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. 

FirstPrev 445 446 447 448 449 NextLast(page 447/644)

1934 – An explosion takes place at Gresford Colliery in Wales, leading to the deaths of 266 miners and rescuers.

Gresford Colliery was a coal mine located a mile from the North Wales village of Gresford, near Wrexham. The first coal was produced in June, 1911 and full production reached before the outbreak of World War I. One of Britain's worst coal mining disasters occurred at the colliery.

The Gresford Disaster occurred on Saturday 22 September 1934, when 266 men died in the underground explosion. As there was a football match on the Saturday afternoon between Wrexham and Tranmere Rovers, on Friday, 21 September, many miners doubled up their shifts so they could attend the match. This meant there were more miners down the pit than there ordinarily would have been.

Crowds gather at the colliery to await news of the disaster.

The explosion occurred in the Dennis district at around 2am, the time when the men would be having their mid-shift snack. Only six men survived the blast. A fire followed the explosion, and the mine was sealed off at the end of the following day. On 25 September, rescuer George Brown was killed on the surface when another explosion blew a seal off the Dennis shaft and he was hit by flying debris. Only eleven bodies were ever recovered. The mine owners docked the men half a day's pay, as they had not completed a full day's shift.

Mining disaster at Gresford Colliery September 1934 as crowds anxiously waiting for news at the pit head.

The disaster left 591 widows, children, parents and other dependants. In addition, over 1500 miners were temporarily without work, until the colliery was re-opened in January 1936. After each newspaper opened its own fund, they and national donations by September 1935 totalled £565,000. 

The graves of hundreds of miners killed in one of the UK’s worst pit tragedies could be desecrated if controversial drilling plans go ahead, campaigners say. Up to 255 victims of the 1934 Gresford Colliery disaster lie underground in a mass tomb close to where Dart Energy want to drill for coal bed gas. Source ... 26 November 2014, story from the Mirror UK.

More: Wikipedia. Fully detailed account with photos, Wrexham County Borough Council.

Shocking disaster.


Three rescue workers died after going into the pit to look for survivors

Almost every village in the Wrexham area lost a family member or close friend.




1978 – Harry Kewell, Australian football (soccer) player, was born in Smithfield, Sydney.

Harry Kewell is an Australian football coach and former player who is the head coach of League Two club Crawley Town. Kewell was born on 22 September 1978 in Sydney to an English father, Rod, and an Australian mother, Helen. Harry grew up supporting Liverpool in English football's First Division. Kewell received his early schooling at Smithfield Public School and secondary schooling at St. Johns Park High School before transferring to Westfield Sports High School.

Kewell played for Leeds United, Liverpool, Galatasaray, Melbourne Victory, Al-Gharafa and Melbourne Heart. While at Leeds he was named the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2000. Internationally he has received 58 caps, and scored 17 goals, while playing for the Australian national soccer team. A left winger also capable of playing as an attacking midfielder or second striker, he is often regarded within the media as "Australia's finest football export", despite his career being blighted with injury.

In 2012, Kewell was named Australia's greatest footballer in a vote by Australian fans, players and media.

In February 2012, Kewell scored his last goal for Australia in a 4-2 win over Saudi Arabia in Melbourne. He played his final game for Australia against Oman on 8 June 2012, the game finished 0-0.

Kewell represented Australia at the 1995 FIFA U-17 World Championship, the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, where Australia finished runners-up, the 2004 OFC Nations Cup, which Australia claimed for the fourth time, the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, where Australia finished runners-up.

More recently in England, Kewell has been head coach of the Watford Under-21 team 2015-2017, head coach of the Crawley Town team 2017-2018, becoming the first Australian to coach a professional English side, and manager of the Nott's County team in 2018.


1338 – The Battle of Arnemuiden was the first naval battle of the Hundred Years' War and the first naval battle using artillery.

The Battle of Arnemuiden was a naval battle fought on 23 September 1338 at the start of the Hundred Years' War between England and France. It was the first naval battle of the Hundred Years' War and the first recorded European naval battle using artillery, as the English ship Christopher had three cannons and one hand gun.

The Battle of Arnemuiden, 23 September 1338. 15th century, Dutch National Library.

