Old news from Armidale and New England

Local news from newspaper archives

Michael James O’Neill, Hillgrove, died 1895

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The Armidale Chronicle, Wednesday April 3, 1895


A miner named Michael O’Neill died on Saturday from the effects of an accident in a mine. While engaged lining the main shaft of Baker’s Creek mine in the morning he slipped off the staging and fell 30ft into a cleft between the timber and the solid rock. His left arm was broken, and his body severely bruised. He never recovered consciousness, and died in the hospital at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Dr. Massie held a post mortem examination, and found that the base of the skull was fractured. The funeral took place on Monday and was very largely attended. Deceased, we hear, leaves a wife and three children.

Headstone of Michael James O'Neill, died Hillgrove, 1895

Michael James O’Neill married Jane Elizabeth Mutton in Sydney in 1888. They had three daughters, Madeline May (Minnie), Ellen Gladys, and Ivy Pearl Mary (Peggy). Jane remarried in 1900, and died in Newtown in 1928.

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April 25, 2021 at 7:48 pm

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June 1925: Oil In New England.

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Glen Innes Examiner, Monday, 29 June, 1925


Company Formed.

A Company, No Liability, to be called ‘The Northern Shale and Oil Prospecting Company,’ is being formed—with a capital of £4000 divided into 200 shares of £20 each. A contract entered into on behalf of the proposed company is dated June 2, 1925, and made between William James Mulligan (of Cangai, grazier), James Henry Mulligan (of Mosman, Sydney, company director), Robert John Mulligan (of Cooney Creek, near Armidale, grazier), and Joseph John Glasser (of Brockley, near Guyra, grazier), vendors, of the one part, and Harold Joseph Price, of Grafton, articled clerk (trustee of the proposed company), of the other part, for the acquisition of the vendors’ rights over the mining properties particularised in the prospectus, and for the appointment of Mr. W. J. Mulligan as manager of the company.

The company is being formed for the purpose of prospecting and developing certain mineral lands near Wongwibinda Station, close to the surveyed route of the proposed Guyra-Dorrigo railway line. Mr. W. J. Mulligan, A.I.M.M., well known as the successful manager of Cangai copper mine, reports that the shale, and particularly the valuable deposits which occur in it, are rich in hydro-carbons, and that among the many derivative products to be secured from the deposit which is found are included motor spirit and oil, which can be extracted by low temperature distillation, and in addition there appears ground for expecting also a substantial production of gas for town gas purposes and for power production on a large scale.— “Express.”

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January 19, 2021 at 3:27 pm

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May 1889: From Adelaide to Hillgrove and Back.

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Barrier Miner, Wednesday, May 1, 1889



I HAD heard much of the Baker’s Creek and other mines in the Hillgrove district of New South Wales. In Adelaide, when I was there, they talked of little else. It was the miners’ paradise, they said. So much of this nature did I hear, and so good reports did I read, that at last I made up my mind to see for myself whether it was such a place as was represented to me or not. When I determined to make the journey, I was not overburdened with sovereigns, or, for the matter of that, small change either; I made the journey like most other workingmen in search of something to do, in the cheapest way possible. This may account for the fact that things by the way did not have so roseate a hue as they seem to have had in the eyes of the reporters of some newspapers, who went up in the company of some South Australian directors of the Baker’s Creek. They saw a good many things through a tinted champagne glass, I fancy.

From Adelaide I booked early in April by the s.s. Barrabool, of Howard Smith’s line, to Sydney. The steerage fare is £2 10s., which includes maintenance while the vessel lies in Melbourne. The fare in those boats, as well as the general accommodation, is much superior to that of others, on the coast I very lately had experience of. Having a day and a half to spend in Melbourne, when we arrived, there, I had a look round ; and, being well acquainted in the city, I soon found out that, although the trades are a little slack just now, a laboring man who can do a fair day’s work can get it, as well as a fair day’s pay for it. But how different I found things in Sydney, where, arriving on a Thursday morning, I soon chanced to stumble across a large meeting of unemployed at the top end of King street ! There is no denying that a good many of the speakers (not the professional agitators) were bitterly in earnest, not alone about the scarcity of work, but also of the miserable day’s pay offered for it. Expecting to take the cheapest route from Sydney, I boarded the s.s. Roma to Newcastle, the steerage fare to which port is 4s., and the train fare from Newcastle to Armidale is £1 13s. 6d. ; while by rail from Sydney to Armidale the fare is £2 1s. 6d. But there is no saving ; for one arrives in Newcastle at 5 o’clock in the morning and has to wait there till half-past 11 o’clock at night. It looks very like the trains being timed to spite the steamboats. Therefore, for the present, I should advise anyone who has business in Newcastle to leave Sydney by the 4.30 p.m. train. Things in Newcastle seem to be pretty lively among the seafaring population. But the miners, a good many of whom I know, told me that with all the seeming bustle on the coal wharfs and shipping, they did not average more than 8s. per day at the outside. Leaving Newcastle, I did not see much of the country between there and Maitland and Tamworth, darkness having set in but, leaving the latter place, after day break, I was able to see and appreciate the splendid country we were traveling through. What a treat after the, dreary plains between Broken Hill and Adelaide ! The line winds through mountains and forest, with now and again a patch of maize in full growth, everything looking beautifully green. And yet the people are complaining about just having gone through a very heavy drought. They ought to come to South Australia or Broken Hill to know, what a proper drought is, it seemed to me.

We arrived at midday in Armidale. From here three coaches are running to Hillgrove, the township situate on the banks of Baker’s Creek. The fare between the two places is 7s 6d return. Armidale is a good size town of about 5000 inhabitants, and looks pretty busy on account of so many people going backward and forward to Hillgrove. The townspeople would make one believe that Baker’s Creek, is a very Golconda, although the Eleanora antimony and gold mine, worked by an Armidale company for some time, has never returned much to those people. The drive from Armidale to Hillgrove, 22 miles, occupies about three hours, and the coach arrives there at about’5 o’clock. Hillgrove is a small struggling township of one street, and a few miners’ tents and huts are in the background. There are three hotels there at present but I believe there are two or three more to be built at once. One of them is for Mr. James Gearin, late a publican of Broken Hill. Here there are also a bank, post office, and two or three stores, besides a few sharebrokers, among whom Mr. Mealin, another old Barrierite, is the leading one.

