Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Lochiel Nurse

The Lochiel Nurse

I first heard this story many years ago, and traveled up to Lochiel very early on in my career as a paranormal investigator, for a private house investigation. Whilst there I looked diligently for the vehicle that I am about to speak of, but to no avail.

Lochiel is a little town located about 125kms north of Adelaide on Highway 1. The area has an interesting history, and has been home to coal mines, wheat farmers and the salt farmers, who collect salt from Bumbunga Lake Nearby.…the area even spawned the micro nation of “The Province of Bumbunga”

Many years ago, Lochiel used to have its own town ambulance, an old 60’s style machine that saw many many years of service. Often patients would get to hospital and ask who the nurse was that had
been caring for them, as she seemed a little old fashioned, and wore a uniform that seemed out of date and very much unlike modern nurses uniforms. Of course the driver and attendants would have no clue what the patient was talking about – but over the years it happened so often it could no longer be ignored – however, no-one ever solved the mystery of who the nurse could be, or why she chose to help the people of Lochiel.

 I heard many years ago that the ambulance in question was put into retirement a long time ago, and sat in the yard of local for many years – I have no clue to its where about today, but would love to know what happened too it. So if you know, or you experienced a ride with this ghostly nurse, please feel free to drop me a line at eidolon@live.com.au

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Buried in the City – The Most Reverend Francis Murphy

Buried in the City – The Most Reverend Francis Murphy

 The first Catholic Bishop of Adelaide, Francis Murphy was born in Navan, County Meath, Ireland on the 20th of May 1795, the eldest son of Arthur and Bridget Murphy, who worked as brewers and distillers.

 Francis was educated at St Finians College in Navan and then St Patricks College in Maynooth. In 1824, Francis was ordained as a Deacon, and in the following year a priest.

 Francis Murphy moved to Sydney Australia in July 1838 and only two years later was appointed the Vicar-General of the Diocese after the sitting Bishop, John Polding, left for a trip to Europe.

The growing state of South Australia, and particularly Adelaide city and Kapunda, which already had small Catholic populations, were seen to be the next area for the Australian Catholic Church to spread the word of God and because of this, Pope Gregory XVI looked to Murphy to head his new see in Adelaide.
 Francis Murphy was ordained as the first Bishop of Adelaide at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney in September 1844. This made Francis Murphy the first Bishop ordained on Australian soil. A month later he moved to Adelaide with an assistant priest and two school teachers, but he had no Church, Presbytery or Diocese awaiting him.

 The Adelaide Catholic Community, and Bishop Murphy received a blessing from a benefactor in England, who gave 2000 pounds to the Adelaide See to use at the Bishop saw fit. This money was used to build three new churches and pay for another priest. Some of the money was later used for Bishop Murphy to travel to Europe and return with two more priests to serve the Adelaide See.
 Whilst in Europe, Bishop Murphy also visited Charles Hansom to draw up plans for a Cathedral to built in Adelaide. The foundation stone for this future Cathedral was laid on 17th of March 1856 and was named in honour of Saint Francis Xavier.

 In 1857 Francis Murphy wrote a report, which would be his last, to Rome, in which it was stated that so far “'Twelve churches and six chapels have been built in the diocese, and two others are being built as well as a magnificent cathedral'.
 Bishop Murphy traveled to Tasmania in late 1857 to help settle a dispute between priests there. While in Tasmania Bishop Murphy contracted a severe cold which turned in tuberculous. He died at Adelaide on the 26th of April 1858 and was interred in the still incomplete Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral at 39 Wakefield street, Adelaide.

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Buried in the City - Colonel William Light

 Buried in the City - Colonel William Light

Born in Malaya in 1786, William Light was the second son of Captain Francis Light and his Princess Bride, Martinha Rozells.

 William spent the earliest part of his life at Penang, but at the age of six, was moved to England to be educated in Suffolk by Charles Doughty.

