The collected writings of Wynnis Joyce RUEDIGER
Early American River.
— The first boarding-house at American River was owned by Nils Ryberg. It was only a tiny place, for conditions in the early days were primitive. There was no landing stage, and his fishing boat had to meet the Karatta in Backstairs Passage, where passengers were transferred. On arriving at American River the tourists were piggy-backed ashore. Nevertheless, the little spot was popular, and numbered among its guests Sir Robert Kyffin Thomas, Judge Gordon, and Mademoiselle Dussau, who afterwards became governess to Queen Mary's children. Pennington Bay was a favorite picnic resort, and several places along the coast bear the name of the gentle, well-loved Nils Ryberg. The best known— Ryberg's Basin— is a small cove, surrounded by high cliffs. On the rocks below the waves thunder and roar, sending up huge showers of spray. It is a magnificent sight, but dangerous to linger too near the cliff's edge. Rather than allow a foolish young girl of his party to climb down alone, Mr. Ryberg once risked his life by accompanying her. The pair made their way back to safety after skirting the cove end a huge headland. As far as is known no other person has ever attempted this feat. Long names and large families seem to have been the fashion. A quarter of a mile from Pennington are the ruins of a small hut, where a husband and wife brought up a family of fourteen children, and a mother of twenty-two evidently ran short of names, for she called one daughter 'Atlantic Ocean May,' another 'Phyllis Pharas Aurori.' [this cannot be verified]. Bird life along these parts has suffered severely. Yachting parties from Adelaide caused wanton destruction. Old settlers affirm that years ago, at every ebb tide, a continuous stream of the dead bodies of pelicans and other birds could be seen floating out to sea. Other parties took kerosene tins full of partly incubated eggs and used them as ammunition in sham fights. Now birds do not breed here to any great extent. — Wynnis J. Hughes, American River.Real Life Stories Of South Australia. (1932, June 16). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 19. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90905157
How American River Got Its Name.
— Every summer brings to American River many tourists, and many will doubtless be surprised to hear of the important part this quiet little settlement played in the early history of the State. American River is one of the prettiest and most misnamed spots in South Australia. In 1802 Captain Flinders was there. He named the inlet Pelican Lagoon. From the top of Mount Tisby (Prospect Hill) he first sighted Mount Lofty. Between 1802 and 1812 an American schooner, "Union," under Captain James Pendleton, put in at Pelican Lagoon and built the "Independence," the first South Australian built ship. Then he sailed to Sydney, but the name "American River" clung to the inlet, where his vessel had anchored. The slip the sailors used remained for many years after. In the early days many ketches put in at American River for salt. This salt used to be sold in Sydney for £10 a ton more than that imported from England.
Truccanini, one of the last of the Tasmanian blacks, was buried among the sand hills near American River, and the last survivors of her tribe were buried at Stokes Bay in 1887. Early settlers to American River had to suffer many hardships. Ketches called every six months with provisions, and most of the flour had to be ground by hand. Wallaby liver was used for bread, and its skin provided shoes. 'Possums formed the chief part of the menu, and had to be buried for two or three days after killing to take away the strong taste. Among the earlier settlers was John Buick, whose descendants are still at American River. He had working for him a Chinese, who was extremely annoyed by pigs, and being afraid to destroy them by any means which might cast suspicion upon him, gathered sea sponges end mixed them with the pigs' food. As the sponges became damp they would expand and so choke the pigs, which died. This cunning Chinese lies in an unmarked grave not far from the American River jetty. An apricot and apple tree standing alone in the corner of a field are still known as "Chinaman's Garden." — Wynnie J. Hughes, American River.REAL LIFE STORIES FROM FAR AND NEAR. (1932, April 21). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 20. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90913892
Early Days On Kangaroo Island.