As I did not go to Baker’s Creek to report or say any thing about the mines, I would only describe them from the worker’s point of view. The Eleanora mine which is on the banks of the creek employs about 80 men ; Baker’s Creek mine, in the bottom of the creek, about 120 ; South Baker’s Creek, about 40; the Sunlight about the same. At the Golden Gate they are just about putting a few men on. Of course there are several small mines working, but engaging in the aggregate few hands. As this creek is 1500 feet deep from the top, and takes the men who are working there 15 minutes to go down and half an hour coming up, it is no joke for anyone unused to the mountains of New England to climb about them ; but at a rough guess I should say there are altogether between 400 and 500 men employed there. The average wage for miners is 8s. per day. Some who are working in shafts with rock drills get as much as 9s. It is very rough country on boots, and it is considered a good pair that stands three weeks. Any miner can draw his own conclusion from that. I can, however, say that there were not many idle miners about the township; yet, at the same time, there were no inquiries for any, nor was there any activity or life to be seen to show that the place was going ahead at such a rapid rate as is represented in other parts. The fact that three or four mines turn out rich stuff does not make Baker’s Creek a second Broken Hill in gold. The country about is pegged out for miles, but is in the wrong hands, being mostly held by small farmers in the district, who, by virtue of having pegged out a gold claim, expect large companies to step in and give them enormous sums for their claims. They are doing nothing themselves to open out their holdings. This leads to no end of jumping and the other attendant evils, including much litigation. As for the township, it has never been thrown open for pegging, and, according to what I was told, those who pegged out under false impressions about three months ago are to be prosecuted.

On my road to Hillgrove from Newcastle, and at the Creek, I conversed with all classes of people – storekeepers, tradesmen, and laborers ; and it was nothing else I heard but about bad times, and the low rate of wages in the whole of the New England district. What seemed very strange to me was that if those people living almost in the garden of Australia were complaining so bitterly about hard times and not being able to pay, how do these farmers in the north of South Australia live at all ! As for myself, I was satisfied that my prospects were not so good there as in my old haunts ; and while I still possessed the means to return, I came back by almost the same way that I went. My advice, therefore, to anyone going to Baker’s Creek in search of work is to be sure to have the means of taking you away from the district, when once you have arrived there. There are some who contemplate proceeding thitherto these I offer my experiences and convictions.

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January 15, 2021 at 6:04 pm

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June 1, 1889: First edition of Hillgrove Guardian newspaper

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Hillgrove Guardian – Saturday, June 1, 1889

[Not available online – GS]

BUILDING. – The building trade is very active in Hillgrove just now. New stores and private houses are going up in all directions. Additions and attractions are also being made to a lot of established places. But for the great difficulty experienced in getting a sufficient supply of hard wood, there would be no lack of employment for carpenters.

GOLD ESCORT. – Yesterday morning a parcel containing 1088 ozs. of gold was forwarded by the City Bank on its way to Sydney, it was all from the Baker’s Greek G.M Coy., the result of the last fortnight’s crushing, it left per Messrs. Ryan & Co’s Coach under escort.

[Assuming they’re using troy ounces (rather than standard ounces) to measure gold weight, that’s about 34 kg of gold – GS].

BACHELOR’S BALL. – A social gathering improvised by the Bachelors of Hillgrove was held last evening in the Centennial Hall where a very enjoyable nights dancing came off. The attendance was not so large as usual, this was probably owing to the uncertain state of the weather. The refreshments were however quite up to the expectation of those present. The Music was provided by Messrs. McMahon and Johnson. Mr. Jas. Morrow acted as M.C. Dancing was kept up to 4 am.

LARGE NEW STORE. – Mr. E. J. Swyny of Vegetable Creek, has with astonishing speed, had an immense iron store erected in the most central part of the town, the building is 50ft long, and 24ft wide, and is well fitted up inside with shelves and counters, the latter run down each side, the space between being intended for the public; on the one side they can satisfy their wants in the grocery, ironmongery, and stationery line, or turn to the other, and find quantities of drapery, and lots of boots to select from. There will be a verandah 24 by 8ft put up in front of the building, boxed in at the ends, the verandah will be lit up at night with three large lamps, but the lamp of lamps will be inside, it possesses the lighting power of 300 candles, and certainly eclipses anything of the sort to be found in New England, this by night, and the winning smiles, and obliging manners of his handsome assistants by day, Mr. S. reckons should prove successful in making things hum about his establishment.

LOCAL PIG. – Mr. F. B. Wade of the “Miner’s Arms” had a pig killed on his premises last Wednesday, that weighed 443 lbs [201 kg]. This enormous animal was bred in Armidale, it was 2 years old when killed. The last nine months of its existence were devoted to gorging on the good things that fell in its way.

PHOTOGRAPHY. – Mr. Williams of the firm of Jackson and Williams, Photographic Artists, Tamworth announces, that his stay here is drawing to a close, and as this successful firm are justly celebrated for the excellence of their pictures, we would recommend those wishing to secure good photograph to be in time.

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December 12, 2020 at 2:04 pm

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January 1934: Uralla – after the explosion, the inquiry by the Coroner

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The Uralla Times, Thursday, January 18, 1934,
Part 1,
Part 2,
Part 3



The District Coroner (Mr. H. W. Vincent), at Uralla yesterday, held an inquiry touching the fire and explosion which destroyed S. Bow & Sons’ store on Jan. 2. Exhaustive evidence given failed to throw any light on the matter, and an open verdict was returned.

Sergeant Willard conducted the examinations on behalf of the police, Mr. Solomon of McLachlan Westgarth & Co., Sydney, appeared for the insurance’ companies interested, Mr. Smith represented the Trustee, and Mr. Biddulph, of Mackenzie and Biddulph, represented S. Bow & Sons.

The following evidence was taken:

Sergeant Willard stated: At about 11.30 p.m. on 2nd inst I was in bed at the Police Station, Uralla, when I heard a terrific explosion. I jumped cut of bed and saw that the store premises of S. Bow & Sons was on fire. I dressed and ran to the scene of the fire.

The whole building was in flames, the side walls of the brick building, had collapsed and the roof was strewn on both sides of the building, the sides of the roof being practically in one piece and the building and contents almost razed to the ground. There were large tiers of bricks blown out in one piece lying outside the building. Everything had been blown outwardly.

The iron skillion attached to the main brick building within which the office was situated was burning fiercely. A number of people had obtained buckets and with water from the iron tanks the fire was confined to the store premises, and the cottage, back store, and bakehouse were saved.

I saw an iron drum lying on the verandah of the store. I was informed that it contained a little kerosene. Some little time after it blew up. The top was blown off and there was a dense volume of black smoke.

Mr Shears asked me to help save the iron safe, as it contained the cash and books. Water was thrown on to that part of the building and the iron wall cut open and the safe removed, and later it was opened by Mr. Shears in my presence and the cash and books removed. They were intact. The handle had burnt off the safe.

Portions of the stock were found scattered outside the fire and it was gathered up and removed to the Court House by the Police. A bathing costume and a shirt (stock from the store were hanging on the telegraph wires in front of the building, showing they had been blown there by the explosion.

At the Court House, a brick building about two chains distant from the store, the front windows were broken and a large quantity of plaster shaken from the ceiling on the verandah.

At the Post Office, a two-storied building, situated about 100 yards on the west side of the store; eight windows were broken, two ventilators blown from the brickwork, the clasp on the door of the telephone exchange room was practically blown off, just hanging by a small piece of wood, which had splintered off the door.

I have made inquiries into the origin of the fire and I am unable to throw, any light into the matter.

