Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Celebrating South Australian's – Yett Soo War Way Lee



Celebrating South Australian's – Yett Soo War Way Lee


 Yett Soo War Way Lee was born in Tungkun near Canton in China in 1853. The son of a rice-miller, Way Lee married early and had a son with his wife, named Yett King Sum.
By 1874, Yett Soo had made his way to Sydney Australia. He had traveled alone, and whilst in Sydney lived with his uncle Way Kee. He traveled the eastern states seeking an education in schools in Sydney and Brisbane, before making his way to Adelaide.

  In Adelaide he studied the English language at the Adelaide City Mission and founded his own company “Way Lee Co.” an import company bringing in Tea, china and other imported goods and fireworks.
Way Lee's business was hugely successful in an era when the rise of racism against the Chinese in Australia was steadily on the rise (which would eventually lead to the anti-Chinese riots in gold mining towns like Ararat in Victoria )

 Way Lee's business was incredibly successful he opened stores right across the South Australian colony and in the Northern Territory and New South Wales. In South Australia his main store was located in Rundle Street, but he also had a store in Currie Street. Stores could also be found in South Australia at Quorn, Hawker, Millicent. In New South Wales at Beltana, Broken Hill, Wilcannia, Wentworth and Menindie and in the Northern Territory at Daly River.

Way Lee was a supporter of his community often giving money to local charities, and supporting local events. He always supported Chinese New Year, offering dinners for Adelaide's dignitaries and politicians and supplying fire works for for celebrations.

Way Lee was the first Australian to really open the way for trade between China and Australia. A fighter for the rights of Chinese immigrants, he fought for Chinese settlers to be offered a district solely for Chinese use.
 Way Lee also offered to bring to Australia, Chinese labourers to work at the Daly River Plantation in the Northern Territory.
 Way Lee was a great promoter of education to the  Chinese community, and worked hard to improve the working conditions and rights of his Chinese compatriots in Australia. He also worked to stop the import of Opium into the colony.
 Way Lee also raised money, and donated much of his won money, to be sent back to China to help feed people after chronic flooding, then droughts that were decimating the people of his homelands.

Way Lee was a Freemason and a respected member and leader of the local Chinese Community. He offered homes for many Chinese immigrants in Adelaide, way houses until they could afford better homes themselves.
 In 1889 Way Lee married Margaret McDonald, and together they had 4 children, Vera, Pretoria, Lily and Jack.
He spoke openly in the public about the treatment of his fellow country men in Australia by the Government, law and people and is quoted as saying “The Australian people are always very kind to me, but the law worse than the people”.
Way Lee died in 1909 of chronic nephritis and amyloid disease on August 21st 1909. Many of Adelaide's population travelled to West Terrace cemetery to witness the funeral of Way Lee, expecting odd Chinese death rites, but they were bitterly disappointed, as Way Lee was buried under common Presbyterian funeral rights.

For more on Yett Soo War Way Lee, please visit the following links:

adb.anu.edu.au/biography/way-lee-yet-soo-war-9015
www.chia.chinesemuseum.com.au/biogs/CH00005b.htm
migration.historysa.com.au/biography/yett-soo-war-way-lee




Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Closed Hotels of South Australia - The Bijou Hotel




The Bijou Hotel

 

141 Rundle Street (between Twin Street and Pulteney Street – now part of Rundle Mall)
 The Bijou Hotel was situated where the Citi Centre Arcade Shops can now be found (McDonalds, Comic Book Store etc ) between Twin Street and Pulteney street in Rundle Mall.
The hotel was established in 1859 as the “Adelaide Restaurant or Nottinghamshire Arms Hotel” by J.H. Hubert, which offered visitors “unprecedented low prices, comfortable beds and the best Wines, Spirits, and Malt Liquors that can be procured.
Finest and largest PORT LINCOLN OYSTERS at Is. 6d. per dozen ; middle size, 1s. per dozen ; small size, 6d. per dozen, bread and butter included.
A good DINNER for ONE SHILLING, with vegetable included”