— Many of the name-places of Kangaroo Island recall early settlers, many of whom arrived before 1836. One farmer's pigsty at American River now encloses the remains of an old hut and occasionally, when ploughing in nearby paddocks, bricks are unearthed. Although two places have been named alter an old sailor who lived there — Jack, the Gardner's, at American River, and Jack's Creek, at Penneshaw— very little is remembered about the man himself. Stokes Bay, on the south coast, is connected with a tragedy. John Stokes was a master mariner. When he returned from a certain voyage it was generally understood he would marry. He was so long away, however, that when he returned to London he found his sweetheart had married his younger brother, Harry. So upset was John, that he took his ship and sailed for an unknown port, and nothing was heard of him for many years. In 1836 Harry Stokes, also master mariner, came to Kangaroo Island, as chief officer on board one of the boats bringing the early colonists. The first person he met when he stepped ashore was his brother, who had been living at Emu Bay for some years. How he came there was not known, and this John refused to tell. In the Kingscote Cemetery is an old grave, bearing the following inscription:— "Sacred to the memory of Margaret Stokes, the beloved and affectionate wife of Henry Stokes, who died Oct. 9th, 1894, aged 76."
Sal's Creek marks the resting-place of Big Sal, the Tasmanian black, who died somewhere in this vicinity. Luke, a blind lubra, was her mate and, after Sal's death, she came down to Stokes Bay, where the settlers tried to detain her for the night, by locking her in a room. Luke, however, escaped, and was not seen again. Probably she fell over the cliffs or down one of the many gullies, as formerly she had always been led by Sal.
Morrison's Point recalls Fred Morrison, who lived there for a few years. Very little is known of him, and he is generally supposed to have been buried at sea off this point. About half a mile away is Jacob's Gully. Here lived Jacobs, a seaman. He grew very fine potatoes along the creeks, but these were usually stolen by his fellow whalers. The ruins of his hut, which was searched by Tolmer when he came to the island to arrest the notorious Gilkes, can still be seen.
Smith's Bay is named after a Dutchman known as Big-Mouthed Smith. He is reputed to have been able to lift a 200 lb. bag of salt with his teeth. Here, too, according to local tradition, treasure is buried. Smith knew of its whereabouts, but died suddenly without disclosing his secret. Barkly Point is a corruption of Barclay, this being the place where Alexandria Barclay had a small hut. He belonged to the old gang, and made a living by whaling and wallabying. Christmas Cove, at Penneshaw, was named by Captain Flinders, as his men landed here on Christmas Day. [sic] [Flinders visited much earlier in 1802] . French names scattered along the coast recall the visit of Captain Baudin in 1803. — Wynnis J. Hughes, Wisanger.Real Life Stories Of South Australia. (1932, October 27). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 20. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90629051
Old-Time Bush Tragedy.
— In the early days the dense scrub of Kangaroo Island claimed several victims. But one incident which gave rise to much speculation was the disappearance of Dr. Slater and his friend, Osborne. These two men came to South Australia in the Africaine on November 1, 1836. They were so fascinated by the appearance of Kangaroo Island that they persuaded Captain Duff to land them and four companions, Robert Fisher, Charles Nantes, Baggs, and Warner, somewhere near Cape Borda, probably at Merrilles Landing. Their intention was to walk the north coast, and rejoin the ship at Nepean Bay.
The men carried provisions to last only two days, and firearms with which to procure fresh food. Unexpected difficulties were encountered. The country was rough. The party soon found themselves in difficulties. On the sixth day (Sunday) they reached Mirrell's Lagoon, and heard the report of a gun, probably fired from the Africaine. Osborne and Slater by now were both in a weak condition. They refused to go any further, so their companions left them, intending to send back assistance. On Thursday, the tenth day, the four who had continued on sighted Nepean Bay. But Nantes was now ill, and was left behind to be rescued later.
When the three survivors reached Kingscote they learnt that the settlers had become so alarmed at their non-appearance and search parties of black women and sealers had been dispatched to look for them. Now further parties were sent out to bring in Slater and Osborne. George Bates and 'Governor' Whalley, well known old-timers, ran the tracks back. They announced they had found Osborne's body covered with a few bushes, and then tracked Dr. Slater making for Flour Cask Bay, where he evidently thought the Africaine would anchor. They followed the footprints along the beach to the Salt Lake, and here lost the tracks on the rocks. The statement, however, was never verified. The passengers on the Africaine were not satisfied. Some suspected the two friends met with foul play.
