The Meeting Place

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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1919 – Construction of the Great Ocean Road begins.

About 3,000 returned First World War servicemen built the Great Ocean Road between 1919 and 1932 in honour of fallen comrades, making it the world's biggest war memorial.

The Australian National Heritage listed 243-kilometre stretch of road runs along along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford.

The Great Ocean Road was first planned towards the end of World War I, when chairman of the Country Roads Board, William Calder, asked the State War Council for funds to be provided for returned soldiers to work on roads in sparsely populated areas in the Western District. At the time, the rugged south-west coast of Victoria was accessible only by sea or rough bush track. It was envisaged that the road would connect isolated settlements on the coast, and become a vital transport link for the timber industry and tourism.

Great Ocean Road Trust. Toll tickets.

Surveying for the road, tentatively titled the South Coast Road, started in 1918. Also in 1918, the Great Ocean Road Trust was formed as a private company, under the helm of president Howard Hitchcock. The company managed to secure £81,000 in capital from private subscription and borrowing, with Hitchcock himself contributing £3000. Money would be repaid by charging drivers a toll until the debt was cleared, and the road would then be gifted to the state.

Construction on the road began on 19 September 1919. It was built by approximately 3,000 returned servicemen as a war memorial for fellow servicemen who had been killed in World War I.

Construction was done by hand; using explosives, pick and shovel, wheelbarrows, and some small machinery, and was at times perilous, with several workers killed on the job; the final sections along steep coastal mountains being the most difficult to work on. Anecdotal evidence from ABC archives in 1982 suggested workers would rest detonators on their knees during travel, as it was the softest ride for them.

The soldiers were paid 10 shillings and sixpence for eight hours per day, also working a half-day on Saturdays. They used tents for accommodation throughout, and made use of a communal dining marquee and kitchen; food cost up to 10 shillings a week. Despite the difficulty involved in constructing the road, the workers had access to a piano, gramophone, games, newspapers and magazines at the camps.

On 18 March 1922 the section from Eastern View to Lorne was officially opened with celebrations. However it was then closed from 10 May 1922 for further work; opening again on 21 December along with tolls to recoup construction costs. The charge, payable at Eastern View, was two shillings for motor cars plus sixpence for the driver, and 10 shillings for wagons with more than two horses.

In November 1932, the section from Lorne to Apollo Bay was finished, bringing the road to completion. The road was officially opened with Victoria's Lieutenant-Governor Sir William Irvine holding a ceremony near Lorne's Grand Pacific Hotel, and the road subsequently being acknowledged as the world's largest war memorial.

Travelling the Great Ocean Road, Devil's Elbow 1922.

In its original state, the road was considered a formidable drive, fitting only a single vehicle comfortably at a time. Areas with sheer cliffs would be most hazardous, with only few places for drivers to pull over to allow others to proceed in the opposite direction.

On 2 October 1936, the road was handed to the State Government; with the deed for the road presented to the Victorian Premier at a ceremony at the Cathedral Rock toll gate. It was at this time that the tolls were also removed.

Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch.

The Memorial Arch is made out of wood, with the sides being made out of stone and cement for support. The first arch was erected in 1939, and was replaced a few more times over the decades, including a time when a truck ran into the side of the arch, and another was created in 1983 when it was destroyed in the Ash Wednesday Bushfires. With all of the rebuilds and tear downs, the original sign still sits on the top of the arch, for all to see. Alongside the arch is a sculpture also commemorating the returned servicemen, which was commissioned and placed during the 75th anniversary of the road constructions.

19 September 2019: After 100 years the Great Ocean Road is feeling the pressure of being 'loved to death' ... The Guardian.


Enjoyed driving this road and appreciate all their hard work.

1954 – Australian author Miles Franklin dies.

Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, known as Miles Franklin (14 October 1879 – 19 September 1954) was an Australian writer and feminist who is best known for her novel My Brilliant Career, published by Blackwoods of Edinburgh in 1901. While she wrote throughout her life, her other major literary success, All That Swagger, was not published until 1936.

Miles Franklin circa 1902. Miles Franklin. Photo, State Library of NSW.

