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Jim’s Australiana Spot – 2UE - August 13, 2017

Finding Our History  - How Does it Happen?    

We have GREAT HISTORICAL resources in Australia - the War Memorial, Trove, Sands Directory, electoral roles and ships' records etc. But, sometimes it's a matter of LUCK! There are many examples …

1 Name the song which flopped when 1st recorded on an album called BURIED TREASURE - bought in a discard bin for a $1 by a band who made it a mega hit.
  Home Among The Gum Tree
2 Using TROVE Jim was able to PROVE the amazing truth about the first person whose life was saved by the invention of the Surf Life Saving Reel Who was it?
  Sir Charles Kingsford Smith
3 In 2007, renovations to Sydney Town Hall revealed something unexpected. What was it?
  Bodies that had never been removed from the old cemetery underneath by Mr Stewart

Recent finds in Kakadu (in July) date aboriginal axes and tools back to 65 000 years - or 20 000 years earlier than anywhere else in the world.

Australian scientist Ian McIntosh wants to revisit the location where five coins were found in the Northern Territory in 1944 that have proven to be 1000 years old. Back in 1944 during World War II, after Japanese bombers had attacked Darwin two years earlier, the Wessel Islands - an uninhabited group of islands off Australia’s north coast - had become a strategic position to help protect the mainland. Australian soldier Maurie Isenberg was stationed on one of the islands to man a radar station and spent his spare time fishing on the idyllic beaches -where he found the African coins.

EXAMPLES of valuable historic finds IN AUSTRALIA

• Complete archive of 1st Australian team to tour UK
• E W MInchen - forgotten artist
• Charles Souter Poem in Mitchell Library
• Declaration of Piracy and Kingsford Smith's rescue (TROVE)
• Letter from Queen Victoria re Norfolk Island
• Three 'lost' songs written by Slim Dusty as a 14-year-old sent to the Copyright Office in 1943
• 'Home Among The Gum Trees'
• Phar Lap's shoes, Carbines sales certificate  etc

The first surf lifesaving reel in the world was demonstrated at Bondi Beach on 23 December 1906.  Lyster Ormsby, of the Bondi Surf Bathers Club had an idea for a device to enable safer rescue operations at the beach and built a model from a cotton reel and two bobby pins of a portable horizontal reel for the rope. The first full-size reel was built by Sergeant John Bond of Victoria Barracks in Paddington, and was improved on in the same year by Sydney coachbuilder G.H. Olding, whose final design was used until 1993.
Several weeks later, the reel was used for a rescue for the first time. The Sydney Morning Herald reported the event as, ‘Another sensation at Bondi—a narrow escape of two boys’:

The surf bathers at Bondi had another exciting experience yesterday afternoon, when two lads, Rupert Swallow, a resident of Darlinghurst and Chas. Smith living at McMahon’s Point, narrowly escaped losing their lives.
About 3 o’clock a number of people on the beach noticed that the boys, both of whom were about 9 years old, had been carried out by the undertow, and that they were unable to make any headway towards the beach. The alarm was given, and immediately many willing hands were ready to grasp the lifeline and go to the assistance of the struggling boys. James McLeod, a resident of Park Parade Waverley, and Wm. Burns, of Mill Hill Road, Waverley, succeeded in bringing Swallow into safety; while James McCarthy, of Rowe Street, Darlington and Warwick Wilce, of Croydon, rescued Smith.
When brought to the shore Smith was in a bad way, having lost consciousness, but Nurse Sweeney, of Quirindi, who happened to be on the scene, applied restorative measures, and shortly after both lads were able to return to their homes.

Little Chas Smith was indeed nine years old; he would celebrate his tenth birthday a month later and go on to become Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, war hero, pioneer aviator, Australian legend, and the first person ever rescued by Lyster Ormsby’s new-fangled lifesaving reel!

Check out Stone the Crows Festival - held at Wagga Wagga - Every Easter

Listen to Jim at 10.30 am every Sunday on Radio 2UE Sydney - or afterwards on the podcast at 2ue.com

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