Nearly thirty years later (1865) Henry Bates, then a young man of 21, were shearing at Hog Bay River for Mr. Tapley, president of the Marine Board. He went to the mainland to be paid, and was asked if, during subsequent snaring at Mount Thisby, he would look for the skeleton of a man named Pennington, who had been lost in this vicinity in 1855. One evening he set out intending to walk to Flour Cask Bay. He had gone about half a mile west from Pennington Bay, when he noticed something that looked like an old boot about 100 ft. up the cliff. He scrambled up. On top of the rock was a small puddle of salt water, and there Bates found an old rusted gun. He scraped among the salt and found some shot and a shot belt. Noticing in the angle of the cliff a small gulch he decided to search the weeds, which were thick. He found the skeleton of a man, perfect except for a missing rib. Bates decided that the skeleton could not be that of Pennington, who had a double barrel gun, whereas this man's gun was a single-barrel.
A few weeks later a boat sailed into Pelican Lagoon. On board were Mr. Kyffin Thomas and Inspector Tolmer. While yarning round the fire that night Bates told them of his discovery, and next day showed them where the skeleton lay. Measurements were taken, and it was decided that the skeleton must be that of Dr. Slater, who measured 5 ft. 8 in., and not Pennington, who measured 6 ft. — Wynnis J. Hughes, Wisanger.Real Life Stories Of South Australia (1932, November 24). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 17. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90632120
MYSTERY OF JOSEPH PENNINGTON
HOW THE BAY GOT ITS NAME
What happened to Joseph Pennington— the man after whom Pennington Bay, Kangaroo Island, was named? This is one of many mysteries this romantic little patch of South Australia holds.
Pennington Bay, on the south coast of Kangaroo Island, was named after a young man who was lost in that vicinity and whose fate until a few years ago, remained a mystery. Joseph Pennington was associate to Mr. (afterwards Sir Richard) Hanson Pennington came to Kangaroo Island in 1855, in company with Captain Tapley and others, on the ship Young Australia. They anchored in Eastern Cove on Sunday, December 30, and proceeded up the lagoon in a small dinghy. The party walked to Osmanli Beach on the southern coast. On the return journey to the dinghy, Pennington lagged behind. The last time his companions saw him he was sitting on a sandhill. The men waved to him and went on, expecting him to overtake them. Several hours later, when Pennington did not appear his companions started to search. They searched all Sunday night, Monday, and Tuesday. On the Wednesday the Young Australia left Eastern Cove, but the search for Pennington continued.
Mr. John Buick, of American River, and a black gin 'Sal' joined the searchers. The young man's footprints were found but lost again. At this time the scrub was dense and hard to penetrate. Some years ago Jim Buckly was leaf cutting at White Lagoon, about twenty miles from the scene of Joseph Pennington's disappearance. Buckly found a gold watch which was proved to have belonged to Pennington. The screws between the cap had rusted away, but the cap was found a little way off. About the same time some charred bones were also discovered and subsequently declared by Museum authorities to be those of a human being.— Wynnis J. Hughes, Wisanger.Real Life Stories Of South Australia (1933, January 5). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 17. from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90891714
Cask as a Prison.
— In 1837 Mr. W. Giles became Special Magistrate for Kangaroo Island. At times he presided over several queer cases. One well-known identity had a flair for stealing hams and bacon, and in general was a nuisance to the community. At last he was caught committing a crime of a more serious nature, and was taken before the magistrate. The day was warm, and Hodge, the policeman in charge of the accused, fell into a deep sleep during the proceedings, from which he was awakened by the prisoner, who said, 'Wake up, old fellow. Don't you hear what they are saying? You are to take me to prison.' Prom there he escaped that night by the aid of a piece of hoop iron. When he was re-captured he was confined in a 300 gallon butt, seven feet high and three and a half feet in width, the chain attached to the prisoner being drawn through the bung hole and padlocked on the outside. However, the prisoner, an ex-convict from Tasmania, was equal to the occasion, and freeing himself that same night, he plundered a nearby store and escaped aboard one of the whaling boats.
Not long after this a foul murder was committed near the island. Two men were fishing in their whale boat, when they quarrelled, and the younger, a strong and active man, probably incited by drink (there was part of a bottle of rum in the boat), beat his mate to death with a boat hook. Later, overcome with remorse, he gave himself up to justice. He was tried in Adelaide at the next criminal sessions, but owing to a flaw in the indictment was acquitted.— Wynnis J. Hughes, Wisanger.Real Life Stories Of South Australia (1933, February 23). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 16. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90894406
Cradle Of South Australia.