She was committed to the development of a uniquely Australian form of literature, and she actively pursued this goal by supporting writers, literary journals, and writers' organisations. She has had a long-lasting impact on Australian literary life through her endowment of a major annual prize for literature about "Australian Life in any of its phases", the Miles Franklin Award. Her impact was further recognised in 2013 with the creation of the Stella Prize, awarded annually for the best work of literature by an Australian woman.

Throughout her life, Franklin actively supported literature in Australia. She joined the Fellowship of Australian Writers in 1933 and the Sydney P.E.N. Club in 1935. She encouraged young writers such as Jean Devanny, Sumner Locke Elliott and Ric Throssell and she supported the new literary journals, Meanjin and Southerly.

Miles Franklin's waratah cup and saucer 1904. This cup is part of the collection of the State Library of NSW.

Miles entertained literary figures at her home in Carlton, NSW. An autograph book known as Miles Franklin's Waratah Book held by the State Library of NSW was used for autographs and inscriptions. Guests were encouraged to drink tea from the Waratah Cup and to write in the Waratah Book.


Love that cup and saucer, would love to add it to my collection.

1981 – The ALP government of Neville Wran is re-elected in New South Wales.

Neville Kenneth Wran, AC, CNZM, QC (1926–2014) was the Premier of New South Wales from 1976 to 1986. He was the national president of the Australian Labor Party from 1980 to 1986 and chairman of both the Lionel Murphy Foundation and the CSIRO from 1986 to 1991.

Neville Wran when premier of NSW in the 1970s.

Wran was born in the Sydney suburb of Paddington, the eighth and last child of Joseph Wran and his wife Lillian. He was educated at Nicholson Street Public School, Balmain, Fort Street Boys High and the University of Sydney, where he was a member of the Liberal Club, and from which he gained a Bachelor of Laws in 1948. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1951, called to the Bar in 1957, and became a Queen's Counsel in 1968.

Premier Neville Wran joins a group of children on the new inner-city cycle route.

During his 10 years as Premier of New South Wales, the government embarked on a program of reform and change. Priorities were public transport, the environment, consumer protection and job creation. He also achieved significant electoral institutional reform such as a democratic Legislative Council, four-year terms, public funding and disclosure laws and a pecuniary interests register for members of parliament.

Also during the time that Wran was Premier: homosexuality was decriminalised; the death penalty was abolished; crimes targeting the poor, like begging and busking, were repealed; anti-discrimination legislation was introduced; the Summary Offences Act was repealed and the NSW Legal Aid Commission was set up.

Neville Wran announces his resignation at the Sydney Town Hall. Photo by Ian Cugley.

Wran resigned both the premiership and his seat in Parliament on 4 July 1986, after continuously holding office longer than any other premier in the history of New South Wales until that time.

In his later years, Wran had dementia and from July 2012 had been under special care at the Lulworth House aged care facility in Elizabeth Bay. He died there on 20 April 2014 at the age of 87 and was survived by his wife Jill and four children. A state funeral was held at the Sydney Town Hall on 1 May 2014.


Mr Wran's legacy includes introducing Lotto, rate-pegging for councils, random breath testing, the Land and Environment Court, and laws allowing homosexual acts between consenting adults.

He also triggered the redevelopment of Darling Harbour and built the Sydney Entertainment Centre, but once said his proudest achievement had been creating national parks.

1992 – The Queensland Labor Government of Wayne Goss re-elected for second term.

Wayne Keith Goss (1951–2014) was Premier of Queensland, Australia, from 7 December 1989 until 19 February 1996, becoming the first Labor Premier in over 32 years. Prior to entering politics, Goss was a solicitor, and after leaving politics he served as Chairman of the Queensland Art Gallery and Chairman of Deloitte Australia.

Wayne Goss as a boy in school uniform, date unknown.

Along with others, Goss was a key figure in the 1970s-1980s Civil liberties fight against the Bjelke-Petersen Government, pursuing legal and political strategies against Bjelke-Petersen. He was elected Leader of the Opposition in March 1988. Goss and Labor won a strong majority government at the 1989 election, scoring a 24-seat swing, the worst defeat of a sitting government up until that time in Queensland.

Wayne Goss claims victory in the 1989 state election.