The battle, near the port of Arnemuiden, featured a vast French fleet under admirals Hugues Quiéret and Nicolas Béhuchet against a small squadron of five great English cogs transporting an enormous cargo of wool to Antwerp, where Edward III of England was hoping to sell it, in order to be able to pay subsidies to his allies.

Overwhelmed by the superior numbers and with some of their crew still on shore, the English ships fought bravely, especially the Christopher under the command of John Kingston, who was also commander of the squadron. Kingston surrendered after a day's fighting and exhausting every means of defence.

The French captured the rich cargo and took the five cogs into their fleet, but massacred the English prisoners.


It was the first naval battle of the Hundred Years' War and the first recorded European naval battle using artillery, as the English ship Christopher had three cannons and one hand gun.

1641 – The Merchant Royal, carrying a treasure of over 100,000 pounds of gold, worth over £1.5b USD today, is lost at sea off Land's End.

Merchant Royal also known as Royal Merchant, was a 17th-century English merchant ship lost at sea off Land's End, Cornwall in rough weather on 23 September 1641. On board were at least 100,000 pounds of gold (over 1.5 billion USD in today's money), 400 bars of Mexican silver and nearly 500,000 pieces of eight and other coins, making it one of the most valuable wrecks of all times. Eighteen men drowned in the sinking. Captain Limbrey and 40 of his crew got away in boats and were picked up by Dover Merchant.

The Merchant Royal spent three years trading with Spanish colonies in the West Indies from 1637 to 1640. England was at peace with Spain at this time. The Merchant Royal and her sister-ship, the Dover Merchant, called into Cadiz on their way home to London. By all accounts she was leaking badly after her long voyage.

When a Spanish ship in Cadiz at the same time caught fire just before she was due to carry treasure to convert into pay for Spain's 30,000 soldiers in Flanders, the Merchant Royal's Captain Limbrey saw his chance to make a little more cash for his owners. He volunteered to carry the treasure to Antwerp on his way home. The Merchant Royal went on leaking after she and her sister-ship left Cadiz and, when the pumps broke down, she sank off Land's End in rough weather on 23 September 1641.

The Odyssey Marine Exploration company has tried for several years to locate the wreck but has been unsuccessful thus far.


The anchor of the Merchant Royal 

The gold and silver cargo has an estimated current value of more than $1.3 billion…..


1642 – First commencement exercises occur at Harvard College.

Harvard College is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Harvard University. Founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. Harvard's first instructor was schoolmaster Nathaniel Eaton (1610–1674); in 1639, he also became its first instructor to be dismissed, for overstrict discipline. The school's first students were graduated in 1642.

Harvard College in the Eighteenth Century.

Although founded in 1636, Harvard did not hold its first Commencement until 23 September 1642. In so doing, the College gave the country its first taste of nonreligious European ritual. The “taste” went far beyond mere metaphor. “A prominent feature of the Commencement was a feast,” writes the late historian Samuel Eliot Morison in Three Centuries of Harvard. Such gastronomic delights remain with us in present-day “alumni spreads” in the Yard, which trace back deep as the tree roots over which the festivities transpire. In times past, Commencement was the most joyous, even raucous, event of the summer. More.

The oldest available photo from a Harvard Commencement shows the 1885 Commencement speakers.

Charles A. Wagner sets the scene for us in Harvard: Four Centuries and Freedoms:

The academic procession on that far distant September morning of 1642 counted the nine “commencers,” four junior sophisters, and eight or ten freshmen, with a motley audience of visitors from Boston and all the settlements nearby; ministers, Indians, residents, parents, and gloating familiars. The people made it a holiday of annual joy in learning. And there were orations by the commencers in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Then, in the afternoon session, came the series of disputations in Latin between commencers on many of the age-old topics of the theses philosophicae and philologicae.

Commencement festivities in Harvard Yard, 1895.



Tuition for Harvard University is $44,990 for the 2017/2018 academic year. This is 62% more expensive than the national average private non-profit four year college tuition of $27,755. The cost is 41% more expensive than the average Massachusetts tuition of $32,017 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 62nd in Massachusetts amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 21st most expensive 4 year college in the state. Price does not vary by residence.

The school charges an additional fees of $3,959 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $48,949.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $16,660 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Cambridge should budget at least this amount.

Sad that tertiary education costs so much.

