The happy couple planned the Perfect Wedding, at beautiful Sellicks Beach located South of Adelaide.
The weather forecaster said, ‘No bloody worries, it’s going to be a belter.’
So with hope in their heart and their wonderful relatives and friends in tow hey made their way down to the beach.
Everyone was just so excited for the beautiful couple and then they looked up and saw this on the horizon.
Oh! My goodness, A storm was gathering. It would be bringing buckets and buckets of rain
There was no alternative venue planned. Bugger that weather forecaster. So what to do?
Were these good people going to let a bit of water spoil the wedding?
No way, and then with classic cleverness those stupid enough to stay out in the rain made themselves some quite stylish and practical water hats using the council’s dog poo collection bags sold to them by Alex Riley at $10 each.
Three Cheers for Alex and Capitalism.
On May 1, 1915, the ship departed New York City bound for Liverpool. Unknown to her passengers but probably no secret to the Germans, almost all her hidden cargo consisted of munitions and contraband destined for the British war effort.
As the fastest ship afloat, the luxurious liner felt secure in the belief she could easily outdistance any submarine. Nonetheless, the menace of submarine attack reduced her passenger list to only half her capacity.
On May 7, the ship neared the coast of Ireland. At 2:10 in the afternoon a torpedo fired by the German submarine U 20 slammed into her side. A mysterious second explosion ripped the liner apart. Chaos reigned.
The ship listed so badly and quickly that lifeboats crashed into passengers crowded on deck, or dumped their loads into the water. Most passengers never had a chance.
Within 18 minutes the giant ship slipped beneath the sea. One thousand one hundred nineteen of the 1,924 aboard died. The dead included 114 Americans.
Walter Schwieger was captain of the U-Boat that sank the Lusitania. He watched through his periscope as the torpedo exploded and noted the result in his log, “The ship stops immediately and heals over to starboard quickly, immersing simultaneously at the bow.
It appears as if the ship were going to capsize very shortly. Great confusion is rife on board; the boats are made ready and some of them lowered into the water. In connection therewith great panic must have reigned; some boats, full to capacity are rushed from above, touch the water with either stem or stern first and founder immediately.”
In the ship’s nursery Alfred Vanderbilt, one of the world’s richest men, and playwright Carl Frohman tied life jackets to wicker “Moses baskets” holding infants in an attempt to save them from going down with the ship.
The rising water carried the baskets off the ship but none survived the turbulence created as the ship sank to the bottom. The sea also claimed Vanderbilt and Frohman.
The sinking enraged American public opinion. The political fallout was immediate. President Wilson protested strongly to the Germans. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, a pacifist, resigned.
In September, the Germans announced that passenger ships would be sunk only with prior warning and appropriate safeguards for passengers.
However, the seeds of American animosity towards Germany were sown.
Within two years America declared war.
In 1913 a red 1d (one penny) stamp bearing a kangaroo and a map of Australia superseded the Commonwealth colony stamps being used in individual states.
However, it didn’t enter circulation without controversy.
It was lampooned at the time for being a weak example of Australian culture and created great divides within the relatively newly independent Federation of Australia as to whether the stamp should include the profile of the king, or indeed any British royal symbols.
It was designed as the ultimate result of a stamp design competition held by the Postmaster-General’s Department. The competition was launched in January 1911, and attracted 1051 designs by 533 entrants.
The first prize of £100 was awarded in May to Hermann Altmann, from Victoria, whose design featured a full-face portrait of King George V, complete with six shields bearing the insignia of each state, a kangaroo and an emu.
Second place, with a prize of £50, was tied by Donald Mackay and Edwin Arnold, both of England. Mackay’s stamp bore the Coat-of-Arms and Arnold’s kangaroo.
However, in October, Charles Frazer became the new Postmaster-General.
He took an interest in stamps and was shown the winning entries. Later, describing it to Parliament as “execrable”, he swiftly rejected Altmann’s design, and appointed the Victorian Artist’s Association to find an artist to create a new stamp.
They commissioned a local watercolour artist, Blamire Young, who began working on the design while Frazer publicly hinted to the press: “If a picturesque stamp can be provided in which an outline of Australia is featured, I am certainly favourably inclined towards it.”
After Young submitted several designs to the Post Office, Frazer took a liking to the ones with kangaroos, finding them to be an apt representation of the Commonwealth, and wrote a note:
“1. Get coastline of Aust. 2. Insert Baldy’s Roo (Edwin Arnold, one of those tied for second place in the competition). 3. Produce in colours for different denominats.”
After some more minor changes, the final design was ready by early 1912, though not without some mishaps, including one print that accidentally omitted Tasmania.
Frazer, proud of the finished product, announced the design on 2 April, well before the stamp went on sale on 2 January, 1913.
Back to the original stamp
In June 1913, however, the Labor government which supported Frazer was toppled in a federal election. Agar Wynne, the Liberal government’s new Postmaster-General, announced the kangaroo-and-map stamp was to be replaced by Hermann Altmann’s 1911 competition-winning stamp after all.
But it proved to be too complex, so a simpler design featuring the Royal portrait was produced, and issued in December 1913.
Frazer defended his stamp, saying “A postage stamp is one of the best advertising mediums the country can have,” and arguing that an Australian stamp with a British monarch doesn’t represent Australia.
“It is ironic,” says Richard Breckon, from the Australian Philatelic Federation, “considering the circumstances surrounding the kangaroo and map and George V designs, that stamps of both series co-existed for a quarter of a century. Following the accession of King George VI, a full series of new stamps was issued in 1937-38.
The end had come for the earlier stamps, except that for some reason the 2s Kangaroo-and-map stamp was not replaced at this time.
This last survivor of Charles Frazer’s wish to create ‘an advertisement for Australia’ lingered on until its eventual withdrawal in 1948.”