The Goss Government introduced several electoral and public sector reforms, the most notable being the elimination of the "Bjelkemander" malapportionment that had helped keep the Queensland Nationals in power. In addition to reforming the state’s electoral laws and boundaries, the Goss Government "introduced merit-based appointments to the Queensland public service, created new National Parks and oversaw a new regime of economic and budgetary management”.

It also introduced social reforms such as decriminalising homosexuality, appointing Queensland's first female minister in cabinet and first female Governor, abolishing the Queensland Police Special Branch and Imperial honours, and made provision "to buy thousands of extra university places and hire thousands of new teachers".

Goss' Chief of Staff as Premier was former diplomat Kevin Rudd, later leader of the federal Labor Party and Prime Minister of Australia, and Goss' 1989 campaign director was Wayne Swan, subsequently Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with former Queensland Premier Wayne Goss.

Goss won a second term at the 1992 state election. After the 1995 election, Labor's majority hung on the Townsville seat of Mundingburra. However, several irregularities were discovered and a by-election was ordered for February 1996. This outcome brought about a hung Parliament; the balance of power was held by Gladstone Independent Liz Cunningham. Cunningham announced that she was going to support the Coalition on the floor of Parliament, leaving Goss with no alternative but to resign as Premier on 19 February 1996.

Goss battled a series of brain tumours for 17 years, undergoing four operations to remove them. He died aged 63 at his home in Brisbane on 10 November 2014, with his wife and children present.


2003 – Australian singer Slim Dusty dies.

Slim Dusty AO MBE (born David Gordon Kirkpatrick; 13 June 1927 – 19 September 2003) was an Australian country music singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer, who was an Australian cultural icon and one of the country's most awarded stars, with a career spanning nearly seven decades and numerous recordings, he was the archetypical "Father of Country Music". He was known to record songs in the legacy of Australia particularly of bush life and renowned Australian bush poets Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson that represented the lifestyle and also for his many trucking songs.

Slim Dusty was the first Australian to have a No. 1 international hit song, with a version of Gordon Parsons' "A Pub with No Beer".

He received an unequalled 37 Golden Guitar and two Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awards and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and the Country Music Roll of Renown.

At the time of his death, at the age of 76, Dusty had been working on his 106th album for EMI Records. In 2007, his domestic record sales in Australia surpassed seven million.

During his lifetime, Dusty was considered an Australian National Treasure. He performed "Waltzing Matilda" at the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.


The Slim Dusty Centre, Kempsey, NSW

Built as a flexible multipurpose facility, the Centre offers a Visitor Information Centre, Function and Conference spaces, a Travelling Exhibition Gallery, Dusty’s Dinner Camp Café, and a Merchandise Shop with unique Slim Dusty gifts, as well as showcased local products from our region.

The Slim Dusty Museum, an “Australian Life In Song” is a major tourism drawcard, making this facility a must see on the national and international visitors’ scene.

622 – Muhammad and his father-in-law Abu Bakr arrive in Medina.

A delegation, consisting of the representatives of the twelve important clans of Medina, a large agricultural oasis, invited Muhammad to serve as chief arbitrator for the entire community; due to his status as a neutral outsider. There had been constant fighting in Medina: primarily the dispute involved its Arab and Jewish clans and inhabitants, and was estimated to have lasted for around a hundred years before 620.

Recurring slaughters and disagreements over the resulting claims, especially after the Battle of Bu'ath in 617 where all clans were involved, made it obvious to the clan leaders that the tribal concept of blood-feud and an eye for an eye were no longer workable unless there was one man with authority to adjudicate in disputed cases.

The delegation from Medina pledged themselves and their fellow-citizens to accept Muhammad as arbitrator, welcome him into their community and physically protect him as one of themselves.

Muhammad and Abu Bakr flee from Mecca to Medina. Awaiting Muhammad's arrival, the people of Medina gather outside the city.

Muhammad then instructed his followers to emigrate to Medina, until nearly all his followers left Mecca. The Meccans, being alarmed at the departure, plotted to assassinate Muhammad. Warned of the plot and with the help of Ali, his cousin and son-in-law, Muhammad fooled the Meccans watching him, and secretly slipped away from the town with Abu Bakr, his father-in-law and trusted advisor. Muhammad arrived in Medina in September. His followers who migrated from Mecca became known as muhajirun (emigrants).

