Sir Robert Menzies

Posted in 1895

  • The land around Jeparit was gradually being cleared of virgin scrub for wheat growing, and money was scarce. James Menzies carted supplies with a horse and wagon to the outlying farms, but it was difficult to make the business pay in such a small pioneering community and many farmers were given food on credit until their next harvest came in.
  • Parents James and Kate Menzies (centre) JeparitBob Menzies speaking of his parents, James and Kate:

"My father, James Menzies, was a strongly built man of little more than medium height. His hair was prematurely grey, and became a splendid silver. He had a fairly full moustache, in which he took some pride. The nervous tension which he had tended to make him both dogmatic and intolerant; in a very modified sense, a 'Barrett of Wimpole Street'. His temper was quick. We, his sons, got to know that 'whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth'. We were not a little frightened of him, and found our regular refuge in the embracing arms of our mother who afforded us the comfort of her own understanding, balance, and exquisite humour."
Sir Robert Menzies, Afternoon Light, 1967 p 9.

Parents James and Kate Menzies "My mother was, in the most remarkable way, father's complement. They were each quite different, but together one. Where he was explosively intolerant, she was calm, human and understanding and in the end, with patience, would secure a victory for sweet reasonableness."
Sir Robert Menzies, Afternoon Light, 1967 p 12.

Australian Events

Posted in 1895

  • Bark hut home on the gold fields complete with bird cage and container of liliesPremiers' Conference on Federation held in Hobart, Tasmania calls for a convention to frame the federal constitution. Enabling Acts were to go through colonial legislatures authorising popular election of delegates and machinery to consider and pass the draft Constitution by referendum.
  • The economy shows clear evidence of revival following the "... cloud of depression which has so persistently hung over Australia during the past three years," writes the editor of Australian Insurance and Banking Record. He records improvement in the prices of wool, hides, leather, beef and mutton, wheat, dairy products and Australian metals, referring to gold.
  • In January Queensland standardises time at 10 hours ahead of GMT (Eastern Standard Time), followed in December by Perth standardising time at 8 hours ahead of GMT (Western Standard Time).
  • "The Man from Snowy River, and Other Verses" by A B (Banjo) Paterson is published.
  • "Waltzing Matilda" is first sung in public at the North Gregory Hotel in central Queensland. Tune by Christine McPherson and words by Sydney solicitor and writer Banjo Paterson, the song refers to an incident in which a Bavarian shearer swagman died.

World Events

Posted in 1895


  • The first cinema screeningsFirst public showing of films in Paris, the beginnings of cinema.
  • Jameson Raid into Transvaal is defeated by the Boers against the British. Germany announces its support for the Boers.
  • End of the war between China and Japan which takes Formosa and Korea.
  • German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen discovers X-rays: he finds that when cathode rays impinge on the end of the evacuated tube in which they are produced, other rays are emitted. Roentgen later identifies the main properties of these new "X"-rays and their extraordinary powers of penetration. He is awarded the first Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901.
  • Guglielmo Marconi Marconi invents radiotelegraphy undertaking the first crucial experiment demonstrating that radio transmission is feasible. In September Guglielmo Marconi carries out the first broadcast (of the letter "S") - from his lab in Villa Grifone to the hill opposite.
  • Gillette invents the safety razor.