— Kingscote, as the first official settlement on Kangaroo Island, must always contain much of interest to the general public. It was named after Sir Henry Kingscote, who was appointed a director of the South Australian Company on October 15, 1835. He was also the first chairman of the board of directors of the South Australian Banking Company. In 1883 a new township was surveyed by Messrs. Saunders & Packard, immediately to the south of Beare's Point (now known as Snakes Point), and was named Queenscliff. Later, owing to the influence of Messrs. Arthur Daw, S. Hudson, and other early settlers the old name was restored. The busiest part of Kingscote onward from 1836 was close to Reeves Point, named after Augustus Reeves, one of the early postmasters. The whole corner where the mulberry tree now stands was at that time covered with stables, blacksmith shop, and other buildings. On the road leading past the old cemetery was a row of houses called 'German Row.' On a point further alone the Shoal Bay beach was a flagstaff. The site was known afterwards as Flagstaff Hill. The old mulberry tree planted some time in 1837 is all that is left of an orchard planted by Mr. Menge, South Australia's first geologist. In 1835 he was offered the Chair of Professor of Hebrew and Greek at Oxford University at a salary of £1,000 per annum. He refused this offer to accept a post with the South Australian Company as mineralogist at a salary of £200 per annum. He was commissioned by Mr. McLaren (second manager for the company) to find water at Kingscote. In this he failed but soon after he left the island water was found in front of the cottage he had inhabited. Menge resigned owing to a disagreement with McLaren, and went to the Barossa district, where he lived in a hollow tree. Provisions were very expensive in these early days. Flour cost £120 a ton (£12 a bag), mutton 2/6 a pound, butter 5/ a pound, and bread 2/ to 2/3 for a two-pound loaf. A small joint of pork cost £1 7/ and peas 5/ a peck. Rice boiled to a pulp was mixed with the flour to make it go further, and until water was discovered at Kingscote it had to be brought across by boat from the Bay of Shoals.— Wynnis J. Hughes, Wisanger.Real Life Stories Of South Australia. (1933, April 27). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 16. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90898064
Couldn't Find His Clothes
Early residents of American River still laugh at the story of a Church of England minister. One hot summer day he was riding along the beach on his way to hold a service at the river, when he decided to have a swim, He had his dip. and to his horror could not find his clothes, which he had left behind a bush. About two hours later a local settler found him roaming nude and disconsolate along the beach. Taking pity on the clergyman's plight he tracked him back to his clothes. The new chum, an Englishman, had not thought of doing this. When he finally arrived at his destination it was too late to hold service, so the parson and two members of the congregation who still remained, sat down to a hand of cards. — Wynnis J. Hughes, Wisanger.Real Life Stories Of South Australia (1933, August 10). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 18. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90888822
Reminder To Sandy
In the early sixties two Scotch store-keepers lived in a small township along the River Murray. It was the custom of the religious sect to which both be-longed to have prayers offered for brethren by members of the congregation. One Sunday it came to Mac's turn to pray. He stood up. After thinking hard for a time he delivered the following 'Oh, Lord, save Sandy, for he is a liar, He sent me in a bill for £5, and he knows, and I know, and the Lord knows, it should be only £4 10/. Lord save Sandy.' Whether the prayer had effect or Sandy was troubled by a guilty conscience I don't know. But Mac's next bill read: — 'To account rendered, £4 10/.'— Wynnis J. Hughes, Wisanger.Reminder to Sandy (1933, November 16). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 12. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90957818
Raising The Wind
Some years ago three well-known Adelaide men went on a tour of the eastern States. While in Sydney they found there was not enough money left to buy their return ticket home. They decided that their best plan would be to go to Bondi one Sunday afternoon, and when a large crowd had gathered, to carry out a certain programme. One man fell into the water and appeared to be drowning. (All three friends could swim), and his mate plunged in and achieved a 'gallant' rescue. Meantime, the third man, an apparent stranger, took round the hat for the 'herd.' When the three friends again met they found that their afternoon's outing had brought in enough money for their return to Adelaide, and a little over for extras.— Wynnis J. Hughes, Wisanger.Raising The Wind (1934, February 15). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 14. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92357690
