Friday Five Newsletter 2018.8.24

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Westprint Friday Five  Friday August 24th 2018

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 24th April 2015 to 24th December 2015

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2016 to 23rd December 2016

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2017 to 29th December 2017

Click here to view Newsletter Archives from 5th January 2018 to current


FREE postage on ALL folded paper maps. Laminated maps rolled in mailing tubes still have postage added as below.

FREE postage on ALL orders over $100.

Otherwise there is a flat rate postage rate of $9.50 on all books, DVDs and talking books, regardless of the number of items ordered.

To order any of the books listed blow, click on the title to open a web browser, then use the Add to Cart button and proceed to the checkout. (or continue shopping for any additional titles you want.)

Visitors are welcome to call in at 6 Park St, Nhill, Monday to Friday. Please phone/email beforehand as we are not always open. Phone. 0353911466.

Friday Five Books

  1. Traeger - Pedal Radio Man. $21.95. Fred McKay. Traeger loved the smell of gum trees on the banks of bush creeks. He found a strange happiness in giving what he called 'a big surprise' to isolated families in the Never Never who were completely cut off from the rest of the world. He gave them the miracle pedal radio so they could call the flying doctor, and he kept on bringing the benefits of wireless to people of the bush all his life. Traeger was a revolutionary and didn't know it.
  2. Casting the Mantle: John Flynn's Outback Angels $25.95 Volume 1. AIM Nurses in the outback, 1901 to World War II This is a book about John Flynn's AIM "angels" of the Australian Outback in the early twentieth century and the vital roles they played in fulfilling his dreams for a "mantle of safety" over the isolation of the bush…. Confronted by rough, tough bush communities, these young women from the cities experienced culture shock we can barely imagine today.... They sought no praise nor great reward, but in the words of John Flynn, their mentor, "Silent lives often accomplish more". First published in 2001.
  3. Fulfilling the Vision: John Flynn's Outback Angels $25.95 Volume II covers Flynn's Angels from 1940-2000. From Jean Auld in the Birdsville Hospital to Lois Hurst taking the children of Halls Creek to meet the Queen Mother in 1957. The book is not only about high drama and coping with emergency illnesses, it is also about the loyalty and fellowship which transcend privation. Jean Auld’s adventures in the Birdsville hospital in the late 1940s encompassed a rat plague, a flood, scabies, emergency childbirth, pulling teeth, preaching and an almost fatal truck explosion. Beth Symonds’ intimate letters home from her AIM posts in Oodnadatta in the ’50s and Coen, in the ’60s evoking her midwifery with Aboriginal girls, her treatment of picanninnies and her desperate attempts to save the sick and the wounded. First published 2002.
  4. Burke & Wills. $120.00 by the Hon. John Don MBE. A practical guide with maps and detailed notes. You may already know much of the controversy and stories surrounding Burke & Wills and their epic journey and made up your mind whether or not they were heroes. But if you want to make the trip today, as close to their footsteps as practicable, then this is the book for you. Up to date maps and detailed notes will ease your journey and stimulate your interest in this great Australian story. This book was limited to a print run of only 150 copies and with the passing of the author there will be no more reprinted. We have only a couple of copies remaining.
  5. Dig Tree (The) - Sarah Murgatroyd. $26.95. In 1860, an eccentric Irish police officer named Robert O’Hara Burke led a cavalcade … out of Melbourne. Accompanied by William Wills, a shy English scientist, he was prepared to risk everything to become the first European to cross the Australian continent. A few months later, Burke, Wills and five other men were dead. The expedition had become an astonishing tragedy. Generously illustrated with photographs, paintings and maps, The Dig Tree is a spell-binding book. First published in 2002, this edition 2012. 

Notes from the Office 

Jo, Graeme and DG are still away but should be heading towards home soon. All going well they should be somewhere near Windy Corner, Western Australia today. Carolyn and John are holding the fort and as both work part-time there may be times when the office is closed. Please ring first if you are travelling any distance to call in. 0353911466. For those looking for clues to the mystery project…I haven’t put one in this week. 

Friday Forum


Photo’s original caption. Camels 600 miles from Melbourne 1909. No other details. 

The first camels were brought to Australia in 1840, but a total of only seven prior to 1860, when 24 were brought to be used in the Burke and Wills Expedition. Nearly all the camels brought here have been dromedaries, i.e. the single-humped kind.

