Sunday, April 30, 2017

AUSTRALIA'S CORAL SEA BATTLE ANNIVERSARY SHAME : LEST WE FORGET THE GREATEST EVER SEA BATTLE IN THE WORLD

Australian  Prime  Minister Malcolm Turnbull  is soon to  meet  President Donald  Trump  aboard the  WWll aircraft carrier  USS Intrepid ,  part  of the  75th anniversary of  the  Battle of the Coral Sea  celebrations .  When  the  two gather  they will  undoubtedly  , justifiably, speak  of the historic  maritime battle,  said to have  been  the greatest  ever  ,  and  the  part played  by  both countries. However,   in   Townsville, the  large  garrison  town lapped by the  Coral Sea , in a prime waterfront position,  sits   the  neglected, rusting    anchor  from  an American aircraft  carrier, the USS  Coral Sea , presented  to  Australia   to  mark the  50th anniversary of  the  massive   sea  battle   which   had a   major  affect   on the  Japanese  advance .
Commissioned in 1947 , the  USS Coral Sea , a  Midway Class carrier  , above,  was  so named   to commemorate the  Coral Sea Battle . The  anchor from it  , a  gift  from  America  to  the Townsville City Council ,  was  presented  on  May 8  1992  by  the  Commander of  the  US 7th Fleet  and former  commanding officer  of the  USS  Coral Sea , Vice Admiral Stanley R. Arthur.The  memorial   was erected  by  the Townsville City  Council and the Townsville Port Authority .  
 
With the efflux of time , details of the presentation  are  almost illegible on the smaller  plaque , above , which  contains   the    presentation  details . The larger  plaque  , below,  installed by  the  Townsville Port Authority , commemorates   the role   of the  port in  defence of  Australia in  two World  Wars  and is also  in  an  unsatisfactory  condition.  


  Patches of rust  are visible  through the white coating  of  the anchor .

 That this situation has been allowed to continue in  a  military garrison  city  is hard to understand . The  anchor   is  in  a  position  not  far  from where   Townsville Enterprise  Limited  was   based - in  the so called  Enterprise House-   until  it moved on to  some other hub-but  apparently  nobody  from  that   organisation, the  Townsville City  Council and the Townsville Port A uthority  seemed  to  notice   that  the  anchor in  its  present  state  , evident over  years , was  not  a good  look   for  the  city , insulting to the Americans  , Australians  and   others  who  fought  in  that  Coral Sea  epic , and  should  be rectified  ASAP.  
 
This blog  raised the neglect  of the memorial  on May 4, 2015, the  73rd anniversary of the battle , headed  CORAL SEA BATTLE ANNIVERSARY  BOMBS OUT, saying it  was a  Townsville disgrace.

At the time , it pointed out  the Murdoch Townsville Bulletin marked the occasion   with a report  about   a ceremony at  Cardwell  ,  saying  "600  American and   Australian  soldiers" had   fallen in the   battle. A reader  responded by saying  his father had  been in  the Coral Sea Battle    aboard   HMAS Australia, which  involved sailors, not  soldiers.   

 Our post , on a  vital local  issue , sank without  trace .  It seems you need  to  deliver  a broadside  like  a  battleship  with  the fire  power of  the USS Missouri's 16  inch  guns  on  the   local  media  and  other organisations   before  they   understand   the   significance  of    high   explosive   incoming   mail  .

At the weekend  , there has been   another  Coral Sea Battle  commemoration at  Cardwell ; the  Townsville  Bulletin , still unaware  of  the  sorry state  of the  Coral Sea   anchor  and  plaques  , because  it is obviously out of touch with  its own  patch and appears to have run aground , ran   a  two  page  historical   feature  about  the   battle .  
 
LATEST  UPDATE

 
When a special  dawn ceremony   was   held in  Townsville's  Anzac Park   at the above  "official  Coral Sea Battle  memorial "  , on May 1,  wreaths were laid  ,  this  was  the  scene, below,    soon   after   at  the  nearby   Coral Sea   anchor ... not  one  wreath . 
You can bet your   last  Yankee dollar,  had the   Americans  been  made aware  by  Townsville 's  protocol and   venue   team   that    there  was a  special  memorial   in the  city, centred around  an anchor from  a  US Navy  aircraft carrier ,   to mark  the  50th anniversary , that   it would have been the subject of  at  least   one  floral  tribute ,  perhaps  a  special  ceremony .

At the nearby official ceremony , the  fountain   marking   the centenary of   Queensland  breaking  away  from   the colony of  New South Wales  was  still not  working .  However ,  several   Kenny  type  portable   toilets were  strategically  placed  nearby  should  the  need  arise  for  a  water  display . 