1846 – Astronomers Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier, John Couch Adams and Johann Gottfried Galle collaborate on the discovery of Neptune.

Some of the earliest recorded observations ever made through a telescope, Galileo's drawings on 28 December 1612 and 27 January 1613, contain plotted points that match up with what is now known to be the position of Neptune. On both occasions, Galileo seems to have mistaken Neptune for a fixed star.

In 1843, British mathematician and astronomer John Couch Adams began work on the orbit of Uranus using the data he had. Adams continued to work in 1845–46 and produced several different estimates of a new planet. In 1845–46, French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier, independently of Adams, developed his own calculations but aroused no enthusiasm in his compatriots.

In June 1846, upon seeing Le Verrier's first published estimate of the planet's longitude and its similarity to Adams's estimate, Sir George Airy, the Astronomer Royal persuaded Cambridge Observatory director James Challis to search for the planet. Challis vainly scoured the sky throughout August and September.

Meanwhile, Le Verrier by letter urged Berlin Observatory astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle to search with the observatory's refractor. 

On the evening of 23 September 1846, the day Galle received the letter, he discovered Neptune within 1° of where Le Verrier had predicted it to be, about 12° from Adams' prediction.

In the wake of the discovery, there was much nationalistic rivalry between the French and the British over who deserved credit for the discovery.

Eventually, an international consensus emerged that both Le Verrier and Adams jointly deserved credit. The issue was re-evaluated by historians with the return in 1998 of the "Neptune papers" (historical documents) to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. After reviewing the documents, they suggest that "Adams does not deserve equal credit with Le Verrier for the discovery of Neptune. That credit belongs only to the person who succeeded both in predicting the planet's place and in convincing astronomers to search for it."

Comparison of the size of Neptune and Earth.

Neptune is named after the Roman god of the sea and its astronomical symbol is a stylised version of the god Neptune's trident.

Neptune is the eighth and farthest known planet from the Sun in the Solar System. In the Solar System, it is the fourth-largest planet by diameter, the third-most-massive planet, and the densest giant planet. Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth and is slightly more massive than its near-twin Uranus.

Neptune orbits the Sun once every 164.8 years.


1856 – The town of Perth, Western Australia is proclaimed a City by letters patent from Queen Victoria.

When the Swan River Colony was established in 1829. By 1838 it had become apparent that the spreading colony required some form of localised government and municipal administration was vested in a body of trustees. An act of 1842 established a Chairman and a committee of six as the Perth Town Trust.

The City of Perth flag is the red cross of Saint George on a white background with the City's Coat of Arms superimposed in the centre of the cross.

The Perth Town Trust met as a united body. It was not large enough to require splitting into committees. The Trust dealt with day to day problems, such as provisions of roads, lighting, footpaths, drainage and keeping stock off private property and roads. The trust also had the right to levy rates, the first one being for the purpose of a footpath in Hay Street. The Trust had a difficult beginning as it was always short of funds.

On September 23, 1856, Perth was declared a Bishop's See by Queen Victoria. This automatically raised Perth to the status of a city, but it was two years before the Trust formally changed its name to the Perth City Council under its first chairman, Mr HC Cole.

The Round House was the first permanent building built in the Swan River Colony. Built in late 1830 and opened in 1831, it is the oldest building still standing in Western Australia. It is located at Arthur Head in Fremantle. Photograph, late 19th century.

Intended as a prison, the Round House had eight cells and a jailer's residence, all of which opened onto a central courtyard. The tunnel completed in later in 1838 was 57 metres long and linked the Bathers Beach Whaling Station to the High Street and was mainly built using prisoners from the Round House.

In 1849, after a decade and half of meagre growth, Perth became a penal colony and in the next 16 years received an influx of over 9000 convicts. This significantly changed the social and economic dynamics of the colony. The convicts were involved in the construction of a large amount of infrastructure and this shaped the character of the city. Constructed of locally harvested clay bricks, mellow in colour and soft in texture, the public architecture of the colony was relatively small-scale as befitting a new settlement.

The Town Hall Perth was erected between 1867 and 1870 with construction being largely carried out by convict labour.