A few years later the hotel was owned by Thomas Upton, and in the following years its name changed numerous times. In 1964 it was known as the Alexandra Hotel, The Dolphin Hotel in 1871 and The Savoy Hotel from 1896, until renamed as The Bijou Hotel in 1899 until it was demolished in 1923.
The Bijou Hotel was listed as having seven bedrooms and four parlours, and was extensively furnished and very well looked after.
 In 1904, The Bijou Hotel was a small part in a larger drama of events that occurred on rundle Street. At the time Rundle Street, not yet a mall, was the most popular place for younger folks to hang out and catch up. A little before 9pm on  Saturday the 27th of February 1924, the Bijou Theatre caught fire and the metropolitan fire service was called to attend. This event only added drama to an already busy and shocked Rundle Street, within the previous hour Thomas Horton had shot his wife Florence just outside the Adelaide Arcade. Florence, mortally wounded stumbled into the Arcade and died, while Thomas was on the run. Thomas was later caught and hung in Adelaide Gaol (More on Thomas Horton can be found in my book: The Haunts of Adelaide – History, Mystery and the Paranormal – published by Custom books ).
In 1911, The Bijou Hotel again made the news, when in “The Chronicle” a local newspaper, it was reported a number of thieves had broken into the hotel. The criminals climbed in through a window about 10pm and stole a number of portmanteaus (a type of leather trunk like a suitcase). The portmanteaus were pushed out onto a balcony and lowered to an awaiting accomplice.
In 1924, the hotel, and adjoining buildings were bought by a developer and demolished. New buildings were erected and were known as the Thomas Martin buildings, in honour of Thomas Martin who bequeathed two thirds of his estate to the Adelaide Hospital, of which, one town acre (which the hotel stood upon) was part of the bequest.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

SYFY USA - Adelaide Arcade


Haunting:Australia
USA SYFY Airing - Adelaide Arcade



Want to visit the Adelaide Arcade as seen on SYFY TV show – “Haunting: Australia” - plan your trip to include the only ghost tour in South Australia recommended by the majority of the Haunting: Australia team – GHOST CRIME TOURS
The Adelaide Arcade is also the lead story in Allen Tiller’s book “The Haunts of Adelaide – History, Mystery and the Paranormal” which also features other allegedly haunted locations in the City of Churches.
The Adelaide Arcade was opened on December 12th 1885 between Grenfell and Rundle Streets in Adelaide’s busy shopping precinct. Boasting 50 stores, with 50,000 square feet of space, Turkish Baths, electric lighting (the first in Adelaide), lower level shops with upper level living, ventilation and a unique parcel delivery system as well as coal gas heating.

With a stone entrance built from Kapunda marble, the ornate building boasts glass windows imported from England, and specially made floor tiles, designed for the Arcade.

One of Adelaide’s most popular malls, the arcade is allegedly haunted, which led to the first ever paranormal investigation of the Adelaide Arcade being conducted by the Haunting: Australia team in August 2013.

A former caretaker come security guard known as “The Beadle” Mr Francis Cluney died after an incident where he fell into a machine that kept the electric lit - there is some controversy that the incident was not in actual fact an accident, but may have been a deliberate act caused by local youth her had been causing trouble for Mr Cluney only minutes before his death (there are clues to this possibility in newspaper articles and witness statements, of which you can read more about in the “The Haunts of Adelaide” – available via amazon here - )

Other deaths include that of young Sydney Bryon Kennedy who died from asphyxiation in his mother’s upstairs apartment in the arcade – she later died of complications from substance abuse.
Another death, on the Rundle Mall end of the Arcade was that of young Florence Horton who was killed by her husband Thomas Horton. Mr Horton was eventually executed in the Adelaide Gaol by hanging.
If you would like to learn more about the Adelaide Arcade be sure to book a Ghost Crime Tour, and buy the book “The Haunts of Adelaide – History, Mystery and the Paranormal” and whilst your Adelaide head up to the Adelaide Hills and visit Cleland wildlife park and visit my buddy Edmund the Koala!

For Allen's Book
"The Haunts of Adelaide"
visit Amazon here:
 http://www.amazon.com/Haunts-Adelaide-Allen-Tiller/dp/0994177895

available in paperback and kindle

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Extreme Emergency Causing Notice – Kapunda – South Australia

Extreme Emergency Causing Notice – Kapunda – South Australia





Lord Palmerston Hotel - Main Street Kapunda
During World War Two, the Japanese military had spread it's army across Asia, marching towards Australia with a ferocity never before witnessed in modern warfare. city after city fell to the Empire as they moved ever southwards. Singapore fell, and soon Australian soldiers were fighting even closer to their Island, and the threat of coastal invasion became much more real and terrifying.
 By 1942 however, the tide was beginning to turn, and it was now the Japanese who were beginning to worry, so much so in fact that they began to evacuate their own people from possible invasion points by moving them to their furthest north Island of Hokkaido.

 If the Japanese had of made it ashore and invaded Australia, the South Australian Government had devised a plan that would come into action if an “extreme emergency causing notice” had to be served, which would demand all banks in South Australia  in metropolitan areas would have to transfer their head office, or State headquarters, if the banks head office was interstate, into country regional areas as a means of isolating them and making them harder to capture before important documents could be destroyed.