A  further ceremony  was  performed   on the flight  deck of HMAS  Choules   off  Townsville  where  some of  the  dignitaries  from the   dawn service were   choppered   in , wreaths  thrown into the Coral Sea  . Those involved   included the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove, Minister  for  Defence  Marise Payne , Tadayuki Miyashita , representing the Japanese  Ambassador   to Australia  and  Amanda Rishworth MP, representing  the Leader of  the Opposition , Bill  Shorten .   
 
UPCOMING : Other Townsville  port  issues.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

GOING TROPPO IN TAHITI


A rare photograph from our  Pacificana   Collection purporting to  show French artist Paul Gauguin  relaxing   in  the  Polynesian   Eden  , armed  with  insect  repellant  and  a  can of  beer . As both  containers  were  in a stubby holder , he had to be careful  not  to  drink  the mozzie killer  as  the  drinking session  progressed .   Hard  to  read   handwriting on  the reverse   says  the  snap was  taken  by his  visiting   short   back and sides mate , Henri de Toulouse -Lautrec ,   medically short in other  vital areas,  who  was  on  stilts .   Furthermore , the  white  feather in  Paul's  chapeau  is  said  to  have been  plucked from  a  Dodo , one  of  many  that  roamed freely  about   his  hut , taught  to   sing  La  Marseillaise  at   daybreak  each  day, causing  islanders to  complain  bitterly . 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

GHOST SHIP FLEET ACTIVITIES CLOSE NORTH QUEENSLAND PORT

Special   by   Australia's  only  S(h)ipping  Reporter

As  a  regular  early morning ferry   from Magnetic  Island  approached  the  Townsville breakwater , the   vessel  slowed , veered  away  slightly . Soon after  it  was   announced  a  ship  was  leaving  port  and  no  entry  was  allowed . So  there  the  ferry was - as  idle  as  a  pointed  ship  upon  a   painted  ocean,  on a  fine  day for fishing , on  a very high  tide.
 
 
 Slowly being  nudged away from   its  berth   by two  tugs was   the above  Marshall Islands  registered  tanker  Flagship  Sage . A much travelled  passenger standing on the  rear deck of the  wallowing   ferry  remarked  that  Hong  Kong   would  not close down to  all other shipping  and fishing   boats    just   because  one   vessel   was   leaving   port .

Alongside   was  an  obvious  livestock  carrier , the Panama  registered  Dareen , below , capable of carrying 8000 cattle , one of   four  such vessels  operated  by Livestock  Shipping Services (LSS)  on  a  regular  basis  in  the  Australian  trade.


The  other carriers on the run   are   Ghena  ( 85,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle and 16,000 sheep ) , Bader lll (110,000 sheep or  75,000 sheep and  10,000 cattle )  and Maysora   ( 110,000 sheep or  12,000  cattle ).    

LSS  states  it is  one of the largest  live export companies  in the southern hemisphere which operates  from all states  of  Australia   to Egypt, Israel, Palestine , Jordan , Kuwait , United Arab Emirates , Libya, Russia , Kazakhstan  and Turkey .

Could be an interesting story  here, but  the port city of  Townsville seems to have   exported  all   shipping  reporters long  ago .  Just  along  from  Dareen  was  a   bulk carrier   which  could   make  a  ripper of  a  yarn   for  any adventurous  member of  the  local press  gang. It  is the   oddly named   cargo  ship  Laconic , below. 


According to the dictionary , the  adjective laconic  ,  derived   from   Greek ,  means  using  few words , concise . And  it  seems Laconian  applied    to    warlike Spartans,   noted  for   brief  and  pithy statements before  they  jabbed  you  with  a long  spear called a  Dory , or hacked you  with  a  short   sword .  There  is  a statue of  King Leonidas l , clad in armour, brandishing such  a  sword ,  who  led  the  Spartan army at  the Battle of  Thermopylae .

 And shiver  me  timbers , the good ship  Laconic  sails under  a  Greek flag .  Any brave local scribe   with  an  understanding of  English  prepared  to  actually venture down to the waterfront    and   board  the  Laconic might  find  it  is  crewed by  Greek  wrestlers,  grunting  weight  lifters  and   terse   marathon  runners .
 

 Another vessel with a  catchy name- Zenith Explorer, a bulk carrier  - also  attracted  attention because it seemed to  be actually flying  the  Australian flag , a rarity on  Australian   coastal vessels  , but  it  seems  to  be  registered  in  Panama .  All  this  shipping activity in  port  under a relentless sun and  not  a  drop  to  drink , or  in  print - except  for  this  nautically minded  blog .

