Adelaide Zoo first opened on 23 May 1883, occupying 16 acres, (now 20 acres) of land granted by the South Australian Government.
The Adelaide Zoo was founded by the South Australian Acclimatization and Zoological Society.
The society later became the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia after a Royal Charter was granted by King George VI in 1937.
The first director of the zoo (1882 to 1893) was R. E. Minchin. He was succeeded by his son A. C. Minchin (1893 to 1934), and grandson R. R. L. Minchin (to 1940).
Another grandson, Alfred Keith Minchin ran the private Koala Farm in the North Parklands, 1936–1960; the surplus koalas were set free on Kangaroo Island.
Pictured: A young John Mansfield whose father was head of the Birds Section in the 1950s. John is on the right of the picture.
In the mid-twentieth century the zoo was involved in the export of live birds, with 99% of Australia’s exports of live native birds, mainly finches and parrots for aviculture, passing through either Adelaide or Taronga Park zoos.
At a time when the need for conservation of Australia’s native birds, and control of their trade was becoming increasingly apparent, South Australia lagged behind other states in passing appropriate legislation.
In 1962 a new director of the zoo, William Gasking, was quickly dismissed through the power exerted by the Zoo Council president, Fred Basse, on the grounds that Gasking would not cooperate with the bird trade.
However, when Basse retired the trade in birds dropped to a tenth of what it had been two years before.
Since then the zoo’s administration has been restructured and the zoo has regained public credibility and scientific status.
The flamingo exhibit was opened in 1885, and is one of the few to have remained in the same position to date.
Originally it was stocked with 10 flamingos, however most died during a drought in 1915.
Source: Adelaide Zoo – Wikipedia
Man and children standing in front of the partially demolished old Albion Hotel, Morphett Street c.1910
by Jessica Barrett
My third great-grandfather, George Mather arrived in South Australia late in 1864.
A publican, the first hotel he took over was the Albion Hotel located on Morphett Street and his first order of business was to hold a Grand Opening Ball on 26 December 1864.
George continued with the licence to run the Albion until it was transferred to John Lamb on 13 June 1866.
by Bob Byrne
When Norm Bridge shared this photo of the Adelaide Railway Station of old on our Facebook page earlier this year it brought back a flood of memories for many of the site’s followers.
Photo from Norm Bridge. The interior of the Railway Station! It was always such a thriving hive of activity with people dashing to catch a train or people arriving and scurrying up the stairs into the city.
I loved the old Railway Station! This great building was constructed in 1926 and designed by Herbert Louis Jackman.
It was always such a thriving hive of activity with people dashing to catch a train or people arriving and scurrying up the stairs into the city.
I used to love the old cafeteria which is in this shot, with its smorgasbord style meals, how many pies with tomato sauce did I eat there with a knife and fork.
The pasties were very peppery and tasted brilliant.
And I think the man in blue may have gone by the time this photo was taken.
I also remember the shops on the ramp too and I’m sure there was a big jockey’s scales just at the start of the ramp, 1d to check your weight.
I remember too the big red dragon sign which I recall was at the northern end and it used to give a loud click when it switched on and it had that fluro buzz.
Alice Dowling remembered Shipway the jeweller at the bottom of the ramp; “I had my ears pierced there back in 1960″.
See more at Bob Byrne’s Wonderful Blog “Adelaide Remember When”
Ms Macken studied two fossil sites – Wet Cave and Blanche Cave – located within South Australia’s Naracoorte Caves World Heritage Area to determine the age of the deposits, thereby providing greater clarity on climatic changes and mammal communities in the region.
While the traditional method for dating archaeological and paleontological materials, known as radiocarbon dating, provided estimated age ranges for the two sites overall, Ms Macken said there were numerous information gaps on the age of the individual sedimentary layers.
“The caves are within 400 metres of each other and there was some pre-existing evidence that showed they were of similar age but the multiple layers within the sites were not well documented,” Ms Macken, based in the School of Biological Sciences, said.
“I took all the information that was available on both the age of the sites and the characteristics of the sedimentary layers and used a new statistical modelling technique – one that has never been applied to an Australian fossil site before – to make predictions on how old parts of the deposits were that we didn’t have dates for,” she said.
“For example, the modelling showed one layer in Wet Cave was 18,000 to 16,000 years old so I did the same test in Blanche Cave to see if any of its layers were the same age.”
Ms Macken said the overarching aim of her research was to understand if and how the community of small mammals living within the region of the caves changed through the last glacial cycle (50,000 to 10,000 years ago).
One of my favourite country towns in South Australia is Moonta which is situated on the Yorke Peninsula.
I guess it would be about 2-3 hours from Adelaide by Road.
Copper ore was discovered at Moonta in a wombat hole in the mid nineteenth century and so began 60 to 70 years of booming activity in the town.
Moonta became the 2nd largest town in South Australia after Adelaide.
Thousands of “Cousin Jacks” were brought from Cornwall to mine the Ore in and around Moonta.
They had a lot to put up with, disease, disasters and about 40 hotels in the town, some no more than a tent. But they did have a great sense of community.
They set up their various Guilds and Friendly Societies all designed for the betterment of the mine workers and their familes.
The genesis of the Labor Party in South Australia was driven by the Unions in Adelaide and the miners in Moonta.
However, in the 1920s the price of copper crashed worldwide and the town of Moonta came crashing down as well.
The industrialists upped stumps tore down their infrastructure, sold off whatever they could as scrap and walked out of Moonta with no livelihood left for the thousands of Cornish miners who had left Britain for that new start in life in the Lucky Country.
But Moonta survived and is both a beautiful and interesting place to visit.