Owens set for landmark 100th Test as ref


Nigel Owens says that rugby union saved his life while looking forward to setting a new landmark as the world’s top referee this weekend.

The Welshman will become the first official to referee 100 Tests when he oversees France versus Italy in the Autumn Nations Cup on Saturday in Paris and will do so as one of the most popular and respected faces in the sport.

His story has a backdrop of resilience too, having come out in the wake of attempting to take his own life.

“I spent about nine to 10 years of my life pretending to be someone I wasn’t and that nearly cost me my life,” he told World Rugby’s Between the Lines podcast.

“From that day on, when I had that second chance, I’ve always said to myself, ‘Just be yourself’.

“I’d like to think that I have contributed something to the game over the years and if I have, then I am really glad, because believe me, I owe more to rugby and the people in the sport, than rugby will ever owe to me.

“If it wasn’t for the great sport rugby is, I wouldn’t be able to be who I am today. Rugby saved my life.”

Owens, who turns 50 next year, added that he never expected to reach the numbers he has with the whistle.

“When you do referee, you don’t really think about milestones. When I got my 71st cap, I became the most capped referee, I overtook Jonathan Kaplan.

“It wasn’t something I was chasing, but something you become aware of and something you become very proud of,” he said.

“It is very similar now with this 100. If I was to tell you I don’t really care about numbers, and if any referee was to tell you that, I don’t think they are being very honest with you because it is something special, something you can look back at.

“With the excellent quality of referees that are about now, very young ones as well, I think they’ll be quite a few of them in the years to come reaching the 100-cap milestone.”





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On 100th anniversary of Qantas, Longreach, Winton and Cloncurry all claim to be airline’s true home


It started as a dream to link outback towns by air and grew into a global icon, flying more than 50 million passengers a year around the world.

Over the past century, the legacy of Qantas has grown to become much more than an airline — the flying kangaroo is now a globally recognised brand.

Today, 100 years since the airline was founded in western Queensland, a good-natured outback rivalry over the story of the airline’s formation shows no signs of losing breath, as three towns lay claim to being the birthplace of Qantas.

Longreach, Cloncurry and Winton — located in the state’s remote outback — each say they are the true home of the national carrier.

“It’s a very proud western Queensland story that couldn’t have happened anywhere else,” said Jeff Close, an amateur historian from the town of Winton, 1,300 kilometres north-west of Brisbane.

Jeff Close is so passionate about Winton’s role in the Qantas story, he wrote a play about the airline for its 90th anniversary in 2010.(ABC Southern Queensland: Nathan Morris)

Dream springs from Cloncurry riverbed

A century ago, on November 16, 1920, Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited was registered.

Its co-founders, Sir Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, had wanted to establish an airline to alleviate the tyranny of distance facing residents living in Australia’s outback.

A black and white archive photo of two men in pilot uniforms.
Sir Hudson Fysh (left) and Paul McGinness (right) wanted to create an airline to connect outback towns.(Supplied: Qantas Founders Museum)

“We go with what Sir Hudson Fysh himself said,” Mr Close said.

In 1919, then prime minister Billy Hughes announced a prize of 10,000 British pounds for a Great Air Race for Australians who wanted to fly home from Great Britain after World War I.

Fysh and McGinness were tasked with surveying possible aircraft landing strips across western Queensland and the Northern Territory.

As they travelled over rough terrain from Longreach to Darwin in a Ford Model T, at an average speed of 25 kilometres per day, the pair hatched a plan to establish an air service connecting remote communities.

A black and white archive photo of three men standing in front of a Model T Ford in 1919.
Paul McGinness (centre) and Sir Hudson Fysh (right) were in outback Queensland preparing for the Great Air Race in 1919 when they devised a plan to establish an airline.(Supplied: Qantas Founders Museum)

But according to Hamish Griffin, a Cloncurry resident and advocate for cheaper regional airfares, it was in the dry riverbed of the Cloncurry River that the idea really gained traction.

“If people really, really do a deep dive into the story of how it came about, they would really know that Cloncurry was definitely the founding place of Qantas,” Mr Griffin said.

In December 1919, McGinness came to the aid of a wealthy grazier whose car had broken down in the riverbed.

They formed a friendship and the grazier, Fergus McMaster, agreed to financially back the plans for an airline.

An archival black and white photo of a Model T Ford crossing a river bed in 1919.
It was in the near-dry riverbed of the Cloncurry River that Qantas co-founder Paul McGinness met grazier Fergus McMaster, who went on to financially back the airline.(Supplied: Qantas Founders Museum)

Early moneymen hail from Winton

But Mr Close says it was 347 kilometres away in Winton, to the south-east of Cloncurry, that Qantas really took flight.

“Winton really is and was the mover and shaker as … the early money mainly came from Winton,” Mr Close said.

He said five of the company’s eight original shareholders were from Winton.

