Mount Lofty lookout

Wonderful Adelaide holiday

Glenelg sunset
Sunset over the Glenelg Jetty in Adelaide, South Australia.

Last weekend I enjoyed a four-day visit to Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills in South Australia.

It was a wonderful getaway with my partner Wendy, which included catching up with my lovely daughter Kathleen.

We spent two nights in Adelaide, visiting a couple of wine bars on Thursday evening. On Friday we went to the Central Market and bought some truffle oil. In the evening we watched SANFL action between West Adelaide and Sturt, which was Wendy’s first experience with AFL.

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Vanuatu river

Vanuatu river adventure

A highlight of my recent Vanuatu holiday was floating down a river in the highlands of Espiritu Santo with Maggie.

It was a narrow, deep river through a gorge over a few kilometres on Mount Hope Station. There were a few rapids where we had to adjust and skim the rocks.

We did so with Mutiara, who created this wonderful recorded memory. We met here on the trip and arranged to do this tour together. She had a GoPro and kindly sent us this video.

WA Governor

Vice-regal occasions

Queensland Governor
The Governor of Queensland, Paul de Jersey (front, third from right) with Bundaberg Regional Councillors and executive team members, 2019.

I’ve personally met two State Governors, been in the presence of two others and been close to a Governor-General.

This is largely trivial, of course, but from an historical perspective it may be of interest.

Governors and Governors-General are the Queen’s representatives. How much longer we remain a constitutional monarchy remains uncertain.

Vice-regal Michael
Michael Gorey in vice-regal mode, waiting to meet the Governor of Queensland.

In October 2006, then Western Australian Governor Ken Michael visited the Kalgoorlie Miner.

A former civil engineer and public servant, Mr Michael was interested in the heritage of the Kalgoorlie Miner building, which dates back to the 1890s.

In 2013, I attended the swearing in of my Minister at Government House in Adelaide by retired Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce.

My earliest memory of the vice-regal office is from 1977-78 (I can’t remember which year) when Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen visited Traralgon.

I was a primary school student at St Michael’s and we were bussed to the Traralgon Showgrounds to meet him. I can’t imagine that happening today.

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Nanda Blue Hole

Nanda Blue Hole

One of the highlights of my Vanuatu holiday in early January was visiting Nanda Blue Hole.

It’s a picturesque freshwater natural swimming hole surrounded by forest and teeming with tropical fish.

Entrance costs 1000 vatu (A$11). That’s more expensive than other blue holes on the island of Espiritu Santo, but there’s decking, change rooms and other amenities.

The money goes to the traditional owners. This was something I observed in Samoa as well, and it’s appropriate that international visitors should support local communities when travelling.

My daughter Maggie and I went to Nanda after visiting Champagne Beach, which was beautiful but also very hot in the baking sun.

The freshwater at Nanda Blue Hole was sweet, cool and refreshing.

We had our goggles and flippers, so went snorkelling there. It’s surprisingly deep and there were many large fish.

Our thanks to Mutiara for the video. She’s on Instagram if you’d like to follow her adventures.

Brahminy kite

Seeing a Brahminy Kite on the beach is something special. I like where I live, albeit I’m moving soon, and that will be the subject of a future post.

Walking along Moore Park Beach, I often see Brahminy Kites. I admire these birds of prey. They are like the wedge-tailed eagles I came to know in Victoria, but smaller and more agile.

I’m not an ornithologist but I appreciate that where I live there are more birds than one would normally see. Kookaburras are my favourite. They are numerous, wake me up with their call and sing happily in the evening.

According to Birdlife Australia:

The Brahminy Kite occurs throughout southern and South East Asia, and in Australia it is widespread along the north coast, though individual birds may wander inland along the course of large rivers. These raptors often perch inconspicuously for long periods on exposed perches before swooping down onto prey in the water or on the ground. Their prey usually comprises fish and insects, and they often steal food from other birds, such as gulls, terns, ibis and other raptors. They also often scavenge carrion on the ground.

I’ve seen plenty of these birds on Moore Park Beach.

The Brahminy Kite is widespread across northern Australia, mainly along the coastline from Western Australia to northern New South Wales, and is more common in the north of its range. It is widespread throughout tropical Asia.

A force of nature.


Kyneton Observer report on the charge against George Everist

Malmsbury bank scandal

The Malmsbury bank scandal gained Melbourne media attention in 1874 for the rare prosecution of a blatant white-collar crime.

The Bank of Victoria manager, George Everist, was charged and convicted of forging and uttering a cheque for 400 pounds with intent to defraud William Green of Lauriston.

A second charge of forging a cheque in the name of John Olive was withdrawn. Olive was Mary Gorey’s husband and couldn’t read or write, so forging a cheque in his name wouldn’t have been too difficult. Olive made his mark with an X on documents including his will and the inquest into the death of Patrick Donovan.

When Everist appeared in the Police Court for committal he tried to bluff his way out.

George Everist

The prison mug shot of disgraced Malmsbury bank manager George Everist.

His counsel offered a theatrical defence and argued that no crime had occurred because Everist was authorised to access client accounts. Instead it was a mistake which could be rectified by repayment of any outstanding amount.

According to the Kyneton Observer, Everist’s lawyer said he did not wish to compare the bank to Shylock because Shylock did not get his pound of flesh, whereas the bank did. He hoped the Bench would not be party to sending a young man who made one false step to gaol.

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Gorey v Donovan

The demise of Patrick Donovan

James Gorey sued Patrick Donovan in 1865 for getting his daughter Mary pregnant, claiming one thousand pounds in damages.

The lawsuit was part of an ongoing feud between the two men, which stretched over several years and finished only when Donovan died in mysterious circumstances.

The Supreme Court action never proceeded to trial, suggesting James primarily wanted to shame and irritate Donovan. As mentioned in the previous post, Mary Gorey sued Donovan in the local court for maintenance of her illegitimate child. This action failed because paternity couldn’t be proved.

The Supreme Court writ states that Mary was a servant of Donovan when he “debauched and carnally knew her”.

In his response, Donovan denied being the father of Mary’s child and said she was not his servant. The second part appears to be true. It’s likely that James claimed otherwise because that was the only basis to seek damages. I imagine it wasn’t an offence in 1865 to get a woman pregnant outside of marriage, but there may have been legal recourse if the girl were a servant.

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Mary Gorey v Patrick Donovan

A true story of sex, feuds and devotion

This is a true story from the 1860s of sex, feuds and devotion. It’s the story of my grandfather’s aunt, Mary Gorey, based on historical newspaper reports and documentary records.

Mary was a strong and feisty woman, passionate, practical, caring and loyal. Her elder brother Michael was a local firebrand who embroiled himself in colonial politics.

Mary was born on 5 March 1846 at Heidelberg, fourth child and third daughter of James and Elizabeth Gorey, who arrived in Victoria from Ireland in 1841. My great-grandfather Edward was born three years after Mary in 1849.

Gorey Donovan feud

The Malmsbury land map shows that James Gorey and Patrick Donovan were neighbours.

James Gorey purchased a block of 71 acres with Campaspe River frontage at the Kyneton/Malmsbury land sale in April 1855 and the family moved to Malmsbury.

Their neighbours across the Melbourne road were Patrick Donovan and John Olive.

Mary married John Olive in 1867; he was 26 years older than her. They had eight children together and lived at Malmsbury for most of their lives.

Before marrying John Olive, Mary had an illegitimate son Patrick, born 21 September 1865 at Carlsruhe. The father was Patrick Donovan.

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