Buildings constructed during this time include the Fremantle Prison, Government House, the Perth Town Hall, The Cloisters, Perth Gaol, and the Swan River Mechanics' Institute. The village-like atmosphere of scattered single and two story brick or stone residences, surrounded by gardens, remained unchanged until the 1880s and 1890s.

Old Perth Gaol 1860, Western Australia Museum. Convict built and convict filled.

After the Perth Gaol closed in 1888 and remaining prisoners were sent to Fremantle Prison. The Old Perth Gaol now stands at the heart of Perth’s cultural precinct.

The discovery of gold in the Kimberley, Murchison and Kalgoorlie regions in the 1880s and 1890s, and the concurrent granting of responsible government to Western Australia in 1890 had a huge impact on the development of Perth. The physical nature of the city changed dramatically with economic prosperity and the increase of population as a result of gold rush immigration.

In one decade the population of the city tripled, from 8,447 in 1891 to 27,553 in 1901.

More: PerthHistory of the Council.

The convicts left behind some beautiful bridges, roads and architecture.

Next time you are driving from Sydney to Canberra, check out this convict built  stone bridge at the Derrick VC Rest Area.




1942 – General Thomas Blamey was appointed Commander in Chief of Allied land forces in New Guinea, he came into conflict with General Douglas MacArthur.

Field Marshal Sir Thomas Albert Blamey, GBE, KCB, CMG, DSO, ED (1884–1951) was an Australian general of the First and Second World Wars, and the only Australian to attain the rank of field marshal. On 23 September 1942, General Blamey was appointed Commander in Chief of Allied land forces in New Guinea. Blamey came into conflict with his commander, the American General MacArthur, who had become Prime Minister Curtin's principle military advisor. The United States forces were kept out of the Australian land commanders hands throughout the war in the Pacific.

The Kokoda Track campaign consisted of a series of battles fought between July and November 1942 in what was then the Australian Territory of Papua. The Japanese objective was to seize Port Moresby by an overland advance from the north coast, following the Kokoda Track over the mountains of the Owen Stanley Range, as part of a strategy to isolate Australia from the United States.

Blamey with MacArthur in October 1942. MacArthur had flown to Port Moresby to consult with Blamey on logistical arrangements for the campaign.

After the Japanese landed on the north coast of Papua in July 1942, additional Australian troops were rushed north and placed under the command of Lieutenant General Rowell.

Despite reinforcement, the Australian forces were continually pushed back. Australian reinforcement was hampered by the logistical problems of supporting a force in isolated, mountainous, jungle terrain. There were few planes available for aerial resupply, and techniques for it were still primitive. Australian command considered that the Vickers machine gun and medium mortars were too heavy to carry and would be ineffective in the jungle terrain. Without artillery, mortars or medium machine guns, the Australians faced an opponent equipped with mountain guns and light howitzers that had been carried into the mountains and proved to be a decisive advantage.

Mr Frank Forde, Australian Minister For The Army, General Douglas Macarthur, General Thomas Blamey and Major General George Kenney, United States Army and Commanding Officer Of The Allied Air Forces in the South West Pacific, during the group's visit to New Guinea. Photographer: C. Bottomley, New Guinea 12 October 1942.

There was disquiet at MacArthur's headquarters in Brisbane about the concurrent Australian withdrawal along the Kokoda Track. Faced with a possible defeat, MacArthur persuaded Curtin to send Blamey to Port Moresby to take personal command—in effect to become the task force commander.

Rowell saw Blamey's arrival on 23 September 1942 as a reflection on his ability. He had lost respect for Blamey in Greece, and had neither the forbearance nor goodwill to make the arrangement work. Blamey could not afford to show weakness and on 28 September relieved Rowell of his command. There was probably no alternative, but Blamey's decision polarised feeling among senior Australian officers. Next month Blamey removed Major General Arthur Allen who had been commanding the 7th Division on its counter-offensive along the Kokoda Track. In November Blamey addressed troops of the 21st Brigade—who had been hammered by superior Japanese forces on the Kokoda Track—and seemed to accuse them of having run like rabbits. Whether his words were misunderstood or not, the soldiers were indignant.

The Australians and later the Americans drove the Japanese back to a beach-head on the north coast of Papua where they were vanquished by late January 1943. While the victory was costly, both in battle casualties and in sickness, Blamey partially re-established his standing with MacArthur.

