Rare WW1 soldier’s documents discovered

Cecilia Hannon, with a photograph of her great-uncle, John Tucker, at the Australian War Memorial where his Last Post Ceremony took place in January.
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An article in the Mudgee Guardian on the history of a local World War 1 soldier has led to the discovery of previously unknown documents on his life and death in the trenches France.

The historic documents relate to the service and death in 1918 of former Coolah resident John Edward Tucker, 45th Battalion AIF. He was killed just before his 20th birthday.

Jack Tucker’s great-niece, Cecilia Hannon, of Sydney, was unaware of their existence at the time of his Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in early January.

Following the Mudgee Guardian’s January 2 article publicising his upcoming Last Post Ceremony, Cecilia was contacted by her mother’s cousin, long-time Coolah resident Maria Rindfleish.

Maria told Cecilia that she was very much alive and wanting to pass to her letters and some official documents.

Maria inherited these documents from her uncle, Jack’s brother Vincent Tucker, upon his death in 1972.

These preserved papers give some insight into what Jack Tucker was involved in during his time as a member of the gun team with D Company, 45th Battalion AIF.

Apart from the telegram advising of his death, there is a poignant and beautifully penned letter to Jack’s mother from his platoon Sergeant James Golden DCM:

Excerpts include:-

“I know that he had never been away from home before, he had often told me of his home and people.”

“He was one of the bravest boys in the Company.”

“He had a decent cross erected on his grave, poor child.”

“It was a Sunday when poor Jonnie was killed.”

“Thank God this cruel war is over.” ”

The papers include an original telegram advising his death, addressed to Rev. O’Donnell from the Gulgong Parish; a letter from 2nd Military District dated September 28, 1918, confirming the delivery of the telegram; a letter from his Company OC in D Company, Captain William Herbert Schadel MC, dated August 28, 1918; a letter from his Platoon Sergeant in D Company, Sergeant James Edward Joseph Golden DCM, dated January 19, 1919; a letter from a Miss J. Edwards of Hounslow in England, dated October 28, 1918, sent to Jack’s mother, Minnie Tucker; and a Red Cross document containing a statement given by a Private A. A. Mc Millan – D Company 45th Battalion, dated July 23, 1919, about the location of Jack’s first burial place in Harbonniers.

Cecilia said she was shocked and surprised at hearing from Maria as she had long wanted to find out more details of her great uncle.

“I was stunned; it was wonderful to hear from Maria on January 13 and to receive this new information about Jack,” she said.

“I was still coming down from the high of Jack’s Last Post Ceremony, which was officiated by the RSM of the Australian Army Warrant Officer Class One, Dave Ashley. It was such an honour for Jack’s memory to have someone as senior as the RSM of the Australian Army there. It was a beautiful service.”

“These papers make Jack come to life. I feel like I know him just that bit better now and can gain a real appreciation of his time away from Coolah, a place, according to Sergeant Golden’s letter, Jack was greatly missing,” she said.

“It was shocking to read that the bullet which killed Jack instantly went straight through his steel helmet. He’d put his head up to watch some grenades explode a distance away.

“These letters would have made his parents, John and Minnie Tucker, so very sad but I am sure they were quietly proud of their eldest boy.

“My research is a way of paying my respects to that generation of both men and women who endured so much heartache during the Great War and the broken years for Australia that followed.”

Cecilia believes Jack would be sad to know that we now have a new generation of many broken young men and women following Australia’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and other post-Vietnam conflicts around the globe.

“With this Centenary of the ANZAC Landings at Gallipoli and the observance of the Centenary of the First World War, I’d like to see more analysis on the effect the Great War had on the women who were left behind and of the real suffering that some of the current generation of veterans and serving personnel are experiencing,” she said.

“The world has changed dramatically since August 1918 when Jack was killed, but we can pay real homage to the men and women of that era by ensuring that we take better care of this current generation of veterans, service personnel and their families.”

InSeptember, Cecilia will visit Jack’s grave at Fouquescourt British Military Cemetery in northern France and with his niece Maria’s support, she will shortly be handing these documents to the Australian War Memorial.

Share your family’s WWI storyIn the lead up to the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli on Anzac Day, the Mudgee Guardian will be publishing a series of articles drawing on letters from World War I servicemen which were published in the Mudgee Guardian from 1914-1915. If you would like to share the stories of your World War I connections, or contact Robyn Murray at the Mudgee Guardian on 6372 1455 or email [email protected]南京夜网.au

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‘Failure’ costly

A MILDURA small businessman says council’s “failure to provide working infrastructure” has cost him more than $1 million and caused major businesses to leave town.
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Annoyed: Outback Kids Childcare Centre owner Greg Nelson says drainage delays have cost his business.