Light volunteered in the Navy in 1799, and left two years later with the title Midshipman. After which he spent some time in France and then Calcutta, before returning to Europe in 1806. In 1808 he purchased a cornetcy* in the 4th Dragoons, and was soon promoted to Lieutenant.
 Light was able to speak many languages, showed great tact, and accuracy in his reporting. This held him in great stead with his superior officers, and often led to him being chosen to be an intermediary in hostile negotiations.
 In 1812, Light was chosen to become a junior officer at Wellingtons headquarters where he would be employed on mapping, liaison duties and reconnaissance.
In 1814, Light purchased a “Captaincy of the Infantry” and spent time travelling Europe, before returning to full service working in the Channel Islands, Scotland and Ireland.
Seven years later in 1821, William Light quit the army with the rank of Major.

In 1824, Light married the Third Duke of Richmonds daughter, Mary Bennet. The newlyweds travelled extensively across Europe. Later, Light bought a yacht and sailed to Italy, then around the Mediterranean. Light visited the Egyptian city of Alexandria around 1832, at the time the economic centre of Egypt. He became friends with the powerhouse Mohammed Ali, who was rising to power in the country and would lay the foundations for modern Egypt. In 1834 Light would captain the paddle steamer “Nile” which was on its way from England to join the Egyptian Navy. The Nile would be taken over by John Hindmarsh, who would later be given a letter by Light, introducing him to Sir Charles Napier, who had recently resigned as Governor of the proposed settlement of South Australia. Hindmarsh would go on to replace Napier in that position.

In 1836, William Light was appointed Surveyor-General of South Australia. With his chosen staff, he set off for Australia in the ship “Rapid” whilst his deputy, George Kingston, set out five weeks earlier in another ship called “Cygnet”.

 Light arrived at Kangaroo Island in 1836, and visited Encounter Bay soon after, which he rejected as being a main port for the new colony. Light began to explore the coastline, and Rapid Bay caught his eye, he sailed north seeking harbours reported previously by explorers Captain Collet Barker and Captain John Jones, but to no avail. Soon the Port Adelaide River was found. Light as impressed with the location, and earmarked it as the spot for his future settlement, but first he had to follow instruction and sail to Port Lincoln to assess the possibility of that Port being the main capitol of the colony.
 Light returned to the Port Adelaide River on December 18th 1836. The site chosen was 9.6km from the ocean, and this did not please Governor Hindmarsh at all, who then set about to get the capitol site changed to Encounter Bay or Port Lincoln.
Light pressed ahead with his survey of the area, and had laid out a plan of 1042 acres by March 1837, plus twenty-nine section of Port Adelaide, as a means to pacify Hindmarsh.

 Light knew he was hard against it, the survey he been contracted to undertake was going to take many years to complete, not the few months he had been allotted when taking the contract on, so he wrote to his superiors asking for more men, equipment and time.
 His requests were rejected, and his survey was to be replaced with a faster method. If Light refused to do this, he would be put on the lesser task of coastal examination. Light promptly refused, and resigned his position, which did not improve his ailing health, for at the time Light’s health was beginning to fail considerably.

 By January 1839, William Lights health had waned, he was not able to complete a 10 hour horse ride to survey land north of Adelaide, He returned to his temporary accommodation, only to have it burn down the following day. The fire consumed a life long collection of books, journals, maps and drawings.
 Light then moved into a house he was having built, named Theberton, he was poor in wealth and health, and survived by selling sketches.
 In May 1839, Light, despite his failing health, took part in the search for a northern route to the Murray. He returned to his home with a sever fever, and died of tuberculosis on October 6th 1839.

 Colonel William Light was buried in Adelaide, in Light Square. Governor Hindmarsh had a monument built over his grave, but unfortunately it didn’t stand the test of time. A new monument was erected in 1905.

A statue of William Light, designed by Birnie Rhind stands on Montefiore Hill, overlooking the city he founded. 

*Cortency - the office, rank, or commission of a cornet