Following the emigration, the people of Mecca seized property of the Muslim emigrants to Medina. War would later break out between the people of Mecca and the Muslims. During the Siege of Medina in 627, the Meccans exerted all available strength in an attempt to destroy the Muslim community. Their failure resulted in a significant loss of prestige and their trade with Syria vanished. After a short-lived truce, in December 629, Muhammad marched on Mecca leading 10,000 Muslim converts, seizing control of the town with minimal casualties. As a result most Meccans converted to Islam.

Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, "the Prophet's mosque" in Medina with the Green Dome built over Muhammad's tomb in the centre.

Medina is located in western Saudi Arabia, 340 km north of Mecca and about 190 km from the Red Sea coast.

Today the population of Medina is over 1.1 million people. At the city's heart is al-Masjid an-Nabawi "The Prophet's Mosque", which is the burial place of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. The vast Al-Masjid an-Nabawi is a major Islamic pilgrimage site.

Medina is one of the two holiest cities in Islam, the other being Mecca.


Medina is one of the two holiest cities in Islam, the other being Meccaboth in Saudi Arabia

Sunni Islam is the largest denomination of Islam, followed by 87–90% of the world's Muslims. 

1187 – Saladin begins the Siege of Jerusalem.

An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (1137–1193), was the first sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty. A Sunni Muslim of Kurdish ethnicity, Saladin led the Muslim military campaign against the Crusader states in the Levant, a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean roughly equivalent to the historical region of Syria. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Upper Mesopotamia, the Hejaz, Yemen and other parts of North Africa.

Saladin led forays against the Crusaders in Palestine, commissioned the successful conquest of Yemen, and staved off pro-Fatimid rebellions in Upper Egypt. Saladin made further conquests in northern Syria and Jazira, escaping two attempts on his life by the "Assassins," before returning to Egypt in 1177 to address issues there. By 1182, Saladin had completed the conquest of Muslim Syria after capturing Aleppo, but ultimately failed to take over the Zengid stronghold of Mosul.

Sculpture of Saladin in the Egyptian Military museum in Cairo. Ayyubid Sultanate 1169-1193.

Under Saladin's command, the Ayyubid army defeated the Crusaders at the decisive Battle of Hattin in 1187, and thereafter wrested control of Palestine – including the city of Jerusalem – from the Crusaders, who had conquered the area 88 years earlier. Although the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem continued to exist until the late 13th century, its defeat at Hattin marked a turning point in its conflict with the Muslim powers of the region.

The Siege of Jerusalem commenced on 20 September and lasted until 2 October 1187, when Balian of Ibelin surrendered the city to Saladin. Citizens who were able to pay the ransom were set free, however several thousand were enslaved. Though Jerusalem fell, it was not the end of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, as the capital shifted first to Tyre and later to Acre after the Third Crusade. Latin Christians responded in 1189 by launching the Third Crusade led by Richard the Lionheart, Philip Augustus, and Frederick Barbarossa separately.

Miniature depicting Balian of Ibelin surrendering Jerusalem to Saladin, from a 15th century French chronicle.

Saladin died in Damascus in 1193, having given away much of his personal wealth to his subjects. He is buried in a mausoleum adjacent to the Umayyad Mosque. Saladin has become a prominent figure in Muslim, Arab, Turkish and Kurdish culture, and he has often been described as being the most famous Kurd in history.

More: SaladinSiege of Jerusalem 1187.

Saladin and King Richard agreed to a truce. In 1192, they signed the Treaty of Jaffa which kept Jerusalem in the hands of the Muslims, but allowed for the safe passage of Christian pilgrims.

Saladin died of a fever on March 4, 1193, a few months after signing the treaty.

1830 – The Port Arthur penal settlement is established.

Port Arthur was named after George Arthur, the Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land. The Port Arthur penal settlement began life as a small timber station in 1830. Originally designed as a replacement for the recently closed timber camp at Birches Bay, Port Arthur quickly grew in importance within the penal system of the colonies.