By Mr Solomon: I saw Mr Shears at the fire that night. The iron safe was outside the main brick building. It would be about 20ft or 30ft from the seat of the explosion. The iron safe was separated from the brick building by a brick wall. The latter did not collapse till next morning.

By Mr Biddulph: I was one of the first to arrive on the scene of the fire. There were no flames near the iron drum (of kerosene) at that time. I heard the explosion myself. It would not be possible for it to be caused by a visitation from the heavens or a meteor.

William Gordon Rixon stated: I am a Carter employed by Trickett’s Ltd. About 11.30 on the night of 2nd Jan. my brother Frederick and I walked out of the back door of my brother’s home in Maitland street, when I saw the reflection of a fire in the direction of S. Bow & Sons’ store. We ran towards the store and when near the corner of Hill and Maitland streets I saw the reflection of fire issuing from the rear of the store. Almost immediately the roof began to rise and an explosion occurred scattering the building, and the whole of the premises burst into flames. There were no other people in the vicinity when we arrived on the scene, I did not hear a motor vehicle of any kind being driven away. There were no flames visible, only a reflection of fire and smoke from the back of the building. After the explosion there was very little smoke.

By Mr Solomon: It took me about three seconds to get at the store. The fire issued from the rear of the store just prior to the explosion.

Frederick A. Rixon stated that when be and his brother got to the corner, almost immediately an explosion occurred in the store. The roof and walls were blown down and debris thrown into the air. The whole of the building then burst into flames.

Thos. Hassett stated: I commenced work at the power house in Hill street about 4 p.m. on 2nd Jan. I was about the works all the afternoon and evening and about 11.30 p.m. I was in the office at the works doing some writing when I heard a very loud explosion. The building shook and papers and other things that were hanging around the wall fell on to the floor. I got up from the table and looked at the engine. I then noticed a glow through the windows. I ran outside and saw S. Bow and Sons’ store on fire, in the back portion. All the walls were blown out and the roof was scattered on either side of the building. There was general store goods such as hats and clothing scattered about the street in front of the shop. I then blew a distress whistle. All the lights had been fused. A number of people then commenced to gather around the fire. When I first looked at the fire there was no person in view. I have had a good deal of experience in explosives, having been a miner and I am of the opinion that the explosion was caused by gelignite or gelatine.

By Mr. Biddulph: I have been a mine dredge manager for many years. I have had a great deal of experience with explosives. I think if the explosive had been gelignite it would require 25 or 30 lb of explosive. 5 lb would not cause it.

By Mr Solomon: I think 60 lb would be a cubic foot, perhaps a little more, in size. Such a parcel would be noticed by any person about the store.

By Mr Biddulph: I heard only the one explosion. A very definite one.

Keith Newman stated: About 11.5 p.m. on 2nd Jan. I left the car rank in Bridge street and went home. I put the car in the laneway at the side of the house and went into my home, had a look round and went to bed, about 11.15 p.m. About 5 minutes later I heard what appeared to be a benzine tin being kicked or knocked over. I thought it was in my garage. I got out of bed and saw a reflection of a fire on the bowser bowl in front of my garage. I then went out the back door, and heard a crackling noise like a fire burning. I then went to the front of the garage. Before reaching the street I heard an explosion. I then saw paper and other matter flying through the air from S. Bow and Sons’ store. The building was in flames. The roof was off and flames were issuing from the whole of the building. When I first went in to the street, I did not see any person in the vicinity of the fire. I did not hear a motor car being driven away. The reflection on the bowser would be from a fire and not from an ordinary light. There was a red glare and a little black smoke in the air over the front of the store.

David J. Wallace stated: About 11.15 p.m. on 2nd Jan., in company with my parents and brother and sister, I returned to Uralla from Armidale in our car. I put the car in the garage and went into the house. I came out about five minutes later and was walking down the back yard when I saw a reflection of a fire in the direction of S. Bow and Sons’ store. The reflection was very bright. Immediately after I saw the reflection of the fire an explosion occurred at the scene of the fire. I saw timber and other materials scattered in the air. The reflection of the fire was of a yellowish colour. My brother then came out of the house and we got into the car and drove along Hill street, when I saw Bow’s store was on fire. The whole of the building had collapsed and the fire was burning furiously. There were a number of other people at the fire when we arrived.

William Tet Fong stated: I am a member of the firm of S. Bow and Sons. I first went into partnership with Wallace Bow about July 1929, and since that date I have had charge of the drapery department. There has never been any explosives kept on the premises to my knowledge other than a few rifle and gun cartridges. I have no knowledge of explosives and I have not at any time handled explosives of any description or purchased them for any other person. About 8.45 p.m. on 2nd Jan., in company with my brother Harry, I left home, which adjoins the shop, and went to Mr Ward’s residence at the railway station and remained there until 11.30 p.m. We were inside. We heard an explosion. We rushed outside and saw a glow of fire coming from the direction of the store. My brother and I got into the motor cycle and went to the store, where I saw that the whole of the building had collapsed and was burning fiercely from one end to the other. I pushed out the solo motor cycle which was in the shed, and a push bike, and with others pushed a Fiat car out of the shed. The fire had too much hold on the store building to do anything with it. When we were leaving the residence there was a light in the office of the store, which to my knowledge was the manager and Wallace Bow balancing the books.

To Segt. Willard: I recognise the door produced as the back door of the shop. I have never noticed the door mark shown me before.

By Mr. Solomon: I heard all about the Guyra fire in 1931 at S. Bow & Sons when it occurred. I know there had been transactions between the two firms. I know of them generally. There was an exchange of drapery goods. The transaction extended back quite a few years. I remember when the firm was in Werris Creek. I don’t know the exact time. Periodically there was a balance. The last balance prior to the Guyra fire would be known at the office, not to me. I had some stock at the store at the time of the fire. It was supposed to have come from Werris Creek. There was not much of it. When they took over the Guyra business, the Werris Creek business was closed. I would not know the amount of the stock. I don’t remember how many suit cases were at my home when Mr and Mrs See Lun were arrested. I know there were quite a lot of suit cases. I supplied them with a certain number of goods. I supplied them with clothing and so forth as they were destitute. I don’t know of the insurances on the business. As far as I know the firm was insured with the Scottish Union and London Co. I know after the Guyra fire, the Scottish Union cancelled the policy. I don’t know the date. I do not know what was done with the policies after the cancellation of the policy. Mr Bow would be able to apprise you of the insurance. I looked after the drapery only. Through the influence of Wynn, Roberts, Brokers, we secured the present insurance. We had tried to get insurance prior to that just before Xmas. 1931. I could not say with what companies. I do not know the names of any agencies. As far as I know we did not try through local agencies. Wynn, Roberts, secured the insurance for us through Douglass & Co. wholesale grocers.

