Reflections | March 20

By Cassandra Power

March 20

25 years ago

After 28 years with the Victorian Police, Senior Constable Brian Sharp has decided to hand up his handcuffs and retire.

Before he joined the service, he was an electrical linesman for the Murray River County Council at Corowa, and decided to try the city life- but he needed something to get him there.

So he decided to join the Police, and in 1967, a very fresh faced Brian Sharp began his basic training at the old Police Depot in St Kilda.

The Pride of the Murray paddlewheeler has a new Captain.

Eric Donders has taken over the wheel of the legendary Paddlewheeler for owners Hans and Gill Albers.

With seven years paddlesteamer experience behind him, the 22-year-old South Australian Captain has worked on “The Proud Mary’ at Murray Bridge and ‘The Lady Mannum’ at Mannum.

Mrs Albers said their Port tourist attractions employed seven staff, with five of them full-time employees to keep their three businesses open seven days a week.

The original ‘Pride of The Murray’ was built in Echuca in 1865, with the official number 88918.

The unusual stern wheeled vessel carried the equipment required by the enterprising Chaffey Brothers to commence the Mildura irrigation network.

Local triathlete Sharon Ingrm, 15, has won a $3000 racing hike.

The super machine was part of a fundraising competition run by Project Rainbow and contributed several thousand dollars to its $1 million target.

Project Rainbow’s volunteers, led by ex-councillor Mary Roberts, have until June 30 to achieve $600,000 in pledges and $350,000 in the bank.

If they reach those goals Campaspe Shire has promised to proceed with construction of the $4.1 million Aquatic and Leisure Centre at Echuca South.

YMCA president Ian Sinnett drew the prize on Monday night outside IOOF where the bike has been on display.

Kennett Government education cuts have contributed to high youth unemployment in country areas.

This is the claim of Victoria’s Shadow Minister for Education, Mal Sandon.

He believes $400 million in education budget cuts and the closure of 150 country schools has caused retention rates in rural areas to fall from 76.8 per cent in 1992 to 70.6 per cent in 1994.

Mr Sandon claims the Minister for Education, Don Hayward misled the Public Account and Estimates Committee when he said changes in retention rates reflected the changes in the economy and the fact that young people are able to get jobs.

50 years ago

An inspection of the three sites proposed for a new bridge across the Murray River between Moama and Echuca is to be made by the New South Wales Minister for Local Government and Highways, Mr P. H. Morton.

Mr Morton will make his inspection before a visit to Mathoura on Friday, April 17, to officially open the new Murray Shire Council chambers and administrative officers.

Advice of Mr Morton’s intention to inspect the three proposed sites for a bridge, and to obtain more information was received by Mr J. A. Lawson, M.L.A., this week.

Mr Morton said in a letter to Mr Lawson that he would be unable to give any indication regarding the siting of a new bridge during his visit to Murray Shire.

A man found dead in the cellar of an Echuca hotel on October 29 of last year died from asphyxia caused by his exposure to a high concentration of carbon dioxide gas.

This was the finding of the Coroner, Mr A. E. O’Connell, S.M., at an inquest held on Tuesday into the death of Mervyn Bernard Cross, who was licensee of the hotel.

Beverly Oswin Cross, hotel manageress, now of Dundas Street, Thornbury, said about 9.30pm on October 28, she was told by Cross, who was her husband, that there was a leakage of gas in the cellar.

Cross had said he had been down the cellar and was feeling a bit shaky because of the gas.

Mrs Cross said she retired about 11.30 p.m. but her husband stayed up to clean the hotel.

About 12.30 p.m her husband carried the tilla to the bedroom and they had a short conversation and he then appeared well and seemed to have previously been upset.

Mrs L Burge, of St Kilda, made a special trip to Echuca with her two sisters on Wednesday night to present a river chart drawn by her father, Captain John Webb, to the Historical Society for display in the new museum.

The chart, drawn in 1877 on linen, shows the river from Euston downstream, and on the reverse side there is a chart of the Darling River.

It was prepared by Mrs Webb’s father at the time he was working for his Master Mariner’s Certificate.

The ladies’ grandfather, John Martin Webb, came out to Australia in 1857 under contract to the South Australian Government.

He was previously second in command of a British ship-building yard and was sent to Echuca to build the snagging boat GRAPPLER.

The result of the toss could play an important part in the Echuca Cricket Association's A Grade final which commences tomorrow.

Rain experienced this week could make conditions tricky for batsmen, and the captain with the opportunity to decide whether to bat or not will have a definite advantage.

The final is to be played at the park oval over three days between Echuca East and Moama.

They have met on two previous occasions this season for one victory each so the task of selecting the winner in the final is not easy.

Echuca East are likely to start favourites because of their easy win on the last occasion the teams met.