere. 

2003 – Two thousand Australian troops participate in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

On 20 March 2003 at approximately 02:30 UTC or about 90 minutes after the lapse of a 48-hour deadline, at 05:33 local time, explosions were heard in Baghdad. Special operations commandos from the CIA's Special Activities Division from the Northern Iraq Liaison Element infiltrated throughout Iraq and called in the early air strikes. At 03:15 UTC, George W. Bush announced that he had ordered an "attack of opportunity" against targets in Iraq. When this word was given, the troops on standby crossed the border into Iraq.

Timeline. An Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment arrives in Iraq. Sydney Morning Herald.

Approximately 148,000 soldiers from the United States, 45,000 British soldiers, 2,000 Australian soldiers and 194 Polish soldiers from the special forces unit GROM were sent to Kuwait for the invasion. The invasion force was also supported by Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters, estimated to number upwards of 70,000. In the latter stages of the invasion, 620 troops of the Iraqi National

Inside the Australian Defence Force Command Centre at Camp As Sayliyah in Qatar. Camp As Sayliyah was also the home of the United States Command Centre and the Coalition Press Information Centre during the invasion of Iraq. AWM.

The invasion consisted of 21 days of major combat operations, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and deposed the Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein. The invasion phase consisted primarily of a conventionally-fought war which included the capture of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad by American forces with the implicit assistance of the United Kingdom, alongside Australia and Poland.


Dreadful mistake.

2015 – Malcolm Fraser, Australian politician, 22nd Prime Minister of Australia dies aged 84.

John Malcolm Fraser AC CH PC GCL (21 May 1930 – 20 March 2015) was an Australian politician who was the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia and the Leader of the Liberal Party from 1975 to 1983.

Fraser spent most of his early life at Balpool-Nyang, a sheep station of 15,000 hectares on the Edward River near Moulamein, New South Wales. His father had a law degree from Magdalen College, Oxford, but never practised law and preferred the life of a grazier. In 1949, Fraser moved to England to study at Magdalen College, Oxford, which his father had also attended. He read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), graduating in 1952.

Federal election publicity for Malcolm Fraser, 1955. Malcolm Fraser as a young man at Nareen Station, about 1958. University of Melbourne Archives.

Elected to the Australian Parliament seat of Wannon in 1955. Aged just 25, he was the youngest Member of Parliament; he would continue to represent Wannon until his retirement in 1983.

Fraser was appointed as caretaker prime minister on 11 November 1975 by the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, following the controversial dismissal of the Whitlam Government in which he played a key role. He went on to win the largest parliamentary majority as a proportion of seats in Australian political history at the subsequent election. After two further election victories in 1977 and 1980, he was defeated by the Bob Hawke-led Australian Labor Party in 1983 and left parliament shortly after.

Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser during Question Time at Parliament House in 1979. National Archives.

In retirement, Fraser became involved in international relief and humanitarian aid issues and, domestically, as a forthright liberal voice for human rights. Shortly after Tony Abbott won the 2009 Liberal Party leadership spill, Fraser ended his Liberal Party membership, stating the party was "no longer a liberal party but a conservative party".

Former prime ministers Bob Hawke, Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Paul Keating pose for a photo with the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Canberra, 13 February 2008. ABC.

On 20 March 2015, Fraser died at the age of 84 after a brief illness.

Upon his death, Fraser's 1983 nemesis and often bitter opponent Hawke fondly described him as a "very significant figure in the history of Australian politics" who, in his post-Prime Ministerial years, "became an outstanding figure in the advancement of human rights issues in all respects", praised him for being "extraordinarily generous and welcoming to refugees from Indochina" and concluded that Fraser had "moved so far to the left he was almost out of sight”.



Hawke sums it up pretty well

Fraser had "moved so far to the left he was almost out of sight”. lol

I thought Gough was tall but not so, looking at that photo.

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