Wallace Stanford Bow’s statement to the police, which was put in as evidence, detailed his financial dealings. George, William and Sam Tet Fong were in partnership with himself. The business continued financially sound until well into 1932, when they loaned the firm of S. Bow and Sons, Guyra, about £700 for expenses in enabling them to defend a charge of arson in connection with a fire which destroyed their business premises about Easter 1931. This together with the depression caused them to fall behind in the business undertaking and necessitated them contracting a large amount of book debts. At a meeting of creditors in March last it was decided that the firm would be allowed to carry on business. Since assigning its estate the firm had paid its creditors about 10s. in the £, leaving a balance of about £2000. Since Mr Shears had taken charge, together with book debts collected by him, the business had shown in improvement and the firm expected to be clear in about 12 months. When the estate was assigned, the trustee took over all insurances, excepting that on the building.

Witness, continuing, stated: Accounts for December purchases are still owing, making a total of about £3000 due to creditors. I would be at a loss by a fire destroying the business, as put the whole of my share in my mother’s will, which amounted to £1950, in the business, together with my labour during the past five years. There is no written agreement between the Set Fongs and myself. They would not benefit by a fire destroying the building and contents.

Witness said that, with his wife and two children, he went to Kempsey on 23rd Dec, and returned to Uralla on 27th Dec. He remained at Uralla until 31st Dec. On the night previous he made up the books with Mr Shears in order to allow the latter to go on holidays on 1st Jan. On 31st Dec., in company with Mr Fuller. C.P.S., Mr Boston, his wife and family, he went to about 15 miles beyond Deepwater trout fishing and returned home about 8 p.m. 1st Jan. He did not leave Uralla again. He went to the store about 8.30 a.m. on 2nd Jan. and carried on his usual duties until 6 p.m. As they did not complete the balancing of the books on 31st Dec. he returned to the store about 7 p.m. with Mr Shears, and remained there until about 9.10 p.m. when both left the shop. Mr Shears went in the direction of his home and witness returned to his own home.

Continuing, witness said: I did not leave my home until about 11.30 p.m. when I was awakened by an explosion, I got cut of bed and went to the children’s room to see if they were all right. My wife got up. She said “Go across and see if Gay (meaning my brother Herb’s wife, who resides next door) is all right.” I opened the front door and saw that the store was on fire. I ran to the scene of the fire. All the walls were lying on the ground and the fire was burning from end to end of the shop. Mr Shears and the police were there. Mr Shears said to me: “The safe, Wal.” I said “Damn the safe we want to save the house.”

Witness said that as a result of the fire he would be financially embarrassed. Had the fire not occurred he felt confident they would have been clear of their creditors in 12 months.

“About 12 months ago,” said witness, I received a letter from William See Lun, who was partner in the Guyra store, claiming that he owed them £350 for cash loaned. I replied to this letter through Mr. Biddulph, and nothing has been heard of it since. I did not owe these people any money. The business done with them whilst at Guyra was done by change of cheques for business purposes. The Guyra firm, which Mrs See Lun was interested, has not paid me the £700 loaned to them for the purpose of defending the charge of arson.

By Mr. Buddulph: I see the door produced. It is the rear door of the brick building. I have not seen the mark shown me on the door before. I feel sure that it was not there.

By Mr Solomon: I have not got the letter written to me by the solicitor for Mrs See Lun.

Prior to the Guyra fire the two firms used to exchange cheques also draperies. I could not remember when the last clearing up took place. At the time of their fire I did not owe them any money. They did not owe me any. At that time I was about square. The £700 loaned by me was for the trial all through, for the Armidale Trial. That was the actual money paid to them for R. D. Meagher, Sproule & Co. It was arranged jointly by my brother Herbert and Mrs See Lun. There was no suggestion that Herbert was mixed in it at all. Mrs Lun asked for further funds to carry on the appeal. I refused it. She was not the best tempered woman. She was angry and her language was not the choicest. I have not seen her since. They asked me for money all along. When the letter was received from the accountant, I put the matter into the hands of Mr Biddulph. I am a married man. Contents of my home were insured with the Scottish Union at the time of the Guyra fire. They cancelled the policy. They cancelled everything that went through. I cannot remember the date. It would be about 8th May, 1931.

My private property is insured with the Commercial Union. It was taken out the same time as the policy on the brick building. They were all taken out in the month of December, 1931 I did not try to get my furniture insured in the meantime, They remained uninsured until December 1931. I tried to get policies through local agents I think, I wrote to the Country Traders in Sydney. They would not take it on nor would the Commercial Union. Finally I got my insurance through the good offices of Douglass & Co. I have never had fire in my private place. I have never had a claim on the company. The three Tet Fongs lived in the home at the store. They are bachelors. There were two Packard cars, one belonged to me and one to George Tet Fong. I think it was his car that was at the Tattersalls Hotel in Armidale in 1931. Mr Shears received £6/10 per week for wages. The Trustees received 1 per cent on turnover. The average monthly turnover would be between £1100 and £1200. The percentage would roughly amount to about £130 or £140 annually. The partners used to draw pocket money, not wages. I got £1 per week and all goods and clothing which was charged to me. There were no partnership deeds. Under the arrangement with the Tet Fongs, we shared equally in the profits, There was no consideration shown for capital invested in the business, purely personal friends. We had a balance sheet produced up until 30th September, 1933. I have not a copy of it. The amount of the liabilities at the time of the fire would be approximately £3000. It could be no more. I do not know the exact figures. Up to the time of the assignment the amount of the liabilities would be roughly £3600. There would be more stock at the time of the fire than at the assignment. Roughly two or three hundred pounds more. My book debts had decreased. Mr Shears had been pressing some of the debtors. Some of them for large amounts, some of them we had taken Court proceedings for. I have never been threatened by any of the debtors. It was nearly impossible for the gelignite to be in the store at 9 p.m. when I left. I have no theory as to the cause of the fire.

To Mr Biddulph: I am a very heavy loser by reason of the fire. I am not on the best of terms with Mrs See Lun. I am on bad terms with her. The reason I helped her was to help my brother who was interested in the recovery of the insurance money. I remember the stock left with me after the fire at Guyra. The majority of the stock was for the purpose of exhibits at the Supreme Court. It was to show a Judge and Jury that my brother had been asked down. I had nothing to do with the explosion, nothing whatever. If the business was to continue, my creditors would have been paid off within 12 months. At the time of the fire the business was making progress.

By Mr Smith: When Mr Shears and I left the door shown me was locked. Mr Shears is in full charge of the business now.

By Segt. Willard, I left the premises through the door shown me.

Samuel Tet Fong stated that he is member of the firm of S. Bow and Sons, and is in charge of the grocery department. He had no experience with explosives and had never purchased explosives for himself or any other person. There were no explosives stored in the shop other than a small quantity of rifle and gun cartridges. He left Uralla about 9.30 p.m. on 30th December, in company with Herb Bow, George Tet Fong and Jean Cochrane, by car and went to Laurieton. They arrived back at Uralla about 11.45 p.m. on 4th January.