Bank of Adelaide - 1907 - Kapunda
 The clearing house for Associated Banks in South Australia was to find its new home in Burra, where several of the States banks were already represented, these being the Bank of Australia, The National Bank of Australasia Ltd, and the Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd.
 Banks that were choosing to station their headquarters in other towns, would also have to have a representative stationed in Burra to change their cheques through the clearing house.
  Other banks were choosing other regional areas, the Bank of Adelaide made plans for its administration to work from Saddleworth whilst the Adelaide office would be moved to Kapunda, the headquarters to Balaklava and its Port Adelaide, Hindmarsh and Rundle Street branches would all be moved to Angaston in the Barossa Valley.
English, Scottish and Australia Chartered Bank - Kapunda 1871
 The Bank Of Adelaide also made plans to move its Enfield, Keswick and Unley branches to Freeling, whilst its Hindley Street, Pultney Street and Gouger Street branches were to go even further north to Spalding, and the office on North Terrace to Booborowie!

 The English, Scottish and Australian Bank Ltd was looking towards Clare, while the Head Office of Sydney based bank the Commercial Banking company of Sydney Ltd, was looking to go south to Naracoorte. The Commonwealth Bank made moves for Waikerie, and our very own State Bank had chosen Yacka as its escape plan.

The Savings Bank of South Australia chose Kapunda, and made moves to secure buildings in the town, one being the former Baptist Church on Hill street (now the Kapunda Museum) of which the basement, measuring 60ft by 40ft, and having two stair wells was considered extremely valuable to the bank, but they also needed somewhere to use as accommodation for the staff they would need to move the former copper mining town.
 The bank also purchased the once grand Lord Palmerston Hotel which was situated in the main street of the town, and after service as a hotel, and horse sales yards, became the Kapunda Coffee Palace before falling into a state of disuse and neglect.
Kapunda's Main Street circa 1880
 The Hotel, on the ground floor had a bar, dining room, four other rooms and a kitchen, and on the first floor another 11 rooms that could be used as bedrooms, more than ample for the staffs requirements if ever the move had to take place.

 Fortunately for South Australia the Japanese never got this far, and an “extreme emergency causing notice” never had to be served.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Riverland UFO Sighting South Australia 2012

Riverland UFO Sighting South Australia 2012
 
 One night while sitting in my office I received a phone call from a gentlemen who seemed somewhat distressed and a little perplexed.
 Said Gentleman had been flying a small plane on Monday the 16th of January 2012 on a late night training exercise in the Riverland of South Australia, whilst in the air, he noticed a strangely lit object acting erratically in the night sky, his co-pilot also noted the object. The pair called Air traffic control and asked if any planes where in the nearby vicinity of their location. They received an emphatic “no!” from the traffic controller, and decided to shadow the object from a distance,
 They flew watching the plane from the region in Lake Bonney in Barmera to Peterborough in the lower Flinders Rangers, and only decided to turn back after realising they would soon not be able to return to their landing strip due to fuel.
 
The Gentleman described the object as the following:
 “.Small bright object with many lights, every few minutes would stop, dip onto its side, then spin around like a “Hurdy Gurdy” (merry-go-round). Travelling at approx. 150 knots at one point. Object seemed to keep same speed as plane and same distance constantly. Radio interference was also present during sighting, on a warm clear night.”
 
Have you had a UFO experience? Tell us your story here on the comments section below or via the facebook page  www.facebook.com/thehauntsofadelaide

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Northfield Crop Circle 1994


The Northfield Crop Circle 1994


 December 1994, the suburb of Northfield had its own encounter with Aliens after a large crop circle was spotted when Alison Light flew into the city on December 9th.
 Using a street directory, Alison was able to track down the wheat crop by the street patterns of the area, and found it in a field owned by the Department of Agriculture.

The Crop Circle measured 15.3 metres wide, with the wheat flattened in an anticlockwise direction
all the stalks were unbroken, with no human tracks in or out of the shape. It's outer appendages had all the stalks facing back to the main shape, and the entire pattern was perfectly aligned to the Earth’s own magnetic fields in a north-south direction.

 A friend of mine, Mr Good, who I met through a site we both worked at, actually experienced this crop circle for himself first hand, being offered the chance to step inside it when he was working in the areas as a security guard
 Mr Good said, that when he stood inside it you could feel a very weird electrical vibration. Government tests conducted to measure for radioactivity and magnetic charge disputed this evidence, but one has to wonder, as in all UFO related cases, is the Government telling the truth, as it is well known Governments worldwide will cover up any kind of UFO contact wherever possible– (One only has to site the recent release of UFO related material released by the New Zealand and UK Governments over previous years)

 This particular crop circle drew the attention of Mr Colin Norris (known locally as “Mr UFO”) who described the circle as “Marvellous” and stated to the Advertiser Newspaper when asked if it could be a hoax
“It’s ‘it’ as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing about this that’s a hoax. It’s perfect”.

Local radio station SAFM claimed they had made the crop circle as a joke, but retracted their statement of involvement when a Government Official said charges could possibly be laid over the incident.

A few days later, the wheat was harvested and the circle removed by the blades of a combine harvester.

 The land is now entirely covered by homes