Daphne Gum – A Celebration

January 23, 2016 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Australian History, LIFE |

Yesterday, on the eve of her 100th birthday, TVC was honoured to join Daphne Gum MBE OA and family in a sumptuous afternoon tea celebration.  Today, the 24th January 2016, Miss Gum is celebrating this milestone with friends in her care facility. Miss Gum is acknowledged world-wide for her contribution to the welfare and education of children, particularly children with cerebral palsy.  To us she is Auntie Daphne, a staunch, cheerful and purposeful influence in our lives. To read more about this pioneering woman, see Lesley’s updated Wikipedia article, “Daphne Lorraine Gum” go to  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_Lorraine_Gum Note: Sadly, Daphne Gum passed away on 28 February 2017. She touched and enlivened a…

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The Holt Report

Open water

(by John Larkin and Geoffrey Barker) (1968) Yes, Americans can joke about President Taft being eaten by wolves (particularly greedy wolves) but only in Australia could a serving Prime Minister be taken by a shark.  On Sunday 17 December 1967, Prime Minister Holt went for a swim near his beach house at Cheviot, near the Heads leading from Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, into the Bass Strait, and was never seen again. Though a shark is The Varnished Culture’s preferred theory (and after all this time, chances of finding traces are approximately nil) there are a number of other possible solutions; kelp…

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March 31, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian History |

No soft landing (Painting by George Washington Lambert, 'Anzac, the landing 1915')

About 4.29 am on Sunday, 25 April 1915, Australian troops disembarking from several warships and transports in the Dardanelles, learned the answer to their unspoken question: had their approach been detected?  It had. As the Official History of Australia In the War of 1914-18, by the not always reliable C. E. W. Bean, states: “The first bullets were striking sparks out of the shingle as the first boat-loads reached the shore.” Many, many thousands fell (Australians, New Zealanders, Indians, Englishmen, Turks).  The ANZACs tasted hell.  But Constantinople was the real prize; with the Ottoman Empire crumbling away, the strait was its gate, but as narrow…

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The Athenaeum Library – Melbourne

First Floor, 188 Collins Street, Melbourne. Literally a Melbourne Institution, the Athenaeum Library is an oasis among the desert of commerce in the heart of Melbourne, a quiet place to sit, read, reflect.  More power to it!

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Captain Cook’s Voyages 1768-1779

 (James Cook) Stirring accounts of Cook’s scissoring across the world in leaky boats, to places often unexplored, from South America, Africa, South East Asia, the Bering Sea & Strait and all over the Pacific. This book is based on Cook’s journals and reports to Admiralty, selected by Glyndwr Williams for the Folio edition (1997). Cook was one of a handful of giants in exploration when about a third of the world was unknown.  By the time he was lethally sandwiched by natives in Hawaii, he had become famous in his homeland and well known to much of the rest of…

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