November 20, 1897 Aviation pioneer Maude Rose “Lores” Bonney was born in the city of Pretoria in the present-day Republic of South Africa. (At the time of Bonney’s birth, the region where Pretoria is located was part of an independent and internationally recognized state known as the Transvaal Republic.) At an early age, Bonney –... Continue Reading →

November 5, 2011 Better late than never . . . In southeast Australia, a lighthouse at Cape Wickham on King Island in the state of Tasmania was officially opened 150 years after first going into the service. This ceremony finally took place in 2011 because, during preparations to commemorate the lighthouse’s sesquicentennial, it was discovered... Continue Reading →

October 7, 2010 (Image courtesy of Eastern Reporter Community News.) In Australia, Mandjoogoordap Drive (State Route 19) in the Peel region of the state of Western Australia was officially opened two months of schedule. (“Mandjoogoordap” is pronounced man-joo-goord-daap.) Western Australia’s Transport Minister Simon O’Brien officiated at the dedication ceremony for the dual carriageway (this class... Continue Reading →

August 27, 1943 In the midst of World War II, the ship Cape Leeuwin was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to assist with Australia’s efforts on behalf of the Allies in their fight against Japan. A lighthouse tender, HMAS Cape Leeuwin had been designed and built nearly two decades earlier to provide supplies and... Continue Reading →

August 20, 2014 In Australia’s state of New South Wales (NSW), the longtime Hampden Bridge in the city of Wagga Wagga was demolished with an induced collapse method involving explosives. The Wagga Wagga City Council had voted to get rid of the bridge because of what was deemed to be the too-high costs for maintaining... Continue Reading →

July 31, 1865 In the northeastern section of Australia, the inaugural train run of the world’s first narrow-gauge mainline railway occurred on a Monday morning in the colony (present-day state) of Queensland. A large number of people gathered to witness the record-setting railway’s formal debut, which took place on what the Queensland Times called a... Continue Reading →

July 18, 1914 French pilot Maurice Guillaux achieved a major aviation record by completing the first official airmail flight in Australia. Guillaux began the Sydney-bound flight aboard a Bleriot XI monoplane on July 16 at 9:12 a.m., taking to the skies from the showgrounds in the Melbourne suburb of Flemington. Guillaux made landings at Seymour and... Continue Reading →

June 25, 1954 In southeastern Australia, the final section of the Walhalla railway line in the Gippsland region of the state of Victoria was closed. This shutdown took place just over 44 years after the Walhalla railway -- one of a few narrow gauge lines of the Victorian Railways (the operator of most of the... Continue Reading →

May 15, 1928 The pioneering non-profit Australian Inland Mission (AIM) Aerial Medical Service was established in the town of Cloncurry in Queensland, Australia. Reverend John Flynn, a Presbyterian minister, launched this use of aircraft as ambulances in the Australian Outback as a “mantle of safety” for those living in remote, underserved areas and lacking ready transportation... Continue Reading →

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