Now that the opening date of Victoria's Centenary draws near, I have not the least doubt that printing presses will soon be busy turning out divers histories of Victoria from the pens of many gifted authors.
Spurred by a selfish passion to be first with everything, I had the idea recently of taking a few hours from other work and dashing off a bit of a history of my own with the object of getting ahead of all other competitors, and hogging the market. But I find I have toyed with the idea too long, and my history is extremely rusty.
So I have appealed to a young friend of mine (aged 10), whose knowledge of history is more recently acquired than mine, and probably much more comprehensive.
Though some may be inclined to criticise my young friend's terse style, it must be acknowledged that he has, at least, seized upon the salient points in the story of our State, and produced a picturesque pocket history of our rapid progress. I give his account here just as I received it.
Years and years ago, when Victoria was populated entirely by blackfellows who were so ignorant that they dident even know that they lived in Victoria, and dident have any improvements or reproductive works or national dets and anything a gentleman named Mr Batman landed on these shores and said right away this is the place to shove up a bit of a village, and some friends who came with him said too right so they done that.
Well, they set to work and bilt the Spencer Street railway station and the tin shed behind the Melbourne Post office, which wasent there yet and when somebody said they are pretty mean looking dumps anyway, Mr Batman up and said they are only tempary and the best we can aford at present, later on we will bild something verry much better.
Little did they reelise what a great city would grow out of their early efforts with fine picture pallises and ice-cream shops and everything but it did and they all died before they had a chance to see it which is a great pity because they were pioneers.
Well one day somebody or other went up country with a shovel and started digging and by and by he dug up some shiny looking stuff and got terrible excited because it was gold. So he came back and told people about it and the tidings leeked out and people came from all parts of the world in ships and things and went up to Ballarat where they could pick up gold in the street.
So they called these people diggers though they were not proper soldier diggers like my dad and when the diggers picked up enough gold to make them rich for life they shod their horses with gold and rode back to Melbourne and lit their pipes with five pound notes and drank shampain out of their hats.
Anyhow, somewhere about that time a gentleman named Mr Peter Lalor got a bit annoyed about the parliament taxing the diggers or something so he said to some friends of his this is a bit over the odds I think we better bild a stockade.
So they bilt a stockade and then some policemen came up and shot off guns at it and the diggers shot back. But by and by everybody got tired of this and Mr Lalor said well it seems to me we got to have taxes so if we got to have them Im going to be on the right side so he went away and became speaker in parliament. He had a verry honerable and colorful career, and a short beard and died highly respected by everybody.
There are lot of other exciting things in the history of Victoria which I haven't read about yet but when I do I might tell you about them. They are the landboom and federation and Canberra and the depression and also the story of Mr Buckley the white blackfellow which I should have put in here but forgot.
There is also another exciting story about a man named Mr Kelly but my father says I mustent mention that because it is no credit to the State.
So that will be all for the present.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002|