Monday, September 28, 2015
Community museums are fascinating for what they say about a place and what is important to the people who live there. We loved the Katherine Museum and Telegraph Office Museum. A video of the 20 metre flood of 1998 which left water in most houses in town, in the outlying areas and all along the main street. Some people lost everything they owned for the second time.
Just as in Canada Chinese “navvies” built the railway and aboriginals worked as stockmen on sprawling cattle stations. When the northern part of Australia was opened up for settlement, one condition was that the land had to have cattle on it within two years. One family started out with 20,000 head of cattle in Queensland, separated into 4 mobs of 5,000 each with stockmen responsible for each mob. They lost many along the way but eventually made it in just under three years.
The tone of the history was forthright. One prominent citizen who owned 2,500,000 acres (!) lost it because of poor decisions as a result of his drinking. Nothing subtle about Aussies.