While lolling  about  on  the wallowing  ferry , our  waterfront   roundsman  took  this  art  deco  snap  of  the  vessel's  stern .  The  11.30 am ferry from  Townsville  to Magnetic Island  seemed to  lose propulsion  near  the island and slowly made its  way into the  safe harbour , no  announcement . It  is  all  happening  on the waterfront . NEXT :Another exclusive S(h)ipping  Reporter's  post about  Townsville   and   Australia's  shame .

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

PURLOINED ART IN THE TROPICS

Midst  a  collection of interesting books, magazines and  paintings in  a secret  North  Queensland residence  , the  above  odd,  framed  picture  was  espied  on  a  wall  .  Wet  Paint ? The proud  owner explained   that  many moons ago she had visited  the Sydney Art Gallery  and   benches in   The  Domain parkland  had  been   painted , numerous  warning  signs placed  near  them.  When  she  nearly walked on  one , probably not far  from famous  Lady Macquarie's (uncomfortable sandstone)  Chair, she  picked it up  as  a   souvenir , brought it  home ,  had  it  framed ,  at   considerable   cost . 

RASPBERRIES GALORE AT POLITICAL MEETING

The   plight  of  wildlife  on   Magnetic Island  is  often  brought home   at  monthly meetings of  the  Magnetic  Island  branch of  the  Australian  Labor  Party . Secretary of  the  branch , Linda  Wootten ,   a  longtime wildlife carer , on occasions   brings  along  an  animal   to  feed ... a possum ,  Friar Bird  and  so  forth .   Recently she   turned up  with a  young , bedraggled  looking  Rose-crowned Pigeon  in  a   cage  . These birds  are found in  coastal north-western Australia  and  north-eastern  Northern Territory, Flores  and  Timor and frequent  fruit  and berry -bearing  trees.

Proceedings  slowed  momentarily   as  she gave the bird  a  two  hourly  feed  with  raspberries from the  IGA store on the island . This  involved  taking  the bird  out  of  the  cage, holding it in a  hand  and  manually  placing  the  raspberries in  its  beak .  Branch president  Mal McLean , below ,  carried on  for  Linda  while  she   fed  the  lucky bird . 
 
 Invigorated,  the bird  went   for a  flutter   about   the  venue , at one  stage  sat on  Linda's shoulder , beaming at  the salt of the earth  ALP supporters  who are out to capture the  pigeon fanciers'  vote  at  the  next election .   The  young   bird  had  been  looked  after  by  a  person who  in  turns   needed  a  break , so  it  was  passed on  to  Linda  .

Linda  keeps  a  book  in  which  she  lists  details  of   the  large  number  of  critters she  has  retrieved , some of which  are  kept at her  residence in  a variety  of   cages . This  work involves   her  in  round  the  clock  feeding and calling on a local  vet  . In  addition , she  feeds  a   large  number  of   birds  and  wallabies  that  come  to  her  house .

The  roadkill  of  wildlife  on  Magnetic  Island   is   exceptional . While signs  warn of koalas  and  vehicle  crash sites on the island  , there is an obvious lack of  signs   in  parts  where   people  resort  to  placing  hand  made signs , especially  in the  Horseshoe Bay area , urging  motorists  to  slow down, watch out for  other animals , wallabies   and   Curlews   in  particular .
 
The  lack  of  signs  and  a  much  needed   centre  to   look after and   revive  wildlife  on  the  island ,   instead  of  loading  up   caring   islanders  through the  Magnetic  Island  Fauna  Care Organisation   with   much  of   the  responsibility  is   obvious.  MORE ON  THIS  SUBJECT LATER .

WATERFRONT KALEIDOSCOPE : PICTORIAL SPECIAL BY OUR ROAMING S(H)IPPING REPORTER

Cruise ship Darwin .
Shady spot  near Townsville  ferry  terminal . 
Cairns  sunrise . Abra photograph.
 
Arches  at  Quayside  Wharf  10  terminal , Townsville  , used by cruise ships , naval vessels  and  smelly  livestock carriers  , as  pointed out  in this blog on several occasions  the  export of  cattle  a   contentious  issue , the arrival and departure of   such vessels  hardly  covered   by   the   commercial  media .  Also a venue for weddings  and  other  social  functions, which should not be held  when  bellowing  bovines  are  being  loaded   for  overseas  slaughter. 
Storm over  Darwin  Harbour . 
Aerial  view of  Cairns  by high flying  Abra  .

