Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Australia'

NESB – “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

October 6th, 2012 · Comments Off on NESB – “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn · Multi-culturalism, Politics, Queensland

Their original homeland was very important to the Bjelke-Peteren family, and for a long while Danish was spoken at home most of the time. When Joh’s sister Neta went off to school for the first time, she could speak only Danish. Christian and Joh however soon got in the way of speaking English (although the […]

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Queensland and the Federation Convention – “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

October 4th, 2012 · Comments Off on Queensland and the Federation Convention – “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn · Democracy, History, Politics, Queensland

Even before federation, the colony of Queensland preferred to do things differently. In 1898 the Queensland government wanted to have its representative to the Melbourne convention on federation elected directly by the people. All other colonies appointed their representatives from their parliaments. Queensland finally reused to send anyone.

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Ataturk’s Message to Australia – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer

August 31st, 2012 · Comments Off on Ataturk’s Message to Australia – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer · Anzac, History, Humanism, Philosophy, War, WW1

In 1934 Atatürk learned that a ship carrying relatives of fallen Allied soldiers had docked near Gallipoli and that its passengers were mounting at the site. He sent them a moving message that is now chiseled, in English translation, into a memorial stone there. “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives,” he […]

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The History of the Australian Senate – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

June 6th, 2012 · Comments Off on The History of the Australian Senate – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Democracy, History, Politics

Prior to the Chifley Government introducing proportional representation, the system that existed from 1919 gave the winner of the most votes in any State all the Senate seats for that State. Hence, occasionally one side of politics held all the Senate seats. Proportional representation has given smaller parties and independents a chance of winning Senate […]

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McEwen and Johnson – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

June 1st, 2012 · Comments Off on McEwen and Johnson – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Australiana, Politics, US Politics, USA

As Prime Minister, McEwen welcomed US President Johnson to Australia for the memorial service for Harold Holt and they hit it off immediately. Both were farmers and both were in the cattle business. Johnson invited McEwen to his Texas ranch—an invitation McEwen later took up. At the ranch, McEwen had a particularly bad time with […]

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The Parliamentary Barber – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 24th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Parliamentary Barber – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Australiana, History, Politics

Cec (The Old Parliament House Barber) cut the hair of all comers from Ben Chifley down. Cec would take our bets over the phone at his home on Saturday race day and come Monday morning was the settlement—mostly in Cec’s favour. An unmarked envelope would appear in your mailbox setting out how much was owed, […]

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The Speaker’s Chair in Old Parliament House – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 22nd, 2012 · Comments Off on The Speaker’s Chair in Old Parliament House – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Architecture, Australiana, Culture, History, Politics

During the visit (in 1926 of the Empire Parliamentary Association) to the still unfinished provisional Parliament House, the delegation presented a gift from the British Parliament: the Speaker’s chair for the House of Representatives, which was modelled on the Speaker’s chair in the House of Commons. The House of Commons burned down during the war […]

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The Wedding Cake – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 22nd, 2012 · Comments Off on The Wedding Cake – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Architecture, Australiana, History, Politics

The ‘provisional’ Parliament House in Canberra was nothing like the NSW Parliament House I was familiar with in Macquarie Street, Sydney, which dated back to the mid-1800s. Canberra’s Parliament House stood alone, south of the Molonglo, fronting on to lawns to its north; not far beyond, sheep grazed. A market garden alongside the river was […]

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Ming – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 18th, 2012 · Comments Off on Ming – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · History, Politics

Menzies was often referred to as ‘Ming’ after a comic-book character, Ming the Merciless, an evil Chinaman dressed in robes and with long fingernails. (Another explanation was that ‘Mingees’ was the Scottish pronunciation of Menzies.)

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The Population of England in Shakespearean Times – “Shakespeare” – Bill Bryson

May 3rd, 2012 · Comments Off on The Population of England in Shakespearean Times – “Shakespeare” – Bill Bryson · Australian, Australiana, History

William Shakespeare was born into a world that was short of people and struggled to keep those it had. In 1564 England had a population of between three and five million – much less than three hundred years earlier, when plague began to take a continuous toll. So Australia should never use our population as […]

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