Territory Stories

The citation : the newsletter of the Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society



The citation : the newsletter of the Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society


Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society Inc


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Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.




Northern Territory Police Historical Society; Northern Territory Police Force; History; Police; Periodicals

Publisher name

Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society Inc

Place of publication





Issued November 2008

File type



1839-3918; 1839-390X


Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



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November 1, 2008 [CITATION: NT POLICE MUSEUM AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY] C I T A T I O N - N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 8 Page 12 Mitchell and Smith Streets still only tracks through dense bush with scattered houses. There were a few houses and some blacks camps around Parap and the 2 Mile railway cottages. Smith Street blocks could be bought for $10 and choice Esplanade blocks for $40. Motor cars were novelties until the early thirties. The only police vehicle was a buggy drawn by two horses aptly named Judge and Jury. They were no doubt an improvement in speed to the buffalo cart of l909! The law was represented by only two policemen, and the boss was Inspector (Old Iron) Waters, successor and pupil of Paul Foelsche. The police headquarters and barracks were on the corner of Mitchell Street and the Esplanade, practically opposite Government House. One day one of the two representatives of the law bet the other he could not hit the Administrators flagpole with one revolver shot. The bet was accepted, the bullet slammed home. It is said the entire police force-the two men involved - turned out to investigate, but no arrest was made. It was, of course, just high spirits Yet no one could complain that life in old Darwin was dull. The Don Picture Theatre was the main place of entertainment, but it was not always without risk to patrons. There was the occasion about l924 when a tough Territory bushman came in the entrance door and sighted his bitter enemy ahead of him, sitting in the front row. He let out a roar like a scrub bull to make him turn towards him, and in true Wild West style, whipped out his big Peacemaker Colt and fired! In the dim light the shot missed and killed an unfortunate Chinese in the next row. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death! When NAM folded, Pike turned to book publishing as Australian publishers were not much interested in the history of the North. Cairns based bush pilot Bob Norman, later knighted, backed Glenville financially in the publication of seven books, sales paying for the loans. One of Glenvilles books, Pioneers Country, about North Queensland, won the $5000 Foxwood Literary Award, went into nine reprints and sold 37,000 copies. His success caused other publishers to jump on the band wagon. Over the years he was responsible for editing and publishing more than 33 books, mainly dealing with life in the North. In addition, he has written 27 books of his own which have sold in excess of 150,000 copies, seven of them still in print, his latest about his life in North Queensland and the Territory. For the past 60 years he has been writing a regular column, Around the Campfire, by Sundowner, for the North Queensland Register. Over the years he has been responsible for erection of several memorials honouring North Queensland pioneers. An unusual and touching story came to light when Mr. Ian Cowan, 70, a former Territory resident, now residing in South Australia, rang wanting to make contact with any relatives of the late Inspector John William Jack Stokes, to express his thanks for the officer having put him on the straight and narrow about 60 years ago. Nearly 10 at the time, Ian had been caught stealing from a shop in Tennant Creek. He had also been wagging school and misbehaved in other ways. With his mother, he had been taken to see Sergeant Stokes, who seemed a huge man to the boy. Sergeant Stokes put the wind up him when he warned that he could be sent to a reformatory school. The lad went straight from then on. He no longer caused his battling mother, working in the hospital laundry and keeping two other children, one suffering from epilepsy, any further worry. There was a soft patch of red sand outside the