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

JUDGES CELEBRATED MAGPIE'S WIN OVER MURDOCH

North  Queensland  media   continue  to  miss  obvious  major  follow ups , ask obvious questions .


In  his  latest  weekly serving   in  the  spirited Townsville   website , The   Magpie's Nest   ,  journalist  Malcolm  Weatherup  revealed  the  latest   development in  the  court action  in  which  he was   awarded   more  than  $100,000    for   defamation  by  the Murdoch newspaper ,  The Australian .

 The  Magpie , like any good  local journo  should  ,  reported  that the Appeals Court in Brisbane  had  basically dismissed  an attempt by News Ltd to  "  overturn a jury verdict that The Australian  had defamed a fine, upstanding, sober gentleman of the press … err, ahem, cough, cough … that would be  moi. "

The   judges, he  continued,  had  done  a little legal tinkering around the edges of the outcome, changing a word or so in the complicated jury verdict while otherwise leaving  it  untouched.

Bottom line – Rupert was told to  pay up, and now it remained to see if  News Ltd  wanted  to  take the case  to the High Court. As the company had already spent close to a  million dollars in legal costs, The Pie wondered how much more flattery they  would  afford   him.  If  you  could  be   bothered, he said the  Appeal Court judgement was included  in  The Magpie's  post .

"One of the claims which News could not prove in its defence against my action was that I was forced to leave the  Townsville Bulletin   (I wasn’t, I resigned in disgust at the paper’s tabloid direction) because of the ‘wrath’ of several judges.

"This was also found to be fanciful codswallop, and the only irritation the local judges showed me was that they were grumpy because they weren’t called as witnesses to  confirm what utter tosh the claim was.
 
"It was the subject of a jolly lunch  they shouted  me  after the Supreme Court case. 

"But one of their number, the now retired John Baulch SC, just couldn’t control his ‘anger’, and called around to The Nest to give me a piece of  his mind … and to give me this." 
Screen shot 2017-04-22 at 11.32.20 PM
In an unsolicited  testimonial , Weatherup  said  Baulch  always has had a good taste in wine … and in  his avian friends. "Thanks, John, get angry as often as you like."

Wow !!! What a  great  story to follow  up   by  the  dynamic  local media  outside of  the Townsville Bulletin : local  journalist  tosses  Murdoch  again  in court ,   judges  angry that they were not called in his defence in the defamation case ...  Weatherup   presented  with  an aptly  named   bottle  of  vino , The Laughing Magpie . 
 

So  far , not a full  throated  peep  out of  the scribes , which speaks  volumes.Who  said  Queensland  needs a major media shakeup , especially  a  new  voice in  the North ,  apart  from the   vast  network of  Murdoch  papers and websites , commercial TV and  radio  interests  which  leave  a lot to be desired  and  the  ABC , which   performs  the  best, especially  with  rural news,  but   nevertheless  lacks  oomph  in   other  areas?
 
TIPS  FOR  FOLLOW  UPS
 
Ask Murdoch  HQ in Sydney if it intends   to  take the case to the High Court . If  so , why ? If not , when  will payment be made ?  Is  News Limited  aware Mr  Weatherup  had  his voice  box removed  and  is  not  in the best of health , a  situation which some  people might  think  is  aggravated  by  the drawn  out  court  battle  with a  media  giant ?Is News Limited  procrastinating in the hope that  Mr Weatherup will   fall  from  his  perch, uttering  a Graham Kennedy imitation   cry  of   a mournful  Crow , faark! ,  in  the process   ?  This is a nasty  suggestion, but  legitimate  in  the circumstances.      Incidentally,  quite regularly on TV  you see an army of reporters  outside   courts   asking  key  players  in  cases   what  they think of  the  result   and  other   related  questions .  

ANTARCTICA MELTING ICE REPORT

Giant  waterfall  in  Antarctica  worries  scientists .

The big question is : has the level of surface melting increased in the last seven decades ?

Article by Tim Radford  in  the American  independent  NationofChange  on April 23 .

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Scientists poring over military and satellite imagery have mapped the unimaginable: a network of rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and even a waterfall, flowing over the ice shelf of a continent with an annual mean temperature of more than-50C. In 1909 , Ernest Shackleton and his fellow explorers on their way to the magnetic South Pole found that they had to cross and recross flowing streams and lakes on the Nansen Ice Shelf.