With regards to Kokoda, the generalship of both MacArthur and Blamey has been criticised for unreasonable and unrealistic perceptions of the terrain and conditions under which the campaign was fought.

Blamey (front row, third from left) stands behind MacArthur at the Japanese surrender. Blamey signed the document on behalf of Australia. Photo: 2 September 1945, U.S. Navy.

More: WikipediaAustralian Dictionary of Biography.

..He has been widely criticised by more recent historians for his role in the sackings of Lieutenant-General S. F. Rowell, Major-General A. S. Allen and Brigadier A. W. Potts during the Kokoda Campaign of 1942. Lieutenant Colonel Rowan Tracey, a Trek Leader with Adventure Kokoda examines each sacking and concludes that Blamey’s actions in each case were justified in a paper published by the Royal United Services Institute, Volume 61, 2010….

1965 – Lawyer and judge Roma Mitchell becomes the first female judge in Australia.

Roma Flinders Mitchell was born in Adelaide on 2 October 1913. Mitchell was educated at St Aloysius Convent College, Adelaide, and held ambitions from a young age to be a barrister. She excelled at Adelaide University, and her involvement in student politics led to her being a pioneer for women's rights when she was denied entrance to the Law Students' Society because she was a woman. This event led to the formation of the Women Law Students' Society.

Roma Mitchell was admitted to the Bar in 1934, and became a partner in the legal firm of Nelligan, Angas Parsons and Mitchell in 1935. She continued to excel in her career, an example of which was in 1940 when she was instrumental in assisting the drafting of the Guardianship of Infants Act, passed later that year by the South Australian Parliament.

Roma Mitchell in 1965, wearing the robes and wig of a Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia. National Archives. Statue of Dame Roma Mitchell on North Terrace, Adelaide.

On 23 September 1965, Mitchell was made a Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the first Australian woman to achieve this position.

Pioneering the Australian women's rights movement, Mitchell was also the first woman in Australia to be a Queen’s Counsel in 1962 and a chancellor of an Australian university, being Chancellor of the University of Adelaide from 1983-1990.

As Governor of South Australia from 1991-1996, she also became the first woman Governor of an Australian state. In 1982 Roma Mitchell became a Dame Commander of the British Empire.


2009 – A huge dust storm blankets parts of eastern Australia.

On 23 September 2009, residents in Sydney discovered that, overnight, a huge dust storm had descended on their city. Deep red and orange dust-laden skies obscured major landmarks in the city as 16,000 tonnes of soil per hour travelled in from the west and spread through most of the state, borne by high winds of up to 100 kph.

Sydney Harbour Bridge bathed in orange dust, a complete contrast to the bright blue swimming pool beneath the bridge. Ryan Lahiff, ABC

Flights were delayed, and ferry services on the Harbour were cancelled. Absenteeism increased dramatically, with an extra 27,000 people staying away from work, whilst construction unions shut down building sites after workers experienced eye irritations and respiratory problems. The NSW economy was estimated to be affected by tens of millions of dollars.

Dust-enshrouded Bondi Beach on 23 September 2009. Tim Read, ABC.

Within a few hours, the winds turned, pushing the dust north to Queensland. Flights which had been diverted from Sydney were delayed at Brisbane airport. Although not as thick and intense as it was in Sydney, the dust created widespread respiratory problems, with medical centres reporting increased numbers of asthma and related breathing difficulties. The dust gradually made its way northwards up the coast.

The view from North Burleigh beach on the Gold Coast obscured by the storm on 23 September 2009. Normally the Surfer's Paradise skyline is clearly visible on the horizon. Angela Collins, ABC.

Originating in South Australia and the Northern Territory, the dust storm reduced visibility to just 10 metres at Broken Hill in the far southwest of NSW. By 23 September 2009, the dust plume measured more than 500 kilometres in width and 1,000 kilometres in length and covered dozens of towns and cities in two states.

The high winds were caused by a cold front coming in from the west, meeting the heatwave conditions which had preceded the dust storm. Deepening El Nino conditions contributed to the dust storm.

More: Wikipedia. Photos of the 2009 dust storm, ABC.

Dust at my place on the Gold Coast, 23 September 2009. Around early afternoon from memory ... on an otherwise sunny, cloudless day.