The outside of an RSL in a country town surrounded by gum trees on a sunny day. Two signs say "Winton Club".
The Winton Club, site of the airline’s first board meeting in 1921.(ABC Western Queensland: Ellie Grounds)
Model airplanes hang from the air above a bar with fridges and bottles of alcohol in a country town pub.
The Winton Club is filled with Qantas memorabilia.(ABC Western Queensland: Ellie Grounds)

“They put the money up and got it going,” Mr Close said.

The airline’s first board meeting was held at the Winton Club on February 10, 1921.

The club is still there today, proudly displaying the company’s original articles of association, which list Winton as the airline’s headquarters.

Mr Close feels so strongly about Winton’s role in the airline’s story, he wrote a play about Qantas and performed it at the Winton Club on the airline’s 90th anniversary.

Next year he plans on putting on another play, to recreate the first board meeting in the room it took place in a century earlier.

Longreach becomes airline’s home

A decision was made at that meeting to move operations to Longreach, for logistical reasons.

The town is now home to the Qantas Founders Museum, where visitors can tour significant aircraft including the Super Constellation, the first pressurised plane, and the first jet aircraft the airline owned — the Boeing 707-138 VH-EBA, named “City of Canberra”.

A black and white archive photo of two men building a small aeroplane in a hangar.
A DH-50 fuselage under construction in the Longreach hangar circa 1926.(Supplied: Qantas Founders Museum)

“Longreach had the rail head, the major services came into Longreach, the railway stopped here,” said Tony Martin, the museum’s CEO.

The hangar built in 1922 to house the planes is now a national heritage-listed site.

It’s the oldest civil aviation building in Australia.

“It’s the place where the airline began its operations,” Mr Martin said.

“How exciting is that?”

A close-up of a silver and red propeller plane in an old aviation hangar that says "Q.A.N.T.A.S Ltd Longreach" on the fuselage.
Qantas built seven DH-50 planes in the Longreach hangar from 1926 to 1929.(ABC Western Queensland: Ellie Grounds)

Qantas is ‘Vegemite, thongs … it’s home’

A century on, the residents of Cloncurry, Winton and Longreach still like to wind each other up about which town can really claim to be the birthplace of Qantas.

Mr Griffin said that because the museum was located in Longreach, it could be “forgiven” for portraying itself as the birthplace of the airline.

But he said, with a wry smile, the record needed to be set straight.

A Boeing 747 and an older, smaller airplane sit in an outdoor display under an enormous roof.
The Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach is home to some of the airline’s most iconic planes.(ABC Western Queensland: Ellie Grounds)

Mr Close said the three towns squabbled over the airline’s history like siblings.

With a grin, Mr Martin admitted he could be guilty of stoking the “great friendly rivalry” between the towns.

“If I could say to our neighbouring towns, I guess Longreach, like Qantas, had the vision to tell the story here,” he said.

A man in a white shirt with his arms crossed stands inside an old aviation hangar and looks at a red and silver propeller plane.
Tony Martin admires the four-passenger De Havilland DH-50, the first purpose-designed airliner used by Qantas.(ABC Western Queensland: Ellie Grounds)

But, all jokes aside, he said the airline’s 100th anniversary was a chance to celebrate one of western Queensland’s greatest exports.

“For us to be part of a story that’s 100 years old, and is such a global story…,” he said.



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Wokalup town pauses to remember 100th anniversary of the Mornington train crash


A small rural community in Western Australia will pause today to mark the 100th anniversary of the state’s deadliest train crash, which killed nine people and injured two.

On November 6, 1920, a timber train known as the Jubilee had been carrying railway sleepers and mill workers from the Mornington Mill when it careered off the tracks.

The train crashed near the town of Wokalup, just south of Harvey in the south-west of WA.

Wendy Dickinson, the president of Harvey History Online, said the disaster was a big story at the time.

“I can remember growing up and hearing about it from my mother who was from Harvey,” she said.

“Nothing like this had ever happened and this was not long after people had returned from the First World War.

Media reports from 1921 show an inquest heard the crash was due to insufficient brakes being applied before the train began a decent, but blame was not attached to anyone.

The train crash scene in 1920.(Supplied: Rail Heritage WA)

The man who raised the alarm

Local timber worker Joe Flynn was one of several men who had hitched a ride on the timber train.

“He was able to scramble onto the last bogie,” said Flynn’s great-nephew, Norm Flynn.

A man sitting at a table with old black and white photos and holding a photo of a train crash.
Norm Flynn began to research the crash after first hearing about it from his grandfather.(ABC South West: Kate Stephens)

Mr Flynn first heard about his family connection to the crash from his grandfather in the 1960s.

He was told his great-uncle rushed to Wokalup to raise the alarm.

“The story in the paper is that he ran into the hotel and yelled, ‘The Jubilee, the Jubilee is off the line!’ but no one could understand what he was saying,” Mr Flynn said.

