History: Speech met with enthusiasm

January 11, 2018

This week, 100 years ago, the 10th Cavalry attacked a band of Yaquis Indians in Arizona.

The soldiers killed or captured most of the Indians.

It was the final battle of the Indian Wars.

More than 400 treaties had been made between the US Government and American Indian tribes.

The American Government or European settlers had breached every treaty.

This week US President Woodrow Wilson declared that his Fourteen Points could be the only basis for enduring peace.

His speech was met with worldwide enthusiasm.

In 1919, Wilson and other major powers would ignore most of these points when formalising the Versailles Treaty.

The three points dealing with evacuation of all territory captured by the Germans were the only ones given effect.

This week, Rewa, another British hospital ship, was torpedoed by a German submarine.

Only four stokers died. They had been killed by the torpedo’s explosion.

This time, the sinking caused outrage.

After the war, the Allies hunted the submarine’s captain for trial on war crimes.

He went into hiding and was never seen again.

Temperance movements were active in Australia, Britain and America throughout the war.

The movements in Australia and Britain led to coffee palaces, six o’clock closing and Sunday closing.

America went further.

This week, Mississippi became the first state to ratify the Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

Other States soon followed.

By 1920 Prohibition would be law in America.

Meanwhile in Benalla, the two local bands could not muster a dozen musicians between them.

Added to the wartime shortage of musicians, rumours and gossip caused further shortages as offended members left.

This same situation had arisen in choirs and bands in Wangaratta and Beechworth as well.

Australian Natives’ Association offered cheap excursions through most of January.

A train left Melbourne at 11.45am and went as far as Benalla on the main line.

If desired, side trips could then be made by rail to Yackandandah, Wooragee, Beechworth or Bright.

The Oxley Shire rate collector seems to have misappropriated nearly $800 from the shire and fled to Sydney.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Arthur Conolly, Crown lands valuer and bailiff, was expected to lose sight in at least one eye.

While travelling by rail between Melbourne and Benalla, he rubbed his eyes with a towel in the onboard toilet. His eyes became infected.

The infection became so serious that he was admitted to the Eye and Ear Hospital.

The state government reduced the grant to Benalla Shire this year.

However, all road damage sustained in the 1916 floods had not been repaired.

The shire initially received $1400. It needed $4640.

The minister suggested the council borrow the rest and increase shire rates to cover the borrowing.

— John Barry, ANZAC Commemorative Working Party, Coo-ee — Honouring our WWI heroes

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