Was finding red dust inside the house for weeks.


We were in Broken Hill in 2009 and the dust was so thick, you couldn't see more than 2 metres ahead.  The awning blew off the caravan and we were having it fixed.  I was so excited about having a great outback experience and was shattered to discovered next day that friends in Sydney said the city was covered in a film of red dust.  lol

:) Quite a day Toot ... even outside Broken Hill LOL.

My vac went and died from being overworked.

1852 – The first powered airship, created by Henri Giffard, travels 27 kilometres from Paris to Trappes.

Soon after the Montgolfier brothers launched the first hot-air balloon in 1783, inventors began to design ways to propel and control lighter-than-air aircraft. The major drawback in balloon travel was that it was essentially a one-way trip. If lighter-than-air flight was going to be successful, there had to be a way to steer the airship, or dirigible. The word "dirigible," in fact, comes from the French word diriger, meaning "to direct or to steer."

In 1850 Pierre Jullien demonstrated a cigar-shaped model airship at the Paris Hippodrome powered by a clockwork motor driving two airscrews to propel the model dirigible.

Jules Henri Giffard. Giffard hot-air balloon over Paris rooftops, 1878. Library of Congress.

Jules Henri Giffard, a French engineer and inventor, took note of Jullien's design. He built the first full-size airship — a cigar-shaped, non-rigid bag that was 44 metres long. He also built a small boiler-fired steam engine to power the airship’s large propeller.

Henri Giffard's steam-powered airship that flew on 24 September 1852. National Air and Space Museum.

The first flight of Giffard's steam-powered airship took place on 24 September 1852 — 51 years before the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

Traveling at about 10 kilometres per hour, Giffard traveled almost 27 kilometres from the Paris racecourse to Elancourt, near Trappes. The small engine could not overcome the prevailing winds, and Giffard could only manage to turn the airship in slow circles. He did, however, prove that in calm conditions controlled flight was possible.

It was not until 1872 that anyone was able to produce a full-scale machine that improved on Giffard's design.


1898 – Howard Florey OM, FRS, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 is born in Adelaide.

Howard Walter Florey, OM, FRS, FRCP (24 September 1898 – 21 February 1968) was an Australian pharmacologist and pathologist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Sir Ernst Boris Chain and Sir Alexander Fleming for his role in the development of penicillin. He was appointed a life peer in February 1965 and became Baron Florey.

Although Fleming received most of the credit for the discovery of penicillin, it was Florey who carried out the first ever clinical trials in 1941 of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford on the first patient, a constable from Oxford. The patient started to recover but subsequently died because Florey was unable, at that time, to make enough penicillin. It was Florey and Chain who actually made a useful and effective drug out of penicillin, after the task had been abandoned as too difficult.

Florey's discoveries, along with the discoveries of Alexander Fleming and Ernst Chain, are estimated to have saved over 200 million lives, and he is consequently regarded by the Australian scientific and medical community as one of its greatest figures.


He was appointed a life peer in February 1965 and became Baron Florey - and well deserved.  This got me thinking - how do you become a member of the House of Lords?


Two events have changed the way Members of the House of Lords are appointed: the 1999 House of Lords Act, which ended hereditary Peers' right to pass membership down through family, and the introduction of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. There are now a number of routes to becoming a Member of the House of Lords.

A Peer is a member of the House of Lords. Most members are Life Peers although 92 sit by virtue of hereditary title. Life Peers are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister to serve for their life; the title is not transferable. 

Confused?  Me too. lol

1899 – Sir William Dobell, artist and sculptor was born in Cooks Hill, Newcastle, New South Wales.

Sir William Dobell OBE (24 September 1899 – 13 May 1970) was an Australian artist. William Dobell was born in Cooks Hill, a working-class neighbourhood of Newcastle, New South Wales in Australia.

His father was a builder and there were six children. Dobell's artistic talents were evident early. In 1916, he was apprenticed to Newcastle architect, Wallace L. Porter and in 1924 he moved to Sydney as a draftsman. In 1925, he enrolled in evening art classes at the Sydney Art School.