Antarctic Waterways

Now, U.S. scientists report in the journal Nature that they studied photographs taken by military aircraft from 1947 and satellite images from 1973 to identify almost 700 seasonal networks of ponds, channels and braided streams flowing from all sides of the continent, as close as 600km to the South Pole and at altitudes of 1300 metres.
 
And they found that such systems carried water for 120km. A second research team reporting a companion study in the same issue of Nature identified one meltwater system with an ocean outflow that ended in a 130-metre wide waterfall, big enough to drain the entire surface melt in a matter of days.
 
In a world rapidly warming as humans burn ever more fossil fuels, to add ever more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, researchers expect to observe an increase in the volume of meltwater on the south polar surface. Researchers have predicted the melt rates could double by 2050. What isn’t clear is whether this will make the shelf ice around the continent – and shelf ice slows the flow of glaciers from the polar hinterland – any less stable.
 
“This is not in the future – this is widespread now, and has been for decades,” said Jonathan Kingslake, a glaciologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who led the research. 
 
“I think most polar scientists have considered water moving across the surface of Antarctica to be extremely rare. But we found a lot of it, over very large areas.”
 
The big question is: has the level of surface melting increased in the last seven decades? The researchers don’t yet have enough information to make a judgment.
 
“We have no reason to think they have,” Dr. Kingslake said. “But without further work, we can’t tell. Now, looking forward, it will be really important to work out how these systems will change in response to warming, and how this will affect the ice sheets.”
 
Many of the flow systems seem to start in the Antarctic mountains, near outcrops of exposed rock, or in places where fierce winds have scoured snow off the ice beneath. Rocks are dark, the exposed ice is a blue color, and during the long days of the Antarctic summer, both would absorb more solar energy than white snow or ice. This would be enough to start the melting process.

The Antarctic is already losing ice, as giant floating shelves suddenly fracture and drift north. There is a theory that meltwater could be part of the fissure mechanism, as it seeps deep into the shelves.
 

Drainage  Theory

But the companion study, led by the polar scientist Robin Bell of the Lamont-Doherty Observatory suggests that drainage on the Nansen Ice Shelf might help to keep the ice intact, perhaps by draining away the meltwater in the dramatic waterfall, the scientists had  identified.“It could develop this way in other places, or things could just devolve into giant slush puddles,” she said. “Ice is dynamic, and complex, and we don’t have the data yet.”

Saturday, April 22, 2017

QUEENSLAND HIDEAWAY FOR STRESSED OUT PRESIDENT TRUMP

Another  genuine scoop-not  fake news
After 100   days  of  running  America , President  Donald Trump  has decided to make  regular  trips to Magnetic Island  for  R and R , playing  golf   on the course  where  Greg  Norman used to  belt balls  when he was  a lad .  The above   reserved   spot  has  been set aside  for  his Sherman tank  at  the ferry terminal parking area.   Not all residents are happy  about   Trump  getting  special   parking    treatment  as  his  visits will be  few , probably  only one  a  month .  And parking  is a  growing  problem at the  terminal  . Interstate   Mexicans , like President Trump ,  from  across the border  and  the mainland,  are  known  to  leave  their  cars in  the   area  for  weeks  on   end  ,  taking  up  valuable   spaces  . The Magnetic  Island Ratepayers  and  Residents Association  recently   requested the Army Bomb Squad to  send in  a  cute looking   robot  to blow up   the many numerous   overparked   cars  at   the   terminal .   The president's tank , of course,  will not be destroyed-just towed away to a  holding yard  at the   dump by  landscaper and environmentalist   Charlie  McColl .         

Friday, April 21, 2017

MAGIC PUDDING SURPRISE

Saucy  additions  to   Australia’s  ugliest , never ending  mouthful
In this  blog’s obsessive   hunt for  oddities in books and ephemera  ,   we   recently stumbled  across   a  surprise insert  in  the above  1983  Angus and Robertson reprint  of  Norman Lindsay’s   Australian epic   children's book  The Magic Pudding  Being the Adventures of  Bunyip  Bluegum . That item , a  printed  slip , contained  instructions on  how  to deal   with  a   Christmas  Pudding , cooked in the  old  fashion  way in  calico  ,  on  Christmas  Day . In addition , it  supplied  two recipes    for  sauce , one  “Grandma’s white sauce “
 

TROPICAL PIER GLINT SUITE WITH REFLECTIONS , REFRACTIONS AND DISTANT VIEW OF MINI MOUNTAIN

With   apologies  to   Henrik  Ibsen , a  Townsville  waterfront rhapsody.

 
 
 
 
Photographs  by  our  snap-happy  S(h)ipping  Reporter.