The earliest image known of Port Arthur, made about three years after it was founded and showing how small it was.

The initial decade of settlement saw a penal station hacked from the bush, and the first manufactories – such as ship building, shoemaking, smithing, timber and brick making – established. The 1840s witnessed a consolidation of the industrial and penal nature of the settlement as the convict population reached over 1100.

In 1842 a huge flour mill and granary was begun, as well as the construction of a hospital. 1848 saw the first stone laid for the Separate Prison, the completion of which brought about a shift in punishment philosophy from physical to mental subjugation. Port Arthur also expanded geographically as the convicts pushed further into the encircling hills to extract the valuable timber.

The Separate Prison, begun in 1847 but not complete in this image can be seen on the hill. Artist unknown.

The flour mill and granary was converted in 1857 into a penitentiary, capable of housing over 480 convicts in dormitory accommodation and separate apartments. Flanked by the Watchmen’s Quarters, the building also contained a mess room, library, Catholic chapel, workshops and ablutions complex. The building was gutted by fire in 1897 and lay derelict until a concerted conservation program began in the 1960s.

The penitentiary and hospital.

Of all the laborious occupations some convicts were forced to carry out during their time at Port Arthur, timber-getting was to be the most punishing, yet also the most profitable. From the very early days of settlement gangs of convicts cut timber from the bush surrounding the settlement. The saws of the convicts supplied a steady stream of building materials to fulfil the needs of works both on and off the peninsula. When the log was cut into a rough beam, a gang of up to 50 convicts, nicknamed the ‘centipede gang’, hefted the great weight upon their shoulders and carried the timber back to the main settlement. Here, in larger saw-pits constructed near the water, the timber was cut up into the planks, beams, boards and spars needed for building.

Dockyards at Port Arthur, with the Master Shipwrights House “Sunnybanks” to the right of the photo.

Ship building was introduced on a large scale to Port Arthur in 1834 as a way of providing selected convicts with a useful skill they could take with them once freed. Only those convicts deemed well-behaved and receptive to training were allowed to work at the dockyard. Up to 70 convicts were employed at the yard at its height, with the majority engaged in the menial task of cutting and carrying timber. The remaining convicts were the carpenters, blacksmiths, caulkers, coopers and shipwrights who actually built the vessels.

Fifteen large ships and over 140 smaller vessels (from whale boats, to rowboats and punts) were launched from the two slipways. Though successful, the ship building operations at Port Arthur ceased on a large scale in 1848.


Port Arthur guards, 1866 

1880 – Sister Elizabeth Kenny, Australian pioneer in physical therapy for polio sufferers, is born.

Sister Elizabeth Kenny (20 September 1880 – 30 November 1952) was a self trained Australian bush nurse who developed a controversial new approach for treating victims of poliomyelitis. She was born in Warialda, NSW, and was home-schooled by her mother before attending schools in Guyra, NSW, and Nobby, Queensland.

At age 17, she broke her wrist in a fall from a horse. Her father took her to Aeneas McDonnell, a medical doctor in Toowoomba, where she remained during her convalescence. While there, Kenny studied McDonnell's anatomy books and model skeleton. This began a lifelong association with McDonnell, who became her mentor and advisor. Kenny later asserted that she became interested in how muscles worked while convalescing from her accident.

In 1909, Kenny returned to Nobby south of Toowoomba where she worked as a bush nurse reaching her patients on foot and often by horseback. In 1911 she used hot cloth fomentations on the advice of Aeneas McDonnell, to treat symptomatically puzzling new cases, diagnosed by him as polio. The patients recovered. Soon she opened a Cottage Hospital at nearby Clifton which she named St. Canices, where she provided convalescent and midwifery services.

Nurse Elizabeth Kenny in August 1915. Book.

She was not officially a qualified nurse however in 1915, Kenny volunteered to serve as a nurse in the First World War and went to Europe. Nurses were badly needed so she was assigned to work on "Dark Ships", slow moving transports that ran with all lights off between Australia and England. They carried war goods and soldiers one way and wounded soldiers and trade goods on the return voyage. Kenny served on these dangerous missions throughout the war.