Outback Kids Childcare Centre owner Greg Nelson said an unexpected delay on drainage works along Fourteenth Street had cost the city millions of dollars in development.

However, the council said major floods in 2011 had set back drainagedevelopment around Mildura.

“BlueScope Steel, a major trucking company and, I believe, four other businesses have all walked away because of the drainage disaster created by Mildura Council,” Mr Nelson said.

Council earmarked properties along Benetook Avenue between Fourteenth and Fifteenth Streets as a new business district a decade ago.

Following major floods in 2011, the council began installing a drainage pipeline in the area but, four years on, work remained incomplete.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Friday’s Sunraysia Daily 27/2/2015. To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

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Challenge launches local disability support services

Challenge Disability Services Chief Marketing & Sales Manager. Graham Dooley Challenge Children’s Services Regional Manager Western Foster Care, Lisa Anderson, State Manager Children’s Services Chris Brown, Challenge Western Area Manager Belle Moerkerk, State Manager Challenge Choices, Chris Buckman Challenge Choices NDIS consultant David Hinwood and Western Region Operating Manager Natasha Lee.Challenge Community Services launched its disability support and new foster care services at an open day on Tuesday.
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Challenge has recently opened a Mudgee office in the former Salvation Army building in Perry Street.

State Manager Challenge Choices, Chris Buckman, said the Challenge would provide a range of services for disabled people from the Perry Street centre, including day time activities, social nights and training.

“We want to provide a choice for people with disabilities and different opportunities for people in Mudgee,” he said.

“We will provide training and transition to work programs, but also social facilities such as a pool table and air hockey tables.”

Mr Buckman said the centre will open daily, but the hours will vary according to the clients’ needs.

“We will be talking to clients about what they want and the hours they want to use the centre,” he said.

Challenge Community Services was established 58 years ago by a group of parents in in Tamworth and now provides services to people with disabilities through 60 sites.

State Manager Children’s Services Chris Brown said the group had recently moved into foster care services including respite services for carers and early intervention for families at risk.

“Our foster care services matches children with carers one-on-one and we also have residential care for children who do not meet the foster care model,” he said.

“The respite service helps carers who need a break.

“We also have early intervention services for families identified by Family Services, and we run preventative courses so that their children don’t come into care.”

Mr Brown said although Challenge was a relative newcomer to children’s services, it was the fastest growing organisation in the state in this field.

Visitors to the open day heard from foster carers who had worked with Challenge and also clients of the Challenge Choice disability support service.

Challenge Community Services also provides mental health support and Aboriginal services.

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Safety alert issued over emergency service uniforms

A safety alert has been issued over a potentially cancer causing chemical used in emergency services uniforms.
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CSIRO research has raised concerns about the levels of the carcinogenic chemical formaldehyde present in a flame-retardant substance added to the uniforms.

The substance, PROBAN, is found in uniforms used by the Country Fire Authority, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Victorian State Emergency Services and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The research, which was commissioned by the Australian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council, showed further testing was needed on the additive’s safety.

While AFAC does not consider PROBAN-treated uniforms to be a health hazard, the safety alert urges staff to store uniforms in well-ventilated areas and to wash the garments separately.

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Jets unlikely to have Serbian for F3 derby

WAITING: Enver Alivodic at Jets training on Thursday. Picture: Peter StoopNEWCASTLE’s hopes of rushing Serbian winger Enver Alivodic in for Saturday’s clash with Central Coast at Hunter Stadium could be stymied by red tape.
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The Jets were still waiting for the 30-year-old’s international transfer clearance on Thursday, and chief executive Mitchell Murphy admitted he was not confident it would be processed in time.

‘‘We are sitting here waiting for the ITC to come through and have done everything we can in terms of trying to accelerate that process,’’ Murphy said.

‘‘But in that part of the world it is generally slower than most other parts of the world.

‘‘To be candid, while we remain hopeful of him being available for the weekend, I’d say the chances of him being cleared by the weekend are slim, but I’d be delighted to be proven wrong.’’

Alivodic, 30, arrived in Newcastle on Friday last week from FK Vojvodina, for whom he scored 13 goals in 53 games in the Serbian Superliga.