“So, they sat him down and gave him a drink and he said, ‘The Jubilee is off the line and all hands are dead’.”

After Flynn raised the alarm, a rescue team went to the crash site and managed to pull survivors, which included the driver, from the rubble.

Remembering for the next generation

To acknowledge the crash, the Shire of Harvey will erect a sign at the Wokalup Tavern, the site where the news of the crash first broke.

A woman smiling at the camera, wearing a colourful scarf, standing in front of bushes.
Wendy Dickinson says it is important the local community remembers the tragic crash.(ABC South West: Kate Stephens)

Ms Dickinson is also a Harvey Shire councillor and says it is important the community remembers the story for generations to come.

“Once the people that currently know the story pass away, this could very easily get lost,” she said.



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President Trump celebrates 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment


President Donald Trump signs a proclamation recognizing the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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UPDATED 11:48 AM PT – Tuesday, August 18, 2020

President Trump honored the patriots who secured women’s right to vote. During a ceremony at the White House Tuesday, he signed a proclamation commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

The First Lady as well as members of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission were in attendance and watched as the president announced a pardon for women’s suffrage champion Susan B. Anthony. Well known for her contribution to the movement, Anthony was arrested and convicted in 1872 for voting illegally.

“As we fight to deliver a better future for all women and for all Americans, we remember the wonderful women one century ago,” said President Trump. “While I am president, American will always honor its heroes and we will always honor the patriots who secured women’s right to vote.”

The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission was granted a section of the White House fence in June, which is a landmark where suffragists picketed in 1917. It will be displayed in the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial located in Lorton,Virginia later this year.

Actors portray observers during the re-enactment of Tennessee’s historic vote for the 19th Amendment in the House chamber at the State Capitol on the vote’s 100th anniversary Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, and was the final state needed to achieve a two-thirds majority for passage. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

RELATED: Absentee voting more effective at boosting voting rates than universal mail-in ballots





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Carlton on the rise as Sam Docherty plays 100th game


AFL: Robbie Gray kicked a objective immediately after the siren to crack Carlton hearts. Was it his very best intention in his career?

Sam Docherty had circled Spherical 8 on his fixture in 2018 to play his 100th match, ahead of his initial knee reconstruction dominated that out.

He circled the identical game previous 12 months, but missed the complete year with a 2nd knee reconstruction.

The Carlton co-captain will last but not least strike a few figures versus North Melbourne on Saturday, two yrs later but mentally more powerful, a greater teammate and leader, improved for everything he went by way of.

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“It’s taken a truthful little bit for a longer time than I imagined it would,” Docherty reported on Tuesday.

“There’s an additional importance surely due to the fact of the time I expended away from the activity. I’d be lying if I didn’t say there have been occasions through that two a long time off that I did not consider I would get in this article.

“It’s one particular issue I’d performed, I’d picked wherever round 8 experienced been for the past two decades, however it didn’t come about. I’m just psyched to be again participating in footy.

“Getting to the 3 figures is a sizeable milestone for myself but also for my wife at dwelling, she has been by way of a fair bit of this with me. I’m wrapt to operate out there.”

Sidelined for two whole seasons, Docherty became part of the coaching workforce, and mentioned mastering how to greater support others was a critical component of his journey back to participating in.

“I acquired a good deal additional about my psychological health and fitness and my teammates,” he said.

“And staying ready to come back as a leader of the club and study the team and aid the group as substantially as I can has been the most significant factor I have discovered.”

Docherty has rejoined a growing Carlton staff, on the verge of the eight, undone very last 7 days by a “very particular participant and a really incredible kick” when Port star Robbie Gray kicked an immediately after-the-siren, match-successful purpose.

Sam Docherty this year. Pic: Michael Klein
Sam Docherty this calendar year. Pic: Michael Klein

The Blues have a three wins and 4 losses this time, but four of their online games have been decided by 3 points or less.

There’s enjoyment all-around them, so a lot so Carlton will start off favorite against the Kangaroos for the very first time due to the fact 2012.

Docherty mentioned it was significant to “embrace” the expectation and the slim loss to Port was a lot less of s strike to their assurance, but additional affirmation they are shut to where he and his teammates consider they must be.

“I consider tit possibly cements what we were by now pondering with the place our group is at. We are a group wanting to execute at a higher degree 7 days in, 7 days out and we believe we have the abilities to do that,” he said.

“I really do not believe previous weekend adjusted both of those items

“We received crushed by a gun participant kicking an remarkable target from the boundary. We have played in shut games, appear absent with a pair, and lost a couple this calendar year.

“But in phrases of the group’s confidence, it confirmed us precisely what we require to do to be a good footy facet.”

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Russell Gould is a senior Herald Sunshine sportswriter with practically 20 a long time expertise throughout a large range of athletics from cricket to golf to rugby league to horse racing and AFL, producing both information and in depth fea…

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