Saturday’s smiles


Judy Rudd an amateur genealogy researcher in southern Queensland’s, was doing some personal work on her family tree. She discovered that she and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had an ancestor in common – her  great-great uncle, Remus Rudd, who was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Melbourne in 1889.

 The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows at the Melbourne Gaol.

On the back of the picture Judy obtained during her research is this inscription: ‘Remus Rudd horse thief, sent to Melbourne Gaol 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Melbourne-Geelong train six times. Caught by Victoria Police Force, convicted and hanged in 1889.’

 Judy  e-mailed Prime Minister Rudd for information about their great-great uncle Remus. His staff sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research:

“Remus Rudd was famous in Victoria during the mid to late 1800s. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Melbourne-Geelong Railroad.

 “From 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad.

 In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the Victoria Police Force. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honour when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”

 How’s that for political spin?

P.S. – I googled Remus Rudd and found this story is a hoax but let’s not let the facts get in the way of a grin.

Paul Eddington – A Life Well Lived


While looking for a post for Paul Eddington’s birthday yesterday, I came across this tribute to him.

Part two is here.

Part three is here.

For garlic lovers


It’s soup season.

My favourite recipe is for the all purpose Tomato Soup which also serves well as a sauce for pasta and pizza.

It’s easy to make but requries lots of garlic and  I’ve never been keen on the fiddly business of getting the clove out of its papery skin.

However, I’ve no excuses now that I’ve acquired a silicone garlic peeler.

I’m wary about wonder gadgets but this one really is as good as its promise.

You simply put the clove in the tube, roll it on the bench and voila  the skin comes off – no fiddling, no smelly hands, just naked garlic, ready to be sautéed.

Assets can be liabilities


Among the dead rats National was forced to ingest before the last election was a pledge to hold on to all crown assets.

The promise was no assets would be sold this term and if there was any intention to sell any in a future term that would be announced and be part of a future campaign.

Now we’re about half way through the current term it’s a good time to look at state owned assets and question if it’s in the companiess’ and the country’s best interest to retain them in public ownership.

One of the questions to be asked is, whether investment needed for continued growth of these assets is the best use of scarce public funds.

This may well have been in the mind of Solid Energy’s chair John Palmer when he suggested that a partial sale of the SOE might be good for the company and relieve the state of the need to find the money needed for expansion.

It would be good if we could get past the emotional and ill-founded belief that state ownership is always good and private ownership is bad and looked at suggestions on a case by case basis.

Some sales, partial or full, could provide domestic  investment opportunities for those with money to spare; realise funds which the government could spend on other priorities; expose the companies to the discipline of the market and enable them to raise funds they need without going cap in hand to a cash-strapped government.

While discussing this another point to bear in mind is that assets which don’t get the continuing investment they need can turn into liabilities.

June 19 in history


On June 19:

1179 The Norwegian Battle of Kalvskinnet –  Earl Erling Skakke  was killed, and the battle changed the tide of the civil wars.

1269 King Louis IX of France ordered all Jews found in public without an identifying yellow badge to be fined ten livres of silver.


1306 The Earl of Pembroke’s army defeated Bruce’s Scottish army at the Battle of Methven.

1566 King James I of England and VI of Scotland, was born  (d. 1625).


1586 English colonists left Roanoke Island, N.C., after failing to establish England’s first permanent settlement in America.

1770 Emanuel Swedenborg reported the completion of the Second Coming of Christ in his work True Christian Religion.

1807  Admiral Dmitry Senyavin destroyed the Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Athos.


1816  Battle of Seven Oaks between North West Company and Hudson’s Bay Company, near Winnipeg.

The Fight at Seven Oaks.jpg

1821  Decisive defeat of the Philikí Etaireía by the Ottomans at Drăgăşani (in Wallachia).


1846 The first officially recorded, organized baseball match was played under Alexander Joy Cartwright’s rules on Hoboken’s Elysian Fields with the New York Base Ball Club defeating the Knickerbockers 23-1. Cartwright umpired.

1850 Princess Louise of the Netherlands married Crown Prince Karl of Sweden-Norway.

1861  Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, British Field Marshal and Commander of British forces in WW I, was born (d. 1928).

Douglas Haig.jpg

1862  The U.S. Congress prohibited slavery in United States territories, nullifying the Dred Scott Case.

1865 Dame May Whitty, English entertainer, was born  (d. 1948).

1865  Over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves in Galveston, were finally informed of their freedom.

1867  Maximilian I of the Mexican Empire was executed by a firing squad in Querétaro.

1870  After all of the Southern States were formally readmitted to the United States, the Confederate States of America ceased to exist.

1875  The Herzegovinian rebellion against the Ottoman Empire began.

1896 Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, was born (d. 1986).

1910  The first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington.

1915  The USS Arizona (BB-39) was launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York..


1929 Thelma Barlow, English actress, was born.


1934  The Communications Act of 1934 established the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

1940 The trans-Pacific liner Niagara was sunk by a German mine off the Northland coast..

Niagara sunk by German mines off Northland

1943  Race riots  in Beaumont, Texas.

1944  World War II: First day of the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

Zuikaku and two destroyers under attack

1947 Salman Rushdie, Indian author, was born.

1953  Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed at Sing Sing, in New York.

1961  Kuwait declared independence from the United Kingdom

1963 Rory Underwood, English rugby union footballer, was born.

1964  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the United States Senate.

1966 Shiv Sena was founded in Mumbai.


1970  The Patent Cooperation Treaty was signed.

1977 Rebecca Loos, Dutch model, was born.

1981 Moss Burmester, New Zealand swimmer, was born.

1982  In one of the first militant attacks by Hezbollah, David S. Dodge, president of the American University in Beirut, was kidnapped.

1982 – The body of God’s Banker, Roberto Calvi was found hanging beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London.

1987  Basque separatist group ETA committed one of its most violent attacks, in which a bomb is set off in a supermarket, Hipercor, killing 21 and injuring 45.

1990 The international law defending indigenous peoples, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989, was ratified for the first time by Norway.

2006  Prime ministers of several northern European nations participated in a ceremonial “laying of the first stone” at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Spitsbergen, Norway.


2009  British troops began Operation Panther’s Claw, one of the largest air operations in modern times, when more than 350 troops made an aerial assault on Taliban positions and subsequently repelled Taliban counter-attacks.

File-Operation Strike of the Sword.png

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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