TROVE FOR TOP END

Some of  the treasures  from the vast  National  Library of  Australia's  collection  will soon  be  touring . In addition , NLA  is  asking  various places along the way to share their  collections . Question   and   answer  sessions  will  be  held  which will show how various  organisations   can   include  their  collections in  Trove .  Options to digitisation  will  also  be  discussed.  Places to be  visited include  all capital cities, regional centres  ... Darwin (  June 15 )   and Townsville (May  16 ) .  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

GALLERY REJECTS TOP JOURNALIST'S PORTRAIT


Newspaper  Man
Following  the rejection by the Museum  and   Art  Gallery  Northern Territory  board  of   the   offer  of  an    award winning  unusual  piece  of  artwork inspired by Australian  Rules  footballer  Michael  Long's  long  march   for  Indigenous  justice   to   Canberra ,  comes  news  that  the  National Portrait  Gallery, strangely, also knocked back  the  offer of  the  unique  rendition , shown here ,  of   prominent  Darwin  based   journalist  and   author   Douglas  Lockwood.

Lockwood's journalist  son , Kim , of  Melbourne , said that last year he wrote to  the National  Portrait  Gallery, Canberra, offering the  above portrait   of  his father .  It received the same response as  the Michael Long  item,   which had been made and  offered by Darwin agronomist  Robert  Wesley-Smith.   In a polite but  firm letter , the National Portrait Gallery   had  said  it  did   not  "meet  their  criteria ."  
Douglas Lockwood , above, born 1918 ,  covered a large part of  North Australia when  he  was  the  Melbourne Herald representative  based  in  Darwin ,  there  when it was  attacked   by  the  Japanese , won the  London Evening News 1250 pound  prize for the World's Strangest  Story  about  Bas Wie , a 12 year old boy , kicked by a cook, who  stowed  away inside the  wheel nacelle  of a Dutch Dakota  which flew from Dutch Koepang  to Darwin  ,  a  three  hour flight in August   1946.

 The retracting wheel  laid  bare his shoulder blade , Bas became unconscious and  suffered  burns from the exhaust. On landing  at Darwin , he was  found  hanging  in the nacelle .The story has been told  here  previously how the people of Darwin firmly said  authorities  should not send him back to  Koepang  after medical treatment . He  resided  in  Government  House  at the  request the Northern  Territory  Administrator , Mick Driver .    

 Lockwood , who  wrote 12  popular  books  about the Territory, some  translated into at  least four languages , included  one dealing  with  the   bombing of  the Darwin  , was managing editor of  Herald and Weekly Times publications in Papua New Guinea, which he amalgamated  into the first national paper , The  Post- Courier  .  He was managing editor of  the Bendigo paper in  Victoria   when he died  in  1980. 

 Kim provided  pertinent comments  about  the rejected  portrait : It is a terrific likeness,  was made in the Northern Territory  by  artist  Jack Goodluck , won a prize at the Darwin Show ,  called " Newspaper Man ",  made  entirely of newspaper  clippings, very  clever .  It did not , however,  meet  the  Gallery's  criteria .  

Some  time  ago , Kim took up  with the   Darwin City Council   the subject of   his  father  not  being  included   in  the  parade of  notable  Territorians   represented   in   tiles  along   Darwin's  Esplanade   ... Douglas Lockwood , a  reporter and  author  who  put  Darwin  and  the  Northern Territory  on  the  map  in   many  ways. 

DARWIN BUZZING WITH WILD , UNREPORTED STORIES

Allegations of  impropriety  in  high  places,  police investigations being  hushed up  ,  powerful  Indonesian  groups  manipulating  export of  live cattle  numbers  from    Darwin   to  benefit   their  own  financial interests , even  to the extent of  forcing  down the  price of Top  End  stations  they  intend to  buy ,   are  just some  of   the  many  rumours   swirling  about  the  Territory  capital . 

If   some of  these  are   correct , then  you have to wonder what  has  happened to the fourth  estate .  Are  its  members  deaf , not mixing with the  community at large ,  too   busy  being  churnalists , chasing  crocs   and   Martians  ,  to   be  real , inquiring  journalists , asking hard ,  probing  questions  ?

Another  subject  of  fiery discussion in Darwin  is the chaotic  state of  departments , partly due  to  the  disastrous  reign  of  the  Country Liberal Party ,  tossed  out   in a  massive  landslide , and  the  actions   of   cliques  and  buddies  within   departments  over   the   years .   One  colourful  description for   government  departments  is   that  they  have   been "smashed " , the canker  within  needing  to be  cut out .  

