Posted in Stories

During Julia Duncan’s Lifetime

The Young Julia Duncan
The Young Julia Duncan

After posting the story of Julia Duncan yesterday I began to wonder what events may have taken place during her lifetime so took a walk through those years, with the help of Google, and found items of little known detail, but that were still very interesting in their own right.  Julia lived through an extraordinary period of Australian history and below is a very brief snapshot of the events that Julia would no doubt have read about in the local paper.  In her life time she would have listened to a radio for the first time, seen the introduction of electric street and house lighting, suffered personal loss during 2 World Wars, and both read about and participated in air travel.

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  1. 1858 – the year of her birth – The Premier of NSW was Sir William Dennison
  2. 1863 – aged around 4-5 – South Sea Islanders were brought into Queensland as a cheap source of indentured labour by the sugar industry and over 2,400 volunteers were sent to New Zealand to fight in the New Zealand Land Wars
  3. 1868 – aged about 10 – The Hougomont was the last convict ship to arrive Western Australia which brought the end of penal transportation to Australia
  4. 1888 – aged about 30 – Centennial Park is opened in Sydney, Angus and Robertson publish their first book, Mentor wins the Melbourne Cup
  5. 1908 – aged around 50 – 44 are killed and 400 injured in the Sunshine Train Disaster, boys in Australia first participate in the Scout movement, the capital of Australia is chosen sparking a feud between rivals Melbourne and Sydney, the invalid and old age pension act is passed
  6. 1918 – aged about 60 – 30 people are killed in cyclone Mackay which hit Mackay in Queensland.  In the same year there was also a cyclone to hit Innisfail in Queensland and a tornado hit Brighton in Melbourn, Victoria.  The Darwin Rebellion took place in the Northern Territory and the Battle of Amiens took place
  7. 1930 – aged around 72 – The Shrine of Remembrance is dedicated in Brisbane, Don Bradman scores a record 452 not out in a cricket innings
  8. 1947 – aged about 89 – The Woomera Rocket Range is established in South Australia, the Australian Government assumes control of Qantas, the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration grants workers a 40 hour week, the Parramatta Rugby League Club is formed
  9. 1954 – aged about 95 – Elizabeth II arrives in Sydney on her first visit as Monarch (just 2 days after Julia’s death), Mawson Station is established in the Antarctic (within a fortnight of her death), and 26 people are killed when a cyclone hits the  Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales



Cenntenial Park:


Sunshine Train Disaster:

Brisband Shrine of Rememberance:

Elizabeth ll 1954:


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