Jets coach Phil Stubbins said on Tuesday that ‘‘from a physical perspective he is ready to go’’ and he was being considered as a replacement for suspended Andrew Hoole.

Meanwhile, Newcastle’s impasse with unwanted players David Carney, Adrian Madaschi and Billy Celeski remains unresolved.

Celeski and Madaschi are free agents at the end of the season and have rejected termination settlements. Murphy said the ‘‘ball is in their court’’.

Carney is under contract for next season, but the Jets remain intent on negotiating a release.

‘‘We’ll continue to try and get to a landing position with David and his agent about an exit from the club,’’ Murphy said. ‘‘With the other two, it’s status quo.’’

Murphy said he was still working behind the scenes to settle the club’s much-publicised liabilities, in particular a reported $400,000 in unpaid superannuation and a tax debt estimated to be worth more than $2million.

‘‘I’m happy with the progress we’ve made and I’d be hoping that by next week we’d be in a position to give a definitive update,’’ he said.

Recognising the firies

Recognising the firies Jesse Dickason, Jodie Hamley, Helen and Jim Hickson, Darren Schultz and Jo Taylor. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY
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Griffin Taylor with Kayden Schultz. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Griffin and Hamish Taylor with Kayden Schultz. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Hamish Taylor, Captain Jim Hickson, Griffin Taylor and Kayden Schultz. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Hamish and Griffin Taylor with captain Jim Hickson. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Griffin Taylor. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Griffin Taylor with captain Jim Hickson. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Jim Hickson, Jesse Dickason, Jodie Hamley and Jo Taylor. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Jim Hickson, Jesse Dickason, Jodie Hamley and Jo Taylor. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Jim Hickson, Jesse Dickason, Jodie Hamley and Jo Taylor. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Griffin Taylor, Kayden Schultz and Hamish Taylor. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

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Busker left Warrnambool before molesting girl, 6

Busker Michael John Molloy, 26, was found guilty last year of aggravated indecent assault of the girl in November 2013 at a Mount Gambier primary school playground. He will be sentenced on March 27.AN itinerant busker who assaulted a six-year-old girl in a Mount Gambier playground while on his way from Warrnambool to Adelaide will be sentenced next month.
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The girl’s mother says she’s heartbroken by the drastic changes in her daughter since the encounter with “the sick, selfish monster”.

Busker Michael John Molloy, 26, was found guilty last year of aggravated indecent assault of the girl in November 2013 at a Mount Gambier primary school playground. He will be sentenced on March 27.

In her victim impact statement read out to the SA District Court yesterday, the mother said her previously bubbly, friendly daughter was now non-social, scared, untrusting and clingy.

She said the girl was now frightened of men and feared they would hurt her.

“She sobs and she wonders why he hurt her and how she could have stopped him,” she said. “How dare he do this to our beautiful little baby.”

Molloy admitted that hours before the assault he searched the internet for child pornography and drew pornography and wrote pornographic captions on his guitar while under the influence of methamphetamine.

Defence lawyer Nick Healy asked the judge not to impose a crushing sentence, saying Molloy was contrite, had insight into his actions and blamed no one but himself and his use of methamphetamine.

“He doesn’t admit to having paedophiliac tendencies,” he said. “He is revolted by it as he has a child of his own.”

Mr Healy said Molloy was having a very hard time in jail in Mount Gambier. “A couple of prison guards are friends of the victim’s family,” he said.

Prosecutor Vanessa Burrows described the offence as brazen, given that other children were nearby and parents were not too far away.

“It was deliberate and predatory behaviour,” she said, noting his earlier internet searches were specifically for child pornography.


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Workforce plan welcomed

GIANT STEPS: Julie Butler. Picture: Grant Wells.
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STEPS to encourage people with disabilities into the workforce need to be based on an evidence-based model, according to a Coastal disability advocate.

Speak Out Association of Tasmania advocacy practice leader Julie Butler said any move to increase the presence of people with disabilities in the workforce was a good one, but stressed supports needed to be in place first.

“People with disabilities want the same things as any other group of people do, they want to work and feel included in the community,” she said.

“We welcome reform if it offers people with disabilities a real and meaningful chance of a job but it needs to be done in the right way.”

She said she was concerned about the potential methods used to assess the working capacity of someone with a disability.

A review into the welfare system suggested establishing a three-tiered working age payment based on the level of disability and capacity to work. “The job capacity assessment they use now isn’t a great tool, and seems to be out of step with vocational research.