Alfred Henry Shears stated: I am an accountant employed by the trustees R. W. Hall & Co., of the assigned estate of S. Bow & Sons. I commenced duty on 25th March 1933. Walter Stanford Bow assisted me in the office and grocery and drapery buying. William Tet Fong had charge of the drapery department. George Tet. Fong had charge of the grocery department, Sam Tet Fong senior grocery assistant, Harry Tet Fong junior grocer, Keith Nelson, junior grocer. All these persons with the exception of Harry Tet Fong and K. Nelson, were members of the firm of S. Bow & Sons. When I first took charge of the business I checked the stock that had already been taken by F. W. Johnson for the creditors in the assigned estate a week previous. I found the stock amounting to £3800 to be correct. From then on I took periodical check of the stock and forwarded returns from time to time to the Trustee, as well as taking charge of all cash on hand at that time and subsequent receipts, and also attended to the banking. Since taking charge of the store business has been considerably improved and was in quite a solvent state and the sum of £1900 had been paid to the creditors, reducing their liabilities to such an extent that they would have been able to satisfy their creditors in full within 12 months. The stock on hand at the time of the fire would amount to about £4000. The building was owned by Gilbert S. Bow, of Walgett. I was due to go on a fortnight’s leave on 1st Jan. As Wallace Bow was absent from town, and it being necessary for me to have him with me to balance the books and take over the cash, and he not returning until late on Monday evening, I was prevented from leaving until following evening, and owing to the pressure of business on Tuesday we were unable to balance the books until Tuesday evening. About 7.20 p.m. Tuesday, 2nd, I went to the store and in company with W. S. Bow, we balanced the cash and books and left the premises about 9.10 p.m. Before leaving securely locked the premises and left by the back door, I did not see any person in the vicinity or about the premises. There was nothing in the store that would cause an explosion. After leaving the store I walked along Maitland street to Mr Bow’s, residence, where I said goodnight to him and went to my own home. After arriving home I put the wireless on and prepared a bath and packed my port with the intention of catching the midnight train for Sydney. I did not leave home after returning from the shop at 9.10 p.m. until about 11.30 p.m. when I walked on to the front verandah and heard a violent explosion. I then walked on to the footpath and saw a blaze which took to be at the electric light station opposite S. Bow & Sons’ store. I subsequently found the fire to be in the store. When I arrived at the scene the whole building was in flames, the side walls had collapsed and the roof was strewn on either side of the building. I ran around the side of the building near the bulk store. There were number of people on the scene. I said to Herry Tet Fong “Shift the benzine and other inflammable matter from the store room.” This he did and put it at the rear of the house. Later the Sergeant and myself burst open the side wall of the office and put a rope around the safe and pulled it out on to the street. Later, in the presence of Sergeant Willard, I unlocked the safe and found that the content, including money, was as I had left it. On the morning of 4th Jan., in company with Constable Dogan, I made a search of the debris and found the remainder of the till and about £1/10 in small change which is always left in the till over night. When I left the shop on the evening of 2nd Jan. I did not leave any light burning. Whilst in the office I used the electric light. As far as I know I did not leave any match smouldering in the building. Wallace Bow was smoking cigarettes that night. During my reign of office there has not been any gelignite or explosives stored in the building. I left the main building by the back door. I see the door produced. I see the mark shown to me. I have not seen It previously. I don’t think it was on the door previous to the night of the fire.

By Mr Smith: Wallace Bow was the only man who had an interest in the assets. The others had working interests only. There was £4 in the two tills. We have accounted for all the moneys in the till except the sum of 8/. There was definitely no robbery.

By Mr Solomon: Since I took over in March 1933 the business has improved to the extent of at least £1000 up to 1st Jan. 1934. The creditors at the time of the assignment were £4033. The creditors now are £3779 without taking into account any remuneration for the trustee. The liabilities have now decreased by more than £254. I would say by approximately £1000. I did not prepare the list in March. It was prepared by Mr R. W. Hall. According to my books the liabilities have decreased by £1000. So far as I know the figures shown to the insurance coy. are correct. The stock as at 1st Jan. was more by £400 than at the time I took over. The book debts would be about £1400 less. The liabilities are less than when I took over by £300. I would not say the business has lost £700 since I took over. My salary is £6/10 per week. The trustee is getting 1 per cent on turnover. His profit on trading for period of six months was shout £300. The expenses of administration would be about £600 or £630 per annum. According to the balance sheet the creditors were £3642, deferred liabilities now are £3779.

By Mr Smith: The position is now better off than at the time of the assignment.

By Mr Biddulph: I have kept close eye on the conduct of the business. I have found all partners very honest. The creditors were very satisfied with the position of the business. I attended meeting of the committee in Sydney recently. Every member expressed their appreciation of the rate of progress. I gave George Tet Fong permission to go on holidays. I cannot assist the Coroner in any way as to the origin of the fire. Prior to George Tet Fong going for his holiday, Mr Fuller, C.P.S., and I questioned him as to some fishing kit. I did not see him again until I saw him in Sydney on Tuesday or Wednesday last, about a week after the fire. I live about 300 or 400 yards from the scene of the fire. Practically the whole of the stock was destroyed by the explosion.

At this stage the lunch adjournment took place.

Upon resuming, witness Shears was again questioned by Mr Solomon. He stated: I have ascertained what payments have been made to the partners. Sam Tet Fong received £104 from April 1933 to end of year, W. Tet Fong £124, George Tet Fong £129/3/9, W. S. Bow £162/0/9. Those amounts total £520. They received much less than the award rates. The net profit for the period was £311. If the firm had been sold up at the time of the fire, the creditors would have received payment in full.

George Tet Fong stated: On 30th Oct. last a man named William Gluck of Rocky River, asked me If I was going to Armidale. said I am. He said “Will you bring me back a packet of gelignite.” I went to Armidale that day with Herb Bow. Herb bought the packet of gelignite at Richardson’s. We brought the gelignite to Uralla and it was handed to Gluck either that night or the following morning. He paid 10/- for it. That was the only gelignite explosive of any kind I have had any dealings with whilst at the store.

Gilbert Cecil Bow, of Walgett, stated that he owned the store. He had received £3/10 week rent from S. Bow and Sons. The premises are insured in Commercial Union Assurance Co. for £1000, The property was quite clear. It was mortgaged to Bank of N.S.W., but it was cleared some time in December 1933.

By Mr Biddulph: I mortgaged the building to assist my brother in the business. It was for $200. The Bank was paid off by me.