Sister Kenny continued to work as a nurse after the war, and even improved the design of stretchers used in ambulances on the Darling Downs. Marketing the stretcher as the "Sylvie Stretcher. Her initiative gained the attention of a family on a cattle station near Townsville, who arranged for her to come and care for their daughter who had been disabled by polio. Her methods of care and treatment enabled the girl to completely recover. She gradually achieved acclaim for her methods by the many polio-stricken children she treated and cured, but also criticism from the medical fraternity for her lack of training.

Her method differed from the then conventional medical practice which called for placing affected limbs in plaster casts. Instead Kenny applied hot compresses to affected parts of patients' bodies followed by passive movement of those areas to reduce what she called "Spasm".

Elizabeth Kenny lecturing a group of physicians in a corridor of the Minneapolis General Hospital in 1942. Minnesota Historical Society.

Kenny's pioneering methods were gradually adopted by more physicians as she travelled to the USA to promote them. During her 11-year stay in America, she opened numerous Kenny Treatment Centres.

Kenny returned to Australia in 1951, and died on 30 November 1952. Her grave lies in Nobby Cemetery.

Kenny's principles of muscle rehabilitation became the foundation of physical therapy, or physiotherapy.

In film. Memorial Bapistry, Warialda. Headstone, Nobby Cemetery.

Her life story was told in the 1946 film Sister Kenny, portrayed by Rosalind Russell, who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.


Kenny's principles of muscle rehabilitation became the foundation of physical therapy, or physiotherapy.

1906 – Cunard Line's RMS Mauretania is launched at the Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson shipyard in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

RMS Mauretania was an ocean liner designed by Leonard Peskett and built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson for the British Cunard Line, and launched on the afternoon of 20 September 1906. She was the world's largest ship until the completion of RMS Olympic in 1911 as well as the fastest until Bremen's maiden voyage in 1929.

The Mauretania during her fitting out at Wallsend in 1906.

Mauretania became a favourite among her passengers. After capturing the Eastbound Blue Riband on her maiden return voyage in December 1907, she claimed the Westbound Blue Riband for the fastest transatlantic crossing during her 1909 season. Mauretania would hold both speed records for twenty years.

Mauretania passing Low Lights at the mouth of the Tyne on her maiden voyage.

Cunard White Star withdrew Mauretania from service following a final eastward crossing from New York to Southampton in September 1934. She was then laid up at Southampton, her twenty-eight years of service at a close.

The demise of the beloved Mauretania was protested by many of her loyal passengers, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who wrote a private letter against the scrapping.


A stylish Cabins Class Entrance Hall and a finely crafted Staircase


1963 – Scrivener Dam is completed in order to create Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.

Because the Molonglo River flowed through the proposed site of Canberra, American architect Walter Burley Griffin's design included an artificial lake in the city's heart. The design allowed for a central circular basin, with irregularly shaped eastern and western lakes either side.

Aerial photograph of Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin. Inset: Walter Burley Griffin.

Due to disputes with Australian authorities, Burley Griffin left Australia in 1920 with much of his vision for the city not yet realised. Thus, work on the lake only began in 1958 when engineers first began to investigate the hydrology and structural requirements needed to dam the Molonglo in order to create the lake. Excavation of the floodplain for the lake began in 1960.

The lake edge under construction at Kings Park. Richard Clough, National Library of Australia.

The dam to hold back the waters was named Scrivener Dam after Charles Scrivener, the man who surveyed several sites in New South Wales to select the site for the Australian Capital Territory and Canberra.

The dam wall provides a crossing for the lake and consists of a roadway, called Lady Denman Drive, and a bicycle path. The roadway was possible because the dam gates are closed by pushing up from below, unlike most previous designs that wherein the gates were lifted from above.

Canberrans took great interest in seeing Scrivener Dam progress. National Capital Authority.

The valves to complete Scrivener Dam were closed on 20 September 1963 by Interior Minister Gordon Freeth. However, due to a drought, the lake only reached its planned level at the end of April the following year.

Many Canberrans remember watching and waiting for the lake to fill. Richard Clough, National Library of Australia.

On 17 October 1964, Prime Minister Menzies commemorated the filling of the lake and the completion of stage one with an official inauguration amid the backdrop of sailing craft. This was accompanied by fireworks display.

