Thursday, July 27, 2017

More Oz Fun Facts and Pics



Photo and commentary from the above site, with additional pics and comments from moi.

Ancient Sydney cockatoo’s life spans three centuries

Cocky Bennett the sulphur-crested cockatoo died in Sydney in 1916 aged 120 — possibly making him Australia's longest lived parrot (although his precise age varies from source to source). The legendary raucous bird spent the first 78 years of his life sailing the South Sea Islands with his owner Captain George Ellis (who acquired the bird when he was a boy). After Ellis died in the late 1880s aged 87, Cocky wound up at the Sea Breeze Hotel at Tom Ugly's Point, where he became a star attraction — despite having lost all his feathers by the turn of the century. (His freakish beak was caused by psittacine beak and feather disease.) Cheeky locals were known to ply the "Cock of the Bar" with "strong brew", making him launch into his noisy catchphrases. They included "One at a time, gentlemen, please" and "If I had another bloody feather I'd fly!"


If you have ever wondered how Tom Ugly’s Point got its name (I have), Wikipedi a identifies some possibilities:
There are several theories about the origin of the name of the point.

One is that it was named after a local resident Tom Huxley and the name was a mispronunciation by local Aborigines. Descendants of Thomas Huxley have concluded that he lived and owned land in the area but official records do not exist to verify this. 
Another theory is that it was derived from the name of a local Aboriginal man, Tow-weiry, who lived in the area and died about 1846.
Another theory is that there was a local fisherman resident in the area by the name of Tom Illigley. 
Yet another is that there was a one-legged man, possibly an army deserter or a boat operator, called either "Tom Woggleg" or "Wogul Leg Tom", either because of a mispronunciation of wooden leg, or from the local Aboriginal dialect word for "one".

Anzacs visit the sphinx during WW1

Raised within weeks of World War I's onset, and comprised of Western Australian recruits, the 11th Australian Infantry Battalion departed our shores after only one fortnight's preliminary training. The soldiers continued their preparations for war upon their arrival in Egypt in early December. This photograph documents their excursion to the Sphinx on January 10, 1915. The 11th then joined the 9th, 10th and 12th Battalions in the 3rd Brigade, the covering force for the Anzac landing on April 25, 1915. Among the first ashore at Gallipoli, the battalion served at the Anzac beachhead until the withdrawal in December, after which survivors returned to Egypt.


Another pic of Anzacs at the Sphinx in Egypt.

Members of the Australian Army Nursing Service, pictured on camels in front of the Sphinx and pyramids.

There is a sphinx in Oz as well. It is located in Kuringai Chase National Park at North Turramurra and was carved out of sandstone in the 1920s by William Shirley, a returned soldier, in memory of fallen comrades. It is a 1.5m high replica of the Egyptian Sphinx


Ladies roller hockey team pioneers women in sports

In the early 20th century, women struggled for the right to compete in sports. However, field hockey was considered an acceptable sport for ladies, played in private schools, universities and some towns. Its offshoot roller hockey — initially known as "roller polo" — was also permissible. When the "interesting game" was introduced from America it "caused much excitement and merriment". A women's team from Albany, the city at the southern tip of Western Australia, is pictured here. Roller hockey (aka rink hockey), which is distinct from hockey played on inline skates, is still popular around the world, particularly in Europe and South America.

Hollywood icon Katharine Hepburn tours Australia

For six months in 1955, renowned American actress Katharine Hepburn toured Australia with local actor Robert Helpmann and the Old Vic Company. She appeared in three Shakespeare plays, as Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, and Isabella in Measure for Measure. Before the commencement of the tour, Hepburn was photographed at the Australia Hotel in Sydney. Situated on the corner of Castlereagh Street and Martin Place, the hotel was once considered "the place to stay and be seen by the upper echelons of society", only to be demolished in 1972 to make way for the MLC Centre.

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