An  example of  the extraordinary depth of feeling  is  an  audacious  website    which  makes  outrageous , defamatory  claims  about  individuals in  a certain part of  government ,  asserting   whistle  blowers  have been    punished .        

The drug  scene  in   Darwin  is    the  subject of  much  scuttlebutt  in  various parts of  town, with  allegations  of snorting  in  high places , names   freely  bandied  about , the   implication  being  that  they  are  being protected .  For  the  respect of  the  community  and  faith in the  running  of essential   institutions , the  Gunner ALP government  ,which surely must  know of these  allegations ,  needs  to  give  close attention to the  matter .
  
 "Why  is  this    can   of   Coke  so  dear ? "... a  question   frequently asked  in Darwin   drinking  circles  by   persons  in  the  know .  
 
A prominent  Darwin  resident   expressed  his  concern about the  local  media  failing to   act  on  tips  he has given them   on  matters of  importance .  It seemed, he said ,  if you did not write the  story  for  the  reporters , hand it to them , or   send it  by  email   they   did not  have the time to  do what   they  are   supposed  to do , follow   up  and  write  reports.

He continued by saying   that  if  reporters  did  not act on tips and  failed to listen  to the  talk of  the  town then  they  clearly did  not   have  their  digits on the  pulse of  the  city .

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NO CRITERION FOR CRITERION

 
Built in 1904, the   Criterion Hotel , on Townsville's waterfront  , which closed last  year , presented  a  rundown , overgrown view  at the rear  over  Easter .  The  Townsville  City Council refused permission for the  hotel to be  knocked  down    as  part of a  proposed  large  redevelopment   plan .
 Signs  , on  the ground ,  advertising  the   proposed  development   are   included in  the  overgrown  beer  garden  and  mention  the  nearby impressive, unoccupied   Queen's  Hotel , below,  photographed  at  Easter 

Monday, April 17, 2017

BRILLIANT TRUMP MOVE SOLVES EXPLOSIVE KOREA SITUATION WHICH THREATENED WORLD

The greatest showman on earth , Donald Trump, has used   Disneyland to defuse  the possibility of  a nuclear war between  North Korea  and America . President Trump  stunned  the  world  , the Pentagon ,   armchair  strategists   and   Minnie Mouse   by   flying  in  clap happy  Kim Jong-un  to   play the part of the  Easter  Bunny , above , at the White House  with the firm promise that he would have  permanent ,  top  billing  at  Disneyland .  

In  an exclusive interview with  this blog, President Trump said the sabre rattling  of the North Korean leader is due to the fact that  every day is a bad hair day for him and that  he  has a  burning desire to visit   Disneyland ,  romp with  Bugs Bunny , ride the  range  like  Wild  Bill  Hickock  and  fire a  water  pistol  at  the  O.K. Corral .He also  revealed that Kim  has a strong urge  to turn Disneyland   into the  line  dancing  capital  of  the  world .
 
North Korean  crack line dancing team.
On being informed of  these   desires,   the president  got  the Veep  Mike Pence , on a  visit to the  Korean  DMZ,  to  pass a  secret  message, inside a  fake  carrot ,  to  Kim,  offering  him the  chance to  fulfil all   his  weird  fantasies in   the US of  A , if  he  instantly agreed  to  give  up  building  nuclear  missiles and  turn  existing rockets into   Japanese  scrapmetal  to be made  into  souvenirs  and  medals   for  the  looming Commonwealth  Games in  Queensland .
 
Amazingly,  the  offer was instantly  agreed to ; Air Force  One  made a  secret  flight   to  America  with   Jong-un  and  his 200 strong  entourage ,who clapped hysterically  all  the  way . 

President Trump confided that Kim's  eldest half brother , Kim Jong-nam , recently assassinated in Malaysia , had also  been fascinated by Disneyland.  Indeed, it  is  said  he    failed to be appointed  the leader of  the  nation because   he was  caught  trying to slip into Japan  on  a  false  passport   to  visit  Tokyo Disneyland . 

 
Some of Kim's top military men ,the Clap-along Cassidy Cowboy  Brigade, have expressed  the  wish  to  stage  a busy   Snowwhite and  the Seven Dwarfs  routine   at Disneyland , where  Walt  will be   thawed out  to  meet  and greet the visitors...a monumental day in the  history of  world  peace  negotiations . 