“It’s supposed to assess their work suitability but it’s done before the person has any knowledge of what it’s like to have a job.

“It would be much more accurate if the person had completed a transition to work program first.”

Mrs Butler said there needed to be more support for employers as well as people with disabilities in the workplace.

She said people with disabilities faced significant difficulty in finding employment in North-West Tasmania.

“The job situation isn’t good at all, look at how many jobs are available in the area in general and then add disability on top,” she said. Mrs Butler said it was important for the social service sector to be consulted further before the review recommendations were acted on.

“It has the potential to be quite good if it’s implemented in the right way,” she said.

Braddon Liberal MHR Brett Whiteley said the government would consider the report’s recommendations and make further decisions as part of a “longer-term vision of Australia’s welfare system”.

The full report can be accessed at https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/review-of-australias-welfare-system.

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Fracking banned for five more years

TASMANIA’S moratorium on fracking will continue until 2020, the state government announced yesterday.
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Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves drilling into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.

A one-year moratorium on fracking in Tasmania was implemented last year to allow a review of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Tasmania.

The government received 157 submissions as part of the review, with a vast majority of the submissions against the practice.

“There is considerable concern around the potential negative impacts of fracking, particularly within our rural communities and farming families who rely so heavily on our global reputation for producing premium and safe products,” Primary Industries and Water Minister Jeremy Rockliff said.

“It is also clear that there is considerable concern for landowners’ rights and public and environmental health.

“After consideration, advice and consultation, it is prudent that we introduce a five-year moratorium on fracking in Tasmania.

“We want to take greater account of what those risks might be and whether we have a sufficient regulatory environment to allow hydraulic fracturing to take place.”

The moratorium is a policy position for the government, and not legislated.

“The five-year moratorium on fracking is a clear policy position of our government. It will be backed, as necessary, by amendments to the Mineral Resources Development Act,” Mr Rockliff said.

Resources Minister Paul Harris met with mineral and energy groups yesterday.

He said the government would continue to support exploration for resources like shale gas or petroleum, without the use of fracking.

“This allows mining and energy exploration to continue while the state’s economic prospects for energy, and our understanding of the economic viability of the resource may change over time,” Mr Harris said.

The government said it would consult all stakeholders and monitor national and international developments in policy, scientific understanding of fracking practices.

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Forty years of nimble fingers on show

PRECIOUS memories and outstanding creativity are on display this weekend at the “Roaring Forties” exhibition by the South West Embroiderers Guild.
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Warrnambool embroiderers Lorraine Blackmore (left) and Brenda Henderson admire some of the works on display in the Warrnambool Masonic lodge hall. 150226LP41 Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

The biennial exhibition celebrates the 40th anniversary of the guild’s first exhibition in 1975 and several of the displays have a “40” theme.

Among them is the wedding dress long-time guild member Phyllis Brown made for her wedding in 1947.

Guild president Robyn Archer said the exhibition was a celebration of women’s creativity that was often used to mark important events in people’s lives.

“We do it in fellowship and we often put modern twists on traditional approaches,” she said.

The exhibition also features a showcase of the work of veteran guild member Gloria Cathcart, 83, who began doing needlecraft as a child.

She jokes in her exhibitor’s biography that one of her first needlecraft works, a balaclava for a World War II RAAF pilot, would have been better suited to one of Hannibal’s elephants.

Mrs Cathcart said her passion for embroidery flourished after she retired as a science teacher. It kept “the fingers nimble and the grey cells busy,” she said.

The three-day exhibition opens today in the Warrnambool Masonic hall in Kepler Street. Entry is $5.

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Fatal Nullawarre crash driver to stand trial

Nullaware store owner/operator Ashley Raymond McDowall, 69, pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing death after a crash on the Timboon-Nullawarre Road on September 28, 2013, in which a 46-year-old Timboon woman died.TWO women who narrowly avoided a fatal road accident near Brucknell have told a committal hearing they thought they were going to be hit.
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Nullaware store owner/operator Ashley Raymond McDowall, 69, pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing death after a crash on the Timboon-Nullawarre Road on September 28, 2013, in which a 46-year-old Timboon woman died.

The incident involved a Ford sedan heading east and a van travelling west just after 3pm on AFL grand final afternoon.

Mr McDowall said his van was blown on to the wrong side of the road by a gust of wind just before the crash.