Constable John Dogan, of Tamworth stated: I arrived at Uralla on 3rd January and commenced inquiries in connection with the fire and explosion. I was later joined by Detective Sergeant Comans and we made an examination at the scene of the fire and explosion and a careful search of the debris was made. We found that the roof had been blown on either side of the building across the roadway and in the yard and the timber smashed to splinters. The plate glass windows from the front of the store were smashed to fragments across the street. Portions of the stock were thrown some distance across the roadway. Pieces of timber including portion of the frame of the back door were found on the roof of a shed in the yard. On examination, of the door frame, we found the Yale lock intact, and discovered marks of round shaped or pointed jemmy or similar instrument close to the lock, indicating that the panel had been prized from the door in the vicinity of the lock. In our examination we found the iron safe, which was located in the office in the skillion, intact. It contained the books, insurance papers and £18/16/5½ in cash. We also located the remains of the till of the drapery department and found almost the whole of the silver and copper that it contained. Almost all of the silver and copper in the grocery dept. till was found. From the general appearance of the debris, it would appear that the store was well stocked. With Mr Hall, the trustee of the estate, an examination of the books was made and they were found correct. Mr Parsons, of the Explosives Dept, made a thorough search and examination of the debris. His report is produced. As the result of our inquiries we were fully satisfied that the persons conducting the business were in no way responsible for the explosion or fire. I am of opinion that the explosion occurred in the manner as described by Mr Parsons. We interviewed and took statements from all persons connected with the firm and premises, checked up the statements and have verified them. We made full inquiries from the surrounding district regarding the sale or loss of explosives, but have been unable to obtain any information that would be of value. We also made very careful inquiries in other directions but were unable to gain any information that would assist in ascertaining who was responsible for the destruction of the building and contents by fire and explosion.

Constable Dogan produced photographs of the debris, taken by Mr. Parsons.

Explosive Expert’s Report.

Mr. Parsons’ report was: “‘From statements given to the police and the extent of the damage, I formed the opinion that (1) the explosion was caused by about 25lb of a high explosive, probably gelignite; (2) the explosive had been placed on the floor in the centre line and towards the rear of the building; (3) the explosion was initiated by fire rather than fuse and detonators. An attempt was then made to find the spot above which the explosive had been placed. No definite depression could be found since, firstly, most of the explosive force had been expended on the wooden floor, and, secondly, heavy rain had fallen in the interim. However, one of the small brick piers was found with one corner broken off, probably by the explosion. Records from surrounding towns were examined, but no definite source of supply of explosives locally could be traced. The opinion is held by the police that the explosion was one of malicious intent by some person, and not in any way attributable to present occupants. The fact that no attempt was made to open the safe and the contents of the till were not touched discounts any theory of burglary. After investigation of all known facts, I consider that the opinion given above is substantially correct.” – S. PARSONS, analyst and inspector.

Open Verdict

This concluded the evidence. In returning an open verdict, the Coroner said that, although human hands must have caused the fire and explosion, there was no evidence as to the actual perpetrator.

Mr Biddulph asked, in view of the likelihood of suspicion resting on his clients, S. Bow and Sons, would the Coroner give an assurance in that regard.

The Coroner: In view of the evidence that the firm had everything to lose and nothing to gain, I find there is not the slightest reflection on the firm nor the trustees.

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November 21, 2020 at 8:41 pm

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January 1934: Township Rocked – Disastrous Explosion And Blaze At Uralla

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The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Wednesday, January 3, 1934



Tremendous Detonation Crashes 14 inch Walls


(By Our Own Reporter)

Bursting the 14 inch brick walls of Messrs. S. Bow and Sons’ general store, at the corner of Hill and Maitland streets, Uralla, a terrific explosion startled residents abed last night.

The solid structure was demolished with the terrific detonation and a fire consumed within a quarter of an hour all the goods in the store.

For most of the residents of the township, the heavy blast of the explosion was the first indication of anything untoward, and hundreds of people were quickly on the scene to see the inferno quickly consume the interior of the store.

As Uralla has no fire brigade, people simply had to watch the fire burn itself out, but a volunteer bucket brigade did yeoman service in saving a weather-board dwelling occupied by Messrs. W. and S. Tet Fong, and three outbuildings in the store yard.

Residents were astounded to find, when they reached the scene, a few minutes after the explosion, that hardly one brick stood on another.

The four brick walls, 14 inches in thickness, had been burst outward and the roof had been lifted and deposited, torn and twisted, to one side.

This morning the scene gave the impression that the building had been wrecked by a gigantic hammer. Solid piers of bricks had been tossed aside like light timber, the thick walls torn apart, the only portions left standing being the front portico and several sheets of iron from the back storeroom and office.

The wooden portions of the roofing and fixtures which were tossed away from the maw of the flames were to be seen splintered and torn to match wood. Even this afternoon the ruins were still smouldering, and some of the brick and iron work was nearly red-hot.

Debris from the wrecked building was scattered over a large area, glass, splinters, pieces of iron, solid pieces of rafters and woodwork were to be seen more than 200 yards away, in all directions.

Last night, when the fire was at its height, goods of all descriptions—hats, shirts, pyjamas, boots and shoes, kerosene pumps, hardware, and many other articles—were scattered all over the adjacent streets, and were gathered by the police and assistants and housed in the Court House for safety.

Floating in the Breeze

A bathing suit and a bedraggled shirt were to be seen floating in the light breeze over a telephone wire, and a scorched pair of pyjama trousers was found in a yard over 100 yards away.

During the blaze residents were alarmed by the constant explosion of boxes of cartridges and the empty cardboard shells were flung in all directions.

Another shock awaited watchers when an almost empty kerosene drum exploded with a loud crash, hurling itself across the yard.

Some idea of the terrific explosion might he gauged from the fact that residents miles from Uralla were awakened by the noise, and a message was received from Kentucky inquiring as to its cause.

Several Armidale citizens, on their way home from the pictures, aver that they heard the sound, like a muffled peal of thunder, and it is quite likely that the sound carried in the still air.

Windows in premises adjacent to the store suffered extensively. Several windows at the Post Office, 100 yards away, two at the Court House, about the same distance on the opposite side of the street, and others in private houses were shattered, while pictures and crockery were dislodged in houses over a wide area, but especially in the Woodville district. At the telephone exchange the side door was burst open.

Although several persons were about the streets at the time nobody, as far as can be ascertained, saw the actual explosion. but it is stated that a taxi driver, named Newman, who lived almost opposite, saw the blaze which immediately preceded the crash. He said that he was awakened by a sound as if somebody was moving in the yard of his premises, and sitting up in bed saw the reflection of some light on the bowser outside. Thinking one of the bowsers had become ignited, he made to get up, but immediately the tremendous detonation shook the room, and he hurried outside to see Bow and Sons’ store a mass of wreckage, with flames quickly devouring what remained of the interior.

Cause of Explosion a Mystery

It is, indeed, fortunate that nobody was passing, or in close proximity of the store, when it was burst asunder by the explosion, otherwise it is certain that they would have been killed by the flying debris.

Messrs. W. and S. Tet Fong occupied the weatherboard cottage at the rear of the store, and the iron store-room appeared to have shielded their residence against the blast. Both were absent at the time, and one, Mr. W. Tet Fong, appears to have had a narrow escape. He usually sleeps in the front of the store, and that portion was reduced to a heap of brickwork.

Mr. Wallace Bow was at his residence some distance away, and rushed down to find his store in ruins.