CRICKETERS/ CANADIAN HISTORY /UNEXPECTED TREASURE


Three  proved  to  be  a  lucky  number

God  bless  the  lady  in  the Saint  Vincent  de  Paul   op  shop . On  placing  two  books   - The  Slow Men  , by David Frith , editor of the  Wisden Cricket Monthly,  and   Wolfe & Moltcalm , by  Joy Carroll -  on  the counter  of a North Queensland outlet  , she replied by saying   books  were  three  for  five dollars , could  I  find   another  of   interest ?

Back to  the  small number  of  books picked through - and  there  was  an  overlooked  real  treasure : Grasberg   Mining the  richest and most  remote  deposit  of copper and  gold  in  the world  , in  the mountains  of  Irian  Jaya, Indonesia. 
Written by American mining engineer  George A. Mealey , published by Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold , New Orleans , 1996, it is profusely illustrated , with   fold  out  maps   and  an  illustrated  dustjacket, full of interesting  information , including  details of Darwin's part  in  the mining venture . 
 
The  book  covers  the discovery of   mineral  outcrops  in rugged,  inaccessible country, snow capped  ranges nearby ,  by  a  Dutch  geologist   in   1936 , eventually  leading to  massive   deposits  with  the  largest gold reserves  and  third  largest  copper  reserves  in   the  world. 

Another interesting twist   is that  the John D. Rockefeller , founder of  Standard Oil,  hired   German  immigrant,  Herman Frasch , who went on to pioneer  a  technique to mine  subterranean  sulphur  which  involved  injecting superheated   water   into deposits and then  pumping the molten  sulphur to the surface . Carried on  by  others ,  this  technique made the Gulf Coast of the US  the world centre  of sulphur production . In 1912 , a  syndicate was  formed  called  the Freeport  Sulphur   Company  whose  widespread, diversified  operations  would  eventually involve   Darwin  more  than  half  a  century  later .   

The dramatic  1961  disappearance  on  an ethnographic   expedition  of   Michael  C. Rockefeller,  23,   son of   Nelson A.  RockefellerNew York governor  , later  vice president of the USA ,    in  which  the editor of the Northern Territory   News ,  Jim  Bowditch ,  proposed  parachuting  into  Dutch New  Guinea , later  Irian  Jaya ,  to try and find  him  was  outlined  in   the biography of the  crusading  newspaperman  which  ran  in  this   blog.    
 
 When my eldest daughter was a schoolgirl in  Darwin  she went to Irian Jaya  at the  invitation of an American girl whose  father  was  connected  with   the   mine  in  the  1970s.  Souvenirs she brought back from that  trip included  a  net  bag and  a  mortar  and  pestle   made  from    local stone  , the latter kept until  recent times , given  away  to  a   woman  in  Darwin .
 
During the early stages of  construction  in Irian Jaya  ,  Freeport Sulphur/Indonesia    operated out  of   Darwin   after  a   30 year  work  contract was signed  in  April 1967  with  Indonesia , which had  taken  over  the   former Dutch  territory .
 
Within a month of signing ,  Freeport ,  Darwin its  logistics centre , sent in  generators, a bulldozer and a truck  on a converted  WWll landing craft , the Turtle.  The  book says  Ted  Fitzgerald -alias  Ever Ready Ted , for  his readiness to  fight - brought  the  first load  across the Arafura  Sea in May 1967.  The vessel was intercepted by an Indonesian  naval patrol  boat , which fired a shot across its bow . They  were arrested , but  released  later .
 
When  this blogger  worked on the Northern Territory News  and covered   courts   in  Darwin  from  l958-1962 , there was  a  person  known as  Ever Ready Ted , his  nickname  not  due  to  fighting
 
Anyway,  the  Ted in the book also brought  in  a load of  pre-fabricated  buildings in  the landing craft  and  18 husky Australians "off  the beach" were  recruited    and  shipped  in  by  another vessel   to set up camp and  help get the  drilling program  going .
 
The  author  says   10 young "shrimp  (prawn )   fishermen "   from  Darwin  were  employed  to carry out work with pneumatic  drills and   sticks of  dynamite.  
 
It is  surprising to  learn that  at one stage  Freeport  , needing a long range  seaplane  in the late  1960s ,  none  being  made anywhere  in the world ,  bought in Oakland , California  a  WWll US Navy PBY, in very good condition,  which  had  belonged to eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes , who  intended  to  use  it for  salmon  fishing  in  Alaska.  Based in Darwin , it  transported  staff   to   Irian   Jaya  .
 
Cyclone   Tracy  in  1974   is  said  to  have  disrupted  Freeport operations  out  of Darwin ,  the  plane  possibly one  of  many   tossed   about  and   damaged . The large  plane in the centre   of   the  shot  below  is  a  Fokker  F27 .