There were used by exploring parties, and, as remote areas started to be settled by non-indigenous people, for transporting goods before the advent of trains and trucks. As you can imagine, a heavily loaded camel does not travel at 100 miles an hour, and hence a lengthy trip could take many days. The camels would have to be unloaded each evening, and then reloaded the following morning to resume the trip.

And when the load included a pianola, this was no easy matter! Imagine the scene: the camel is comfortably sitting down on its haunches after a pleasant night’s sleep, when three or four blokes manoeuvre the piano crate over next to it, tie it onto the camel, and then start making noises in camel talk which mean “Come on, get up, you lazy brute. It’s time to go.” “Easier said than done” thinks the camel.

The story above was one of the many written by my friend Rob who passed away earlier this year and whose company and email correspondence is greatly missed. While researching this story I had thought that maybe a pianola was less weighty than a piano but I now have it on good authority pianolas are heavier due to all the metal framework for the pianola rolls. As often happens, writing about camels made me think of a story John had written years ago about the camels used on the Burke and Wills Expedition. I’ve shared it below. Jo. 

Burke & Wills and The Landells Affair

by John Deckert

It all began with a trip along the Darling River to Menindee and Mootwingee many years ago. I was fascinated by traces of the Burke and Wills expedition which were still visible, but it was the chance meeting with a local historian at Menindee that fired my imagination. He told an intriguing story about the altercation between Robert O'Hara Burke, the leader of the expedition and George Landells, his senior camel handler; a story that doesn't seem to be recorded anywhere but one that may well be more fact than fiction. To try and verify my information I also contacted George Landells' relatives who were then in their senior years. This is the result of my investigations.

George Landells arrived in Australia as a boy and by the time he was 17 had become an experienced and capable bushman. He walked from Bacchus Marsh in Victoria to the settled areas around Adelaide where he worked for some time. In 1853 he was approached by several men keen to travel to the Victorian Goldfields and asked to act as a guide. He accepted the job and guided the men through what was mainly trackless scrub, (the Ninety Mile Desert in South Australia was a particularly difficult section to cross), to the goldfields near Castlemaine and was paid £25 for his effort.

Landells was 25 years old when he was hired to join the Burke & Wills expedition. It became his responsibility to travel to India to purchase camels and although three had been exhibited in Australia in 1840 and John Horrocks, the South Australian explorer, had used a camel for exploration in 1846, Landells knew very little about them.

George Landells went to India but instead of returning promptly with his live cargo he incurred the wrath of the organising committee by staying there for several months. He claimed that it was necessary to learn enough about camels to ensure the use of this new form of transport went smoothly. He worked with cameleers in India, learning how to load them, how to manage a string, what food they ate and how to cure their sicknesses. Landells returned from India with twenty-five camels and three experienced drivers.

Camels have very soft feet well suited to sand but easily cut by stone. Landells knew of the stony desert Sturt described during his exploration some years earlier and knew he would be required to administer some type of preventative measure or first aid so the camels could travel easily, remain healthy and complete the task ahead of them. Landells also knew of the Cornish miner's treatment for cracked and damaged hands caused by working in difficult conditions in the mines. It is likely that he intended to use this same remedy on the soft flesh of the camel's feet.

The Cornish miner's cheap and effective remedy was to bathe their cracked, blistered and bleeding hands in uric acid. Uric acid is made from rum, an inexpensive alcoholic drink available in most settled parts of Australia at the time, but to convert the rum into acid it had to be passed through the kidneys. In other words, the men were to drink the rum, generally at evening, and their urine, which would be strong in uric acid, was collected in the morning. This remedy has probably been used by miners for centuries and was well known to Landells but not to Burke. It is possible that Landells intended to bathe the camels’ feet to toughen them for the journey ahead and to heal any cuts and bruises which could become a problem on the track.

Landells disagreed with Burke's management of the party. He argued with Burke about splitting the team and he didn't like Burke's treatment of Aborigines. He knew Burke was no bushman and claimed, 'Burke would get lost in the main street of Melbourne if the lights were turned out.' On the other hand, Burke claimed Landells was a trouble-maker for bringing rum on the trip to which Landells replied that 'A noggin of rum was as good as a feed to a camel.' Landells knew there would be areas where grazing was poor and rum would be needed to keep the camels healthy.