Carlene Walker, who was driving in front of the Ford sedan, told Warrnambool Magistrates Court she saw a white van on the wrong side of the road heading towards her.

She said she slammed on her brakes and then accelerated, noticing the car behind her was “right up my clacker”.

She swerved to the left to avoid the van.

“I thought he was going to hit the back of my car,” she said.

Ms Walker said the van just kept drifting towards her, then heard a bang and saw the collision in her rear-view mirror.

She stopped to try to help the woman trapped in her car and looked at Mr McDowall, noting that he was an older man and that he might have “had a turn” or was about to.

“I took my jacket off and put it around him,” she said.

The passenger in Ms Walker’s car, Mary Belshaw, said she was angry at the scene because she knew the victim and watched her “die in my arms”.

She said that before the crash she felt Ms Walker touch the vehicle’s brakes, looked up and saw a van with its front wheel in the gravel on the wrong side of the road.

“Charlie (Carlene) yelled ‘hang on’, planted the foot and we hoped for the best,” she said.

“We were actually airborne, it felt that way. It happened in milliseconds. I thought we were hit when we heard the bang.

“I braced myself and said: ‘God, I’m not ready to die yet’. I knew we were in trouble. I thought we were a goner.”

Senior Constable Robert Hay, of the Victoria Police major collision investigation unit, said Mr McDowall’s reaction time of about two seconds was above 85 per cent of the population.

Under cross-examination by barrister Hilary Bonney, the policeman agreed his calculations did not take into account wind conditions.

Ms Bonney said the closest wind records for the day were from the Warrnambool airport, about 50km from the accident scene, but they showed it was a very windy day with 37km/h winds and gusts up to 50km/h.

Magistrate Peter Mellas said there were a number of questions to be determined by a jury. Mr McDowall was committed to stand trial in the Warrnambool County Court. A directions hearing will be held on April 17.

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Ladies line up in battle for first premiership: Maiden decider

IRYMPLE and Mildura Settlers willeach be fighting for their maiden premiership when they face off tonight.
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BRING IT ON: Irymple’s Rennee Whitton and Settlers’ Rebecca Nicolson-Leask will go head-to-head tonight in the women’s cricket grand final. Picture: Carmel Zaccone.

The sides clash in the grand final of the Sunraysia cricket women’s competition at Sarah Oval, where the first piece of silverware for either club is up for grabs in what should be an epic battle.

Both teams had entered the finals as underdogs, after Settlers finished third and Irymple fourth with a huge gap to the dominant top two teams, Coomealla Wentworth and Nichols Point respectively.

They each won through to the season decider after upsetting their more fancied opponents in thrilling semi-finals played out last weekend.

Irymple has recovered from a mid-season dip in form, after a strong start to the campaign, over the past few weeks.

Irymple captain Rennee Whitton said that her side had come good at the right time leading up the final series.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Friday’s Sunraysia Daily 27/2/2015. To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

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Welfare system reform essential

AUSTRALIA’S complex welfare payments structure is in urgent need of an overhaul.
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The government pays out a whopping $150 billion in welfare each year in a confusing, overly-bureaucratic system that encourages dependency rather than self-reliance.

A long-awaited report into welfare by former Mission Australia chief Professor Patrick McClure was released this week and, unsurprisingly, it recommends sweeping changes to a system that costs taxpayers a fortune.

Generational unemployment, where children have no concept of work because their parents have always been on welfare, and getting older Australians to work longer are key planks of Professor McClure’s report.

Any changes to welfare will be unpopular in some quarters and there will be predictable accusations that the poor and the vulnerable are being targeted unfairly.

But the fact is our welfare apparatus is dense, expensive and unfair as it is with many people rorting the system often at the expense of those who need it most.

It has been allowed to reach the point where it is almost out of control.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison yesterday sounded a warning when he pointed out that welfare spending makes up a third of government spending and is projected to be the biggest area of spending over the next four years.

All this at a time when government revenues have dropped back dramatically as a result of a slump in the mining boom.

Professor McClure’s roadmap for change does not discriminate against anyone, instead focusing on getting people back to work while ensuring genuine recipients are no worse off.

At the moment there are 20 welfare payments and 55 supplementary payments and it is the cost of administrating these 75 different streams of welfare that is causing much of the expense.

Australia has one of the most generous, complicated and expensive welfare systems in the world.

There is a better way. It has been found by Professor McClure and government should not waste a moment more in implementing the changes so desperately needed.

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