It was the in the Portland Observer and Normanby Advertiser that I first found a “They Say” column. It was actually a regular column in newspapers across Australia, offering a snapshot of news and local gossip, often with a humorous tone. Each item always began with “That” and the news reported ranged from local to international. The time period of the following four articles is 1915 to 1917, so Australia was at war.
White boots at a Kentbruck wedding? You probably had to be there. Mouzie is the Parish of Mouzie, near Portland and it seems there had been a sighting of the Tantanoola tiger. Incredible since the legend of the Tantanoola tiger went back 1884, when a Bengal tiger supposedly escaped from a circus at Tantanoola in the south-east of South Australia and was the suspected perpetrator behind mauled sheep through into Victoria. By 1915, the tiger would have been over 30 years old. Regardless, it is an interesting story with a twist that I intend to follow-up for a future Trove Tuesday.
In January 1917, Drik Drik was on the decline and the pressure on men that didn’t go to war was clear.
In June 1917, an Victorian State election was on the agenda, but when would it be? Much like what Australians have endured over the past few days. Again. Australia’s role in WW1 was costly, with the debt out to £130,000,000.
Amusing was the obituary for a sanitary inspector and the crack at the wealthy for not observing thrift, while they and the State expected those at the lower end of the scale to live an austere lifestyle during wartime.
The following “They Say”, has a more serious tone with mostly international news and was possibly written by a different reporter.
In contrast to the last “They Say” this edition was very local with much innuendo. Harry, Maude, Tom and Olive, if they were there real names, may have had a few questions to answer. Even if they were false names, Tyrendarra is so small that anyone at the local dance would have known who “Maudie” was. Pity any girl named Olive living in Portland during November 1917.
Why don’t you check out your favourite newspaper at Trove for a “They Say” column. A search of “They Say” will bring to the top all the papers that ran the column. They make enjoyable reading.
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