This sounded like a good yarn but the Menindee historian went on with further information which I haven't been able to verify. He said that some years earlier a group from a university in Sydney were studying this incident and had written a report or thesis on the subject. He also claimed that Landells had two large circular dishes made from leather in which the camel's feet were to be bathed. The historian believed the report was collecting dust somewhere in Sydney and the dishes were in Adelaide.

Some relatives George Landells accepted their forebear's account of the affair and believe he was wrongly accused and unjustifiably written into history as a trouble-maker and drunkard. It seems that Burke and Landells were both strong willed and stubborn men. Landells being in the junior position decided he wasn't going to put up with Burke’s heavy-handedness and left the party at the first opportunity. He and a number of other similar-minded men walked back to Victoria from Menindee, living off the land and arriving back in Melbourne in good shape. Landells claimed that he warned the Melbourne based expedition organisers that Burke was headed for disaster and that Wills was the only man sufficiently skilled to lead the group.

One wonders why his account of the argument has not been recorded. Perhaps in the tragedy that followed and the aftermath of the inquiry it seemed rather a small point, not important enough to be worried about by Landells. 

What’s On? 

Charleville's Big Birthday and Bilby Festival. Charleville, 6 – 9 September 2018.  Charleville is turning 153 this year. There will be everything from a Greek themed luncheon, followed by a book launch of the life of the incredible Harry Corones. Heinemann’s, local bakery, will be holding a Bakery championship; you can only imagine what that entails. There will be a Bilby catching competition (toys of course) followed by a Street Parade with floats and multicultural food stalls.

The Morven races are on Saturday with transport operating. There will be town tours available plus Top Secret WWII tours, the Cosmos Centre and Observatory will be also open. Saturday night is the annual 'Fur Ball' with a 'Big Birthday' theme and a big Birthday cake to match. Looking forward to seeing who jumps out of it.

Sunday is National Bilby Day, the only day an Australian animal has its own gazetted special day. Head to the Bilby Experience at the Charleville Railway Station and enjoy breakfast and spend some time learning about these unique animals. Lastly the Golf Club are hosting a Bilby Golf Funday for all. 

Friday Funnies

Supposed to be true… 

I was taking a shower when my 2-year-old son came into the bathroom and wrapped himself in toilet paper. Although he made a mess, he looked adorable, so I ran for my camera and took a few shots. They came out so well that I had copies made and included one with each of our Christmas cards. Days later, a relative called about the picture, laughing hysterically, and suggesting I take a closer look. Puzzled, I stared at the photo and was shocked to discover that in addition to my son, I had captured my reflection in the mirror - wearing nothing but a camera! 

"Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams."

- Mary Ellen Kelly 

"Why are women wearing perfumes that smell like flowers? Men don't like flowers. I've been wearing a great scent. It's called New Car Interior."

-Rita Rudner 

Subject: Church Bulletins These sentences appeared in a church bulletin or were announced in a church service… 

Announcement in the church bulletin for a National PRAYER & FASTING Conference: "The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer conference includes meals." 

"Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands." 

The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water" The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus" 

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get. 

The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing "Break Forth into Joy." 

Don't let worry kill you off -- let the Church help. 

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days. 

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice. 

The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir. 

Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. 

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs. 

This evening at 7 P.M. there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin. 

Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door. 

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The Congregation is invited to attend this tragedy. 

Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance. 

So a dyslexic walks into a bra . . . 

Unhappiness is not knowing what we want and killing ourselves to get it. - Don Herold 

When your wife asks, "Do I look fat?" The correct response is, "Do I look stupid?" 

I asked my psychiatrist if she thought I was crazy, she said "no", so I let her up.

The Fine Print

About the Friday Five

This weekly newsletter is designed to be informative and entertaining. Wherever possible we try to acknowledge the source of all information contained in this newsletter. We also try to check for accuracy but being a weekly newsletter this is not always possible. We offer no guarantees for accuracy but we do our best.

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To all of our faithful Friday Five readers 

Westprint Contact information:


Phone: 03 5391 1466

Fax: 03 5391 1473

Snail Mail: 6 Park Street, Nhill, Vic, 3418.


Please note that the opinions and articles expressed in the Friday Five are not necessarily those of the Westprint mob. Also we do not endorse any products (other than our own) or tours listed in any contributed articles.


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