Territory Stories

The citation : Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society



The citation : Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society


Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society


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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

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Northern Territory Police Museum & Historical Society

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v. 6 no. 5

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1839-3918; 1839-390X


Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Northern Territory Government



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first. I managed to draw another kilometre away. Although I slowed down, as I turned right into the driveway, I was still going too fast, fast enough to spray the petrol pumps with gravel. Harry's Toyota was parked just outside the saloon. My trembling hands fumbled at the baby restraints. Quickly I snatched the babies from the car and ran inside, crying and laughing at the same time. Hysteria. Yes, I was absolutely hysterical. It was all I could do to spit out the words, "they're following me ... ". The pendalum swung again to love the moment I saw Harry. He truly was my rock and I loved him to bits. Harry gave me a quick cuddle and ran outside. Still leering and laughing, the hoons pulled up alongside my car. Harry stepped forward "Come here you lot, I want to talk to you .. " The few patrons in the bar rushed to the dusty, fly-screened windows to witness the proceedings. In an instant, they saw the demeanour of the four macho men tum to water. "Only, joking, officer ... " the hoons said in unison as they hung their heads submissively. "You bastards could have killed my wife and kids. You mongrels. " Harry's fists clenched. It was hard to contaUi. his fury. He had to make a decision, arrest them or let them go. After taking their names and car rego, he decided on the latter course of action. He also told them that he'd advise Tennant Creek and Camooweal of their behaviour and that no matter where they travelled in the Territory, they'd be watched. They refuelled and headed west to Tennant, meek as four little lambs. The reason why Harry didn't arrest them was two-fold, firstly, with a good lawyer, they could all lie their heads off and I'd be made to Photo courtesy Christine Cox look like an utter fool and liar. Secondly, he wanted to take care of me. With copious cups of tea to assist, I was able to regain my composure and travel in front of Harry this time. DRUNKENNESS IN THE EARLY DAYS By W R (Bill) Wilson The following an article in a series provided by Bill to the retired Police Association to celebrate the 130 Years of Policing (1870-2000) Heavy consumption ofliquor in the Northern Territory is not a recent occurrence. From the earliest days of European settlement, drinking has been a Territory pastime. As Mounted Constable Turner noted, 'men who never drank in their lives have come here and fallen to the square'. The' Square' was gin, the name deriving from the shape ofthe quart bottle, which cost 13s with a pint bottle of beer costing 119. the usual way to drink a gin was to mix it with water, which made it a cheap way to get drunk. Aretum of stimulants consumed in the Northern Territory in 1906 shows that the amount of alcohol consumed by the non-aboriginal male population was almoSt twelve gallons for each European man. Gin was an improvement on the earlier drink 'Sunset rum' much favoured by European miners, methylated spirit and kerosence mixed with Worcester sauce and flavoured with ginger and sugar. Alternatively, there was wine made from a bottle of wine to which was added, 'Gin, vinegar and saltpetre'. The resultant brew would 'burn the bottom out of an iron bucket in a night'. Further evidence of the Territory being notorious for hard drinking came at a Royal Commission into the Northern Territory in 1895. One witness WF Fox said 'it's a great place for drinking'; another, JCF Johnson MP, recalled 'when I was in the Territory I could not eat without a stimulant'. Even a local newspaper was moved to record that alcohol had 'been a curse and blasted many a promising career '" the use of alcohol in excess has largely been a curse in this tropical paradise'. Amongst the earliest charges laid after Darwin was established was that against Thomas Goliard, the settlement's armourer, charged with drunkenness and making noise in the camp on 2 July 1870. Goliard was fined five shillings but after reflec'.mg on the penalty the Government Resident reduced the penalty to a caution. Penalties rose quickly. In September 1885 Joseph Abdoolah was fined five pounds. By 1901 penalties Volume 6, No 5 - October, 2000, Page 9