The crowd at Regatta Point for the inauguration of Lake Burley Griffin, 17 October 1964. Richard Clough, National Library of Australia.

Walter Burley Griffin's lake had finally come to fruition after five decades, at a cost of $5,039,050.



Redfin are in plague proportions in Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin is the hotspot, with redfin of all shapes and sizes biting across the lake. Small soft plastics, vibes and deep divers will entice fish at any time of the day.

Lake Burley Griffin holds good populations of large Murray cod, golden perch, redfin and carp. At the moment, small golden perch seem to be in plague proportions in the lake. Once anglers find a school, it's not uncommon to catch a dozen or so small fish. There are also trout in the lake, but they are scarce.

1967 – RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 is launched at John Brown & Company, Clydebank, Scotland.

Queen Elizabeth 2, often referred to simply as QE2, is an ocean liner built for the Cunard Line which was operated by Cunard as both a transatlantic liner and a cruise ship from 1969 to 2008. She was designed for the transatlantic service from her home port of Southampton, UK, to New York, and was named after the earlier Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth 2 during her farewell tour in South Queensferry, Scotland, 2007.

She served as the flagship of the line from 1969 until succeeded by RMS Queen Mary 2 in 2004. Designed in Cunard's then headquarters and regional offices in Liverpool and Southampton respectively, and built in Clydebank, Scotland, she was considered the last of the great transatlantic ocean liners until the construction of the Queen Mary 2 was announced.

RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 arriving in Sydney. Date unknown.


1999 – Australian troops commanded by Peter Cosgrove arrive in East Timor as a part of INTERFET peackeeping operations.

The International Force for East Timor was a multinational non-United Nations peacemaking taskforce, organised and led by Australia to address the humanitarian and security crisis which took place in East Timor from 1999–2000 until the arrival of UN peacekeepers.

The International Forces East Timor coalition began deploying to East Timor on 20 September 1999, as a non-UN force operating in accordance with UN Resolutions. Led by Australia, who contributed 5,500 personnel and the force commander, Major General Peter Cosgrove, it was tasked with restoring peace and security, protecting and supporting the United Nations Mission in East Timor, and facilitating humanitarian assistance.

Commander INTERFET, Major General Cosgrove, joins hands with the new East Timor leadership during a celebration to mark the official handover to UNTAET (United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor).

Australia provided the largest contingent of troops, hardware and equipment for the INTERFET operation, 5,500 personnel at its peak, followed by New Zealand. Of the 22 nations involved, 10 provided naval assets. Australia was the single largest provider, with 14 ships deployed between 20 September 1999 and 23 February 2000: the frigates Adelaide, Anzac, Darwin, Sydney, Newcastle, and Melbourne; the landing ship Tobruk, the landing craft Balikpapan, Brunei, Labuan, Tarakan, and Betano; the fast transport Jervis Bay; and the replenishment vessel Success.

Australian Defence Force Chief General David Hurley (3rd right) and East Timor prime minister Xanana Gusmao (2nd right) farewell troops in Dili. ABC, 2012.

Background: East Timor was colonised by Portugal in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor until 28 November 1975, when the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin) declared the territory's independence. Nine days later, it was invaded and occupied by Indonesia and was declared Indonesia's 27th province the following year. The Indonesian occupation of East Timor was characterised by a highly violent decades-long conflict between separatist groups, especially Fretilin, and the Indonesian military. The 1991 Dili Massacre was a turning point for the independence cause and an East Timor solidarity movement grew in Portugal, Australia and other Western countries.

In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory. East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on 20 May 2002.


The 1999 East Timorese crisis began with attacks of general violence throughout the country, centered in the capital Dili. The violence erupted after a majority of eligible East Timorese voters chose independence from Indonesia. Some 1,400 civilians are believed to have died. A UN-authorized force  consisting mainly of Australian Defence Force personnel was deployed to East Timor to establish and maintain peace.

The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is a United Nations-sanctioned holiday observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1982, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups and members of the community.


Wish the Chinese and the Middle East would take notice.

A bit concerned about Scomo's over the top welcome in the US, am thinking we could be on the verge of another military commitment.

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