Mr Joshua Smith by William Dobell. Winner: Archibald Prize 1943. William Dobell, 1942. Photograph by Max Dupain

In 1929, Dobell was awarded the Society of Artists' Travelling Scholarship and travelled to England to the Slade School of Fine Art. In 1930, he won first prize for figure painting at Slade and also travelled to Poland. In 1931 he moved on to Belgium and Paris, and after 10 years in Europe returned to Australia. In 1939, he began as a part-time teacher at East Sydney Technical College. After the outbreak of war, he was drafted into the Civil Construction Corps of the Allied Works Council in 1941 as a camouflage painter; he later became an unofficial war artist.

Margaret Olley by William Dobell. Winner: Archibald Prize 1948. Dobell, pictured at home on January 20, 1949 after winning the Archibald Prize. Dobell House.

Between 1960 and 1963 TIME magazine commissioned Dobell to paint four portraits for covers, one per year. In 1964, Dobell exhibited in a major retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the first monograph of his work was written by James Gleeson.

William Dobell won his third Archibald Prize in 1959 with his portrait of Dr Edward MacMahon. Dobell House at Wangi Wangi.

Dobell died in 1970 in Wangi Wangi. The sole beneficiary of his estate was the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation, which was founded on 19 January 1971. Dobell House, his home and studio, has been conserved and is operated by the Sir William Dobell Memorial Committee, a volunteer organisation.

More: WikipediaDobell House website.

Love his portrait of Margaret Olley, I have 3 of her prints in hanging in my house.




1903 – Alfred Deakin become the second Prime Minister of Australia, following the resignation of Edmund Barton.

Alfred Deakin (1856–1919) was an Australian politician who served as the second Prime Minister of Australia, in office for three separate terms – 1903 to 1904, 1905 to 1908, and 1909 to 1910. He had earlier been a leader of the movement for Australian federation.

Photo in 1898 of the future 1st Prime Minister of Australia Edmund Barton and 2nd Prime Minister of Australia Alfred Deakin.

Throughout the 1890s Deakin was a participant in conferences of representatives of the Australian colonies that were established to draft a constitution for the proposed federation. He played an important role in ensuring that the draft was liberal and democratic and in achieving compromises to enable its eventual success. Between conferences, he worked to popularise the concept of federation and campaigned for its acceptance in colonial referenda. He then fought hard to ensure acceptance of the proposed constitution by the Government of the United Kingdom.

Alfred Deakin and wife Pattie in 1907. Alfred Deakin at Point Lonsdale front beach in 1910.

As Prime Minister, Deakin completed a significant legislative program that makes him, with Labor's Andrew Fisher, the founder of an effective Commonwealth government. He expanded the High Court, provided major funding for the purchase of ships, leading to the establishment of the Royal Australian Navy as a significant force under the Fisher government, and established Australian control of Papua.

Confronted by the rising Australian Labor Party in 1909, he merged his Protectionist Party with Joseph Cook's Anti-Socialist Party to create the Commonwealth Liberal Party (known commonly as the Fusion), the main ancestor of the modern Liberal Party of Australia. The Deakin-led Liberal Party government lost to Fisher Labor at the 1910 election, which saw the first time a federal political party had been elected with a majority in either house in Federal Parliament. Deakin resigned from Parliament prior to the 1913 election, with Joseph Cook winning the Liberal Party leadership ballot.

Bust of Alfred Deakin, Prime Ministers Avenue, Ballarat Botanical Gardens. Stamp. Headstone.

Deakin was almost universally liked, admired and respected by his contemporaries, who called him "Affable Alfred." Deakin had a long and happy marriage and was survived by his wife and their three daughters. His descendants are still active in Melbourne political and business circles and he is regarded as a founding father by the modern Liberal Party.



Alfred Deakin began his formal education aged 4 at a boarding school situated first at Kyneton and later at South Yarra. In 1864 he became a day-boy at the nearby Melbourne Church of England Grammar School. 


Imagine sending a child aged 4 away to boarding school,  how cruel, yet he turned out so well. A truly great man. 

.....The Constitution bill of 1891 was unpopular, and politicians and public alike lacked enthusiasm. Sir John Robertson's boast that Federation was as 'dead as Julius Caesar' seemed valid and few but dedicated nationalists mourned its passing. In Victoria, Deakin set out to resurrect the corpse….

FirstPrev 445 446 447 448 449 NextLast(page 447/644)