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Snippets 20 May 2009
The Australian Lapidary Journal, April & May 1969 also says, “According to a Turkish legend conceived before Christ, opal was transmitted from Paradise to Earth by flashes of lightning.”

Wallangulla, the official name of Lightning Ridge until 1963, translates from a local Aboriginal dialect to “hidden fire stick”, probably a lightning bolt. They did not mine opal but the Dreamtime stories reflect thoughts about the origin of the coloured rocks they saw as they travelled between rivers. Aboriginals also probably held the ironstone ridges that attracted lightning in spiritual esteem.

Many people find Mrs Langloh Parker’s recorded account unbelievable, e.g. “ one of those terrible inland storms, lightning killed six hundred sheep, the shepherd and his dog.” She and her husband owned Bangate Station for ten years, 1880-1890, and lived on the property for another 14 years. Langloh was part of the syndicate that grub-staked Charlie Nettleton, the prospector from White Cliffs.

Barbara Moritz

27 May 2009 03:41am
Snippets 13 May 2009
Taken from the Australian Lapidary Journal - April & May 1969:
“When the world knew only white opal in 1902, the first parcel of black opal to be seen by a Sydney opal buyer, was returned as worthless, but not without comment: How strange it is on its black background, he exclaimed. How brilliant the fire. ...All black...all worthless. But I am a buyer of white opal. How could I use this curious deviation? Where is its purity? he shuddered. Black is the devil’s colour!”

Barbara Moritz

27 May 2009 03:40am
Snippets 6 May 09
The Nurse Lucy tableau in the Hospital Gallery (BNA) has a third portable medicine chest. Andy Bostock, our local dog catcher, popped in with a rather large wooden, dove-tailed box that expands into trays and lift-up compartments when open.

The 1930s First Aid box was left in Andy's camp and probably belonged to the previous owner's father, a medico of the era. The name G.Grant is taped inside. None of the supplies within are usable but they give a well kitted-out effect. It complements the WWI Art Deco wooden medicine cupboard and the basic metal WWII First Aid mini suitcase.

Of all Nurse Lucy's accessories, the only things that we know belonged to the BNA are large brown bottles on the top shelf returned by Gwen Jenkins of Kangaroo Hill. She was given these bottles of certain medicines in the early 1970s by the bush nurse for her kangaroos.

The standing metal instruments cupboard could have been made locally for the BNA. The late Hilton O'Connor found it in an old camp and gave it to Nurse Lucy a few years ago. Surprisingly, these are the only items we can technically claim as the BNA Collection. The other things that fill the display are merely 'props' or memorabilia.

Heritage Cottage is overflowing with 'props' and but one item in the Collection – the opal rubbing wheels installed on top of a treadle sewing machine frame. This set-up is seen on the back stoop in a 1966 ABC film, Solitary Ones, of the Graham brothers at home in Morilla Street.

Barbara Moritz
4 May 2009 02:25am
Snippets 29 April 2009
Does anyone have a mini (about 1-1/2 meters in diameter) galvanised water tank that they could donate to the Society? It will sit on the wet puddler tank stand at the end of the 1915 Hospital Gallery (BNA) back verandah. The one we have is handy for tea making and plant watering but leaks badly.

The back garden will be more functional with the addition of a flag stone area being put down near the tank and the adjacent wash trough. An entertainment area with BBQ will extend the Society's facilities. Wander around and have a look next time you pass. Our two community workers come to us for a few hours weekly courtesy of Rotary. Networking among local organisations is ongoing and, just for the record,

Volunteers are a precious commodity.
They receive no pay not because they are worthless,
but because they are priceless!

Barbara Moritz
28 April 2009 01:50am
Snippets 22 April 2009
A further addition to the 2009 exhibition that opened at Heritage Cottage Hospital Gallery (BNA) on Good Friday, is the first edition of Lightning Ridge by Ion Idriess. He endorsed it in October 1940 to opal miner and correspondent, John Landers, with 'In memory of the old Ridge'. The men mined together briefly in 1910 on the 3-Mile's Lunatic Hill.

Such a fluke to find this particular book, thanks to the vigilance of Jim Bradly whose compilation of Idriess' articles Gouger of the Bulletin will be launched later this year. Landers' grand niece, Loeina Emmett in Sydney, purchased the copy and has donated it to the Society's collection. Landers' An Old Chum Remembers MORE was also launched on Good Friday. His anecdotes complement those of Idriess in various other publications.

The thrill of discovery reigns at your local historical society. Come down and see the exhibit on Wed-Fri, 10-4pm, or by appointment any other time.

Barbara Moritz
24 April 2009 02:44am