Many of the islands around the coast of the mainland have played an important but little recorded part in the history of Australia. Among these is Thistle Island, which probably was visited by the ill-fated explorer La Perouse. after he left Sydney in 1788. On the island are stone buildings about 5 feet high, built without mortar and with an opening for a doorway. The biggest has a large stone let into the ground at the doorway, level with the floor. On this were carved the figures 178 — and another figure close to the 8, which could not be recognised. In 1900 these buildings were examined, and the stone unearthed, but the inscription was completely obliterated. An old sealer, who had probably escaped from Van Diemen's Land, made his home on Thistle Island. He was suspected of having killed his companions and lived apart with his two Tasmanian black wives. He lived by wallabying, having obtained in all 7,000 skins. He had a good stone house, poultry, and goats, and cultivated a small wheat and barley patch. In 1838 the South Australian Company established a fishery at Thistle Island, and the first consignment of blubber oil was shipped to London in the brig Goshawk.— Wynnis J Hughes, Wisanger.Thistle Island (1934, May 17). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 26. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91065579
Early Records Lost
Few South Australians realise that many of their old State documents, which now would be priceless, were destroyed through an act of jealousy. In 1841 Lady Franklin, wife of the then Governor of Tasmania, visited Adelaide and was a guest of Governor Gawler. In order to accommodate Lady Franklin and her suite, Governor Gawler had the official papers and documents, which were kept in his office, put in the old Government House, which stood near where the present stables are situated. A few nights later a fire occurred in the old buildings, and the priceless records of early official transactions of South Australia were destroyed. A former guest of Governor Gawler's. who had had to leave when Lady Franklin arrived, was charged at the Adelaide Police Court with having wilfully set fire to the old structure, but was discharged through lack of evidence. There is little doubt, however, that angered by his ejection, and jealous of Lady Franklin, he did the deed which robbed South Australia of its earliest history. Of later years one of the early pioneers wrote her memoirs of South Australia, and sent them to London for publication. While in the publisher's hands the manuscript mysteriously disappeared and was not found again. It was thought that influence had been brought to bear, as the history of many prominent people had been there recorded. Later the publisher tried to make good the loss by a gift of valuable jewellery to the writer.— Wynnis J Hughes, Wisanger.Early Records Lost (1934, May 10). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 26. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91063573
Stories Of Kangaroo Island
One of our early settlers at American River had an overmantel which was struck by lightning in a severe thunderstorm. On the mantelpiece, not far from the dressing table stood a vase flaunting gaily colored roses. When the storm passed it was discovered that the lightning had in some way reflected the roses in the mirror, and their print was left behind on the surface of the glass like a design. So alarmed was the owner at this unusual occurrence that he vacated the house and never again lived in it.
One old lady living in these parts declared that she once heard the voice of God. She was stone deaf, deeply religious, and firmly believed that before she died she would hear her family speak. In this, however, she was disappointed. One day, while she sat sewing, she thought she heard a voice calling, 'Francis, Francis, the children.' Seeing the little ones playing happily under a large tree some little distance from the house, she at first took little notice. But again came the voice, and so insistent did it seem that she went out and called the young ones to her. The children had scarcely reached her side when a large limb from the gum tree fell, just where they had been standing.
A Church of England parson of these times once offended his congregation by walking out of the room in which his service was held, immediately after he had preached a rather fine sermon, and going down on his haunches, flapped his arms and crowing three times like a rooster. He then retired to change his cossack.
A Chinaman, Folf Sun, was quite an identity at American River. He always seemed to have plenty of small cash, and when many of the South Australian banks crashed, it became a common practice to take notes to the old Chow to change. Thus, when he died. Folk Sun had a large roll of notes, all useless. Local legend has it that the Chinaman was buried with a belt of gold sovereigns, and although the re-opening of his grave has been broached more than once, the exact spot is not known.