The cause of the explosion is a mystery. It is stated that no explosive, other than cartridges, are kept in the store: there was no inflammable liquid in the store proper.

Owing to the thorough nature of the demolition of the building it is highly improbable that gases caused by fire should cause such a crash. It is unlikely that sufficient vacuum could be caused for such a proceeding, and louvred ventilators in the roof provided plenty of air.

At present police are mystified. The suggestion that burglars were responsible is discounted by the fact that the safe was found intact, and, when opened after it had cooled, it was found to contain the money left when business was completed for the day.

The business had been conducted in the form of an assigned estate for some months, and an official receiver, Mr. Alf Shears, was the manager.

The building was the property of Mr. Gilbert Bow and was insured for £1000, while the stock, plant and fittings were insured by the assigned estate for £4000.

First-class Constable Dogan of Tamworth in working with Constable Scott, of Uralla, on the case.

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November 19, 2020 at 6:27 pm

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February 1874: Directions For Dipping With Arsenic To Kill Ticks

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The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Saturday, 14 February 1874

(To the Editors of the Armidale Express.)

Gentlemen — As I believe many sheep owners are willing to try dipping sheep with arsenic, the following directions may be some little guide.

Quantity required for every hundred lambs at weaning, 8 lbs. soft soap and 1 lb. arsenic.

The arsenic and soft soap should be mixed one month before required for use, with sufficient warm water to bring it to the consistency of molasses ; one quart of this to 10 gallons of water will be found the right strength for dipping. “The water in the tank should be warm, but not hot.” If it is the least unpleasantly warm in the men’s hands, it is far too warm for the sheep.

I am supposing the sheep to be dipped to be New England lambs at weaning, which is no doubt the best time for dipping (but I believe it would pay well to dip the lambs when the ewes are shorn).

In recommending dipping, I do not say that your sheep will become entirely free from ticks, but so free that the sheep will rest and thrive. (Never try dipping half a flock, leaving the other half undipped.) You require a water-tight wooden tank, 4 feet by 4 feet, and 2 feet 8 inches deep; on one side three battens or two pieces of stouter timber are nailed, and above them the draining board, which has a slight fall towards the tank, and battens nailed two inches apart to allow the dip or liquid to drain back to the tank. Plan of tank and draining board can be seen at the ‘Express’ office.

One 30 gallon iron boiler will warm sufficient water to dip 500 lambs per day, by five men—one to catch and bring the lamb to the tank, two at the tank, and two at the draining board. (They can also brand each pen before dipping.) With two tanks, two iron boilers, and six men, you can dip 700 per day without branding; the extra man keeps the water warm and tanks filled.

Although arsenic is a very fatal poison, there is no danger to the men employed in dipping, except they have cuts or scratches on them ; but be very careful that nothing drinks it. Cows or sheep would soon die, although it might not prove fatal to pigs or dogs.

It is very easy for the man who holds the lamb’s fore legs to keep its head from going under in the tank.

In England, we used to rub the sheep across the draining battens, but I have found that here it is best to squeeze as much out with the hand without rubbing the sheep across the battens.

—I am, yours truly, J. B. BLENCOWE.

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November 11, 2020 at 10:25 am

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James Maddox, Hillgrove, died 1902

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The Armidale Chronicle, Saturday, 27 September, 1902


(From our Correspondent).

Mr. James Maddox, a respected resident of Hillgrove, died on Tuesday night last. The deceased was respected by all who knew him – a man with scarcely an enemy. He has now crossed the great divide, and his demise will be generally deplored. During the many years the deceased lived amongst us, he showed business capabilities of a high order, but the call came, and poor James Maddox had to relinquish all, and go. Sincere sorrow is felt by the townspeople for Mrs. Maddox and family in their sorrowful bereavement. The funeral takes place this afternoon (Thursday).

Headstone of James Maddox, died Hillgrove, 1902

James Maddox (c.1862 - 1902) married Deborah Maria Hancox in Sydney in 1893.
They had 6 children of whom 3 lived past infancy:
	Isabelle (known as Isabella) (1894 - 1894)
	Isabel (known as Isabelle) (1895 - 1976)
	Nellie (1896 - 1896)
	Nellie (1897 - 1897)
	Herbert (1898 - 1986)
	William James (1901 - c.1982)

James Maddox was proprietor of the Maddox Cordial Factory in Hillgrove. Prior to that his Hillgrove business was that of a tobacconist. James also owned shares in at least one mine in Hillgrove.

At some point after James’ death, Deborah and the three surviving children returned to England. Deborah and children appear in the 1911 census in England living in Gloucestershire.

Deborah died in 1962 in her 103rd year. Before moving to Australia she lived in Gloucestershire with her parents and worked as a draper’s assistant. Her father was a blacksmith.

Isabelle died in Tiverton, Devon, in 1976, aged 81.
Herbert died in Yeovil, Somerset, in 1986, aged 88.

Deborah maria hancox maddox 1860 1962

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May 27, 2020 at 6:39 pm

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Samuel Prisk, Hillgrove, died 1910

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The Armidale Chronicle, Saturday, 10 September 1910

Death Of An Old Resident.

On Saturday morning last Mr. Samuel Prisk, who had resided in Hillgrove for over 20 years, died suddenly. Deceased, who had been suffering for a considerable time from miners’ complaint, and who 12 months previously was a patient in Armidale Hospital for some weeks. On the morning of his death, he got up as usual, had breakfast, and was going into his garden, when he stooped down to lace his boot, and expired. It was naturally a great shock to the family.

The late Mr. Prisk was a quiet, unassuming man, respected by all who came in contact with him, and was very popular amongst the miners, having worked at the Baker’s Creek Mine during most of his sojourn here. He was a comparatively young man, being only 48 years of age, and leaves a widow, one daughter, and three sons to mourn their loss. The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon, and was very largely attended – scarcely a miner that did not follow his remains to their last resting place, while the cortege was headed by members of the Protestant Alliance Lodge, of which he was an old. member. The Rev. Mr. Holden officiated at the grave-side in a most impressive manner, while a favourite hymn of deceased’s, “Abide With Me,” was sung by those standing around the grave-side. At the conclusion of the minister’s service, Mr. J. Gardner, Chaplain of the Alliance Society, read their burial service.

The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Mr. Robt. Morrow.

Headstone at Hillgrove Cemetery, Hillgrove, NSW.

Headstone for Samuel Prisk, died Sept 3, 1910, at Hillgrove

Samuel Prisk (c.1862 - 1910), married Mary Jane (details unknown)
	Joseph Henry (1886 - 1935)
	William Thomas (1888 - 1966)
	Mary Catherine (aka Catherine Mary) (1890 - 1948)
	Richard (1898 - 1976)

William Thomas Prisk was a butcher in Hillgrove in 1913. All three sons were butchers in Guyra in 1920 (Prisk Bros., “The People’s Butchers”).

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May 24, 2020 at 5:27 pm

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January 29, 1919: Plague Invades New South Wales.

