stories, photos, anecdotes….. sharing the past
This post will continue to highlight a particular time in the vast history of the Parkes Shire, focusing on the winter of 1932. A comparison of newspapers – then and now – plus highlighting the issues of the day facing Parkes Shire residents of 1932.
In 1932 the ruling monarch was King George V, the grandfather of current monarch Queen Elizabeth II. Prime Minister of the day was Joseph Lyons, so far the only Tasmanian to be prime minister. A state election had just been completed, necessitated because Premier Jack Lang was dismissed by the Governor, Sir Philip Game. Television was still two decades away from reality with Australians relying heavily on radio and newspapers for their information. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was only a few months old, and The Dog on the Tuckerbox at Gundagai had not yet been unveiled.
The relationship between hockey and Parkes is quite well-known. In 1932 a newspaper article appeared on the front page that may be the genesis of the affection for the game in the Parkes shire. Two notable hockey players who used to live in the Parkes Shire include Olympians Stephen Davies and Mariah Williams.
The weather was still an important topic in 1932. In The Western Champion Mandagery received 117 points (29.7mm) while Alectown and Bogan Gate received regular rain but not enough for the farmers Click here to view full report. Conversion calculator used via Bureau of Meteorology website http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/calc.shtml
1932 was a golden year for Australian literature. Parkes shire residents would be able to get their hands on first publications of many books now considered icons of Australian 20th Century literature. Published items in 1932 included two more novels by prolific detective novelist Arthur Upfield – A Royal Abduction and Gripped By Drought. Norman Lindsay also published two works – The Cautious Amorist and Miracles By Arrangement (which was published in the US as Mr Gresham and Olympus).
Ion Idriess was already a popular Australian author and in 1932 he published a biography of founder of the Royal Flying Doctors service, John Flynn, titled Flynn of the Inland.
Lauded as one of the best Australian writers of the 20th Century, Eleanor Dark, published her debut novel, Slow Dawning in 1932. Dark would be better known in later years for the first book in a trilogy The Timeless Land (1941) with Storm of Time (1948) and No Barrier (1953). Eleanor Dark’s family home “Varuna” in Katoomba was given to the Eleanor Dark Foundation and is a writers’ retreat known as Varuna, The Writers’ House.
Poetry received greater recognition in 1932 than today, with C.J. Dennis composing “‘I Dips me Lid’ to the Sydney Harbour Bridge” and famous Scottish-Australian poet, horseman and friend of Harry “The Breaker” Morant – Will Ogilvie – publishing in 1932 The Collected Sporting Verse of Will H. Ogilvie