One old resident solved the eternal question of how to dodge the wife. He was a fisherman by trade, and extremely lazy! Yet his wife would force him to work at a reasonable hour. He would accordingly sail out a consider-able distance from the land, drop the anchor, go below, and turn in. Returning home late in the afternoon he would be loud in his complaints at the poorness of the fishing.— Wynnis J. Hughes, American River.Stories Of Kangaroo Island (1934, May 24). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 14. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91064367
Wreck Of The Osmanlie
There seem to be several different versions of the wreck of the steamer Osmanlie in Flour Cask Bay, Kangaroo Island, but the following account which has been verified by relations of some of the crew, is generally considered correct. The crew had signed on for a two years' trip, but, arriving at Melbourne when the gold diggings were in full swing, many of the men deserted. It was, therefore, decided that the Osmanlie should be used for the coastal trip between Adelaide and Melbourne. Those of the crew who stood by the ship for three months were to receive double wages. Among these was the chief carpenter, Mr. Davidson. His usual wage was £15 a month and now rose to £30. The Osmanlie arrived at Port Adelaide from Melbourne on August 30, 1853, and sailed for Melbourne four days later. The compass was faulty, and the vessel sailed too far south to see the Cape Willoughby light. The captain was called from his bunk at 11 p.m., because land was sighted dead ahead. He tried to take the vessel out of the bay. but went a little too far to the east and struck the Osmanlie Reef. Down in the cabin were many young fellows returning to the diggings. They were playing cards, and the sovereigns were piled up as high as they would stand. Among the passengers was a man named Tinlin (still remembered by Point Tinlin [Point Tinline]), who had two 80 oz. bars of gold. These he took ashore in a carpet bag, and slept with it under his head for a pillow. Never-the-less the gold was missing next morning, and a subsequent search of all hands threw little light on the matter. Davidson, made a pair of tongs about 10 feet long, with which to probe the shaft of the wreck in case the gold had been left behind in the excitement of the previous night, but empty soda water bottles were his only reward. The men were afraid to dive below to investigate, in case they should get jammed. The gold has never been recovered. Davidson was the only member of the crew who settled on Kangaroo Island, and he died on the mainland about 30 years ago. The beach where the crew landed in Flour Cask Bay is still known as Osmanlie Beach.— W. J. Hughes.Wreck Of The Osmanlie (1934, August 2). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 14. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91067872
Found Wanting When Tested
Dad was always loud in his boastings of what he would do if burglars came to the house. When the time came, however, to prove his words, the result was somewhat different from what everyone had been led to expect. Late one night the family, returning home from a party noticed that a broom had fallen against the door, and at one decided that the worst had happened. A burglar must be somewhere in the house. Grasping a lantern in one hand and a heavy, knobby walking stick in the other, dad rose to the occasion.
He went to the first room, and, knocking loudly on the door, shouted through the keyhole, 'If ye be in there, coom oot!' There was no response, a tour of all the house proving equally unsuccessful. Therefore dad decided that the wood-shed must be the invader's hiding place. So he went outside, and once more shouted his war cry, 'If ye be inside, coom oot!' It so happened that one of his sons was there, and hearing his father's challenge he opened the door. The old man waited for no more. He dropped both lantern and stick and fled back to the house. — Wynnis J. Hughes.Real Life Stories Of South Australia (1934, August 30). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 14. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91071355
Warned The Inspector
Teachers and inspectors whose duties take them into many of the outback parts of the State often have amusing tales to tell about their work. One little boy living in a small sea side town evidently believed in doing the inspector a good turn. He went up to me visitor early one morning and asked confidentially, 'Are you coming to our school today?' On being told 'Yes,' he replied, 'Then you had better clean your boots.' 'Why?' asked the surprised inspector. 'Well, if you don't, teacher will growl at you, was the warning reply.
It seldom pays to break regulations as one newly appointed teacher discovered early in his career. In order to return home for the Easter vacation he closed his school for half a day with out the necessary permission. On boarding the train he sat next to an elderly gentleman, who in course of conversation remarked. 'I know one young lady here who is feeling anxious.' 'Why?' asked the teacher. 'Well,' replied the other, 'I am the school inspector of this district, and to be on this train I know that she must have closed her school without permission.' There was a startled gasp from his companion, who spent the remainder of the journey wondering whether, when a few weeks later the same inspector was due to pay his first visit to his school, he would recognise his fel low passenger and demand an explanation.
The late Director of Education (Mr. McCoy) was well loved by teachers and pupils alike. When he was visiting the Oodnadatta district some years ago one mother rode 60 miles on a camel in order to interview him and gain some hints from him regarding the best methods of teaching her children. But on reaching her destination she was too shy to call on the director who, when he heard of her mission, visited her, examined her children's books, and praised her for her gallant effort.— W.J.H., Wisanger.Warned The Inspector (1934, November 8). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 17. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91077754