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The Armidale Chronicle, Wednesday, 29 January, 1919

State Declared Infected.

Precautions for Armidale People.

The Board of Health has finally received that pneumonic influenza has obtained a footing in New South Wales. The State is to be declared infected. The cases upon which this decision is based are those of several soldiers who came from Melbourne. These are ill at Randwick Hospital.

Theatres, picture shows, and places of indoor resort in the metropolitan area are to be closed from today. There are now 47 cases in the Melbourne Hospital. Some are serious. There are more than 60 inmates in the Base Hospital in St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, some in a dangerous condition.

There were five deaths in Melbourne on Sunday. The disease has been in Melbourne since January 9.


Immediately there was danger of the influenza epidemic passing the quarantine barrier and spreading into the country districts, the Armidale City Council decided upon precautionary measures. These include the immediate procuration of a supply of vaccine for inoculation against Spanish influenza, from the Board of Public Health. The Town Hall will be used as a place for public vaccination. All inoculations will be FREE, if desired. As soon as the vaccine arrives, the depot will be opened at the Town Hall, between 3 and 6 p.m. The local doctors are giving their services, and the date of opening of the depot, and days upon which the doctors will be in attendance, will be notified as soon as the vaccine arrives.


The local authorities are desirous that panic should be avoided. They wish us to state that there is no cause for anything in the nature of hysteria or undue terror at present. All that should be done is to be sure that no precautionary measure is neglected. The utmost endeavour will be made in Armidale to check any outbreak in the event of the disease getting beyond the quarantine barrier.



The following article was obtained by the “Chronicle” from an authoritative medical source:—

Infectious diseases are caused by living micro-organisms, or microbes which, when introduced into the body, cause a series of phenomena to develop, the most important of which, due to the growth and multiplication of these organisms in the tissues of the blood of the affected person, is fever. Microbes are found everywhere in nature: in air, earth, water, food, and within and without our bodies. They operate in curious ways and in diverse places, conservatively and destructively, and are both the friend and the foe of man. They are the prime cause of all the infectious and contagious diseases of man and, the lower animals. They require to be magnified by the microscope from 800 to 1500 times before we can understand how they grow and what they are like. A fair average size of a microbe measures 1/20,000th part of an inch, and it has been calculated that four hundred millions of them might be comfortably accommodated side by side on one square inch of surface.

How Diseases Spread. It is by infective material that diseases spread. It may be borne by the air or carried upon clothing or other media. So long as they are in contact with moisture, microbes are held in retention and cannot be liberated into the atmosphere until the dampness is dispelled. Aerial diffusion is, therefore, only possible in the case of dried microbes or spores. Infective material cannot penetrate any interposing barrier, even of paper, and much less through walls and doors. The length of time after infective material has left the body of an infected person during which it is capable of doing mischief, is largely determined by its environment. Abundance of fresh air and sunlight quickly destroy it; absence of these tend to keep it alive—hence microbes are most plentiful in the dust of the darkest corners.

Some infectious diseases are more prevalent at certain seasons of the year. Influenza appears to be uninfluenced by seasons. It spreads with as much facility in Iceland as at the equator, and knows no boundaries. I have seen it stated to be coincident with a disease called Pink Eye in horses, which veterinary surgeons believe to be influenza in horses.

The incubation period of influenza is from one to four days. A person suffering from an infectious disease is infective in influenza for about ten days after all symptoms have disappeared.

The means by which infection may be transported are as follows: 1. By direct contact with the infective person, hence called contagion. 2. By contact with anything that has been in contact with the infective person, or which proceeds from the apartment in which he has been treated. 3. By intercommunication between infected animals and man. Transportation by insects as mosquitoes or flies. 5. In water and food. 6. By the air.

Visitation to the houses of the infective sick, or the wilful exposure of children to others who are suffering from a mild type of the disease; in the erroneous assumption that all children must sooner or later contract the disease, and the sooner it is over and of a mild type the better, is chiefly to blame for the spread of infectious disease. There is no guarantee that exposure to a mild type of the disease will be followed by an equally mild seizure in the exposed child, for it is a common experience that children even of the same family do not contract attacks of equal severity.

The clothing, school slates, books, and toys of the infective person may act as vehicles of infection. While the clothing may be disinfected, it is always safer to consign to the flames such books and toys as are admitted to the sick room.

Infective diseases can be.contracted by partaking of infected water or food. For germs to be air borne, they can only be carried in a dried condition.

Infective material enters the body through an abrasion on the skin, through being inhaled, by absorption through the digestive organs.

Fumigation. To fumigate the room after an illness, close the doors, windows, and fireplaces; and paste paper over all cracks. Put some sulphur in iron pans, allowing two pounds for every 1000 cubic feet of space. Set the pans in larger pans of water, and these on bricks so as not to burn the floor. Pour a little alcohol on the sulphur and light it, leave the room quickly and paste up the door like the others. Keep it closed for 24 hours, then open all doors and windows. The sulphur will fumigate more thoroughly if the walls and ceilings are moistened beforehand. Instead of sulphur, you may use formalin — you can burn candles of such in the room. To disinfect clothing, boiling in water for 20 minutes is one of the best methods of disinfection. It is wiser to destroy the mattress.

The microbes are grown in a culture tube; the tube is inserted in to an incubator and the microbes grow on this culture media. They are then washed off with a little salt solution into another tube and stirred well round. They are then heated so as to kill the microbes. The contents of the tube are then mixed with some other substance and we inject this vaccine, as it is called, and which consists of millions of dead organisms into a person who has not got the disease, in order to immunize him against the disease, or into a patient with the disease to enable him to form sufficient antitoxin to recover. It must be clearly understood that this cannot produce the disease or cause any permanent ill effect. It has been proved that this helps the patient to recover from the disease.

This disease is not the ordinary influenza, but an epidemic form of pneumonia. and a severe one at that, characterised by septic symptoms.

The Micrococcus Catarrhalis is the organism which gives rise to common colds. The Pneumococcus causes pneumonia, and the Streptococcus is the organism which you find in cases of blood poisoning. These organisms, together with the influenza bacillus, are responsible for the present epidemic.

The onset is sudden, a rigor is soon followed by a high fever, reddening and running from the eyes, pains and aches all over the body, and general prostration. The secretion from the nose, throat, and air passages form the sources of infection. There is the frequent complication of pneumonia.

Now if you want to be injected with the vaccine, you will have injected into you of: Mic Catarrhalis 25 millions, Pneumococcus 10 millions, Streptococcus 10 millions, a gram positive Diploc 10 millions; followed by another injection containing of: Mic Catarrhalis 125 millions, Pneumococcus 60 millions, Streptococcus 50 millions, a gram posit Diplococ 50 millions. And then you probably won’t contract the infection, or if you do, you get it in a modified form. After the injection you would feel a little uncomfortable, but not quite so uncomfortable as if you contracted the complaint.

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March 3, 2020 at 4:22 pm

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