.. History of Paskeville ..


Sat 15 Aug 1903, Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)

KADINA. August 8.

This morning Mr. and Mrs. Kelly, coloured persons, reported to M.C. J. P. Howling that they had found an old aboriginal, known as "Shooting Tommy," dead in his camp, near the town. The police proceeded to the locality, where the old man was lying peacefully in bed. The deceased, who wag over 70 years of age, was a well-known identity in this district, and was almost, if not the last of his tribe. Although not regarded in the light of a king, he often acted as mediator among his fellows. He was a strict teetotaller, and always objected to drink being brought into camp—a trait of character rare "in his class. The old man had spent the last seven months in the bush alone, and only last week, feeling his weakness, applied for a pass to proceed to Point Pearce Mission Station. The cause of death was senile decay.


Tue 11 Aug 1903, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931)

Our Green's Plains correspondent writes: -One of the last of the original, or aborigi-nal, proprietors of the soil around here, has just relinquished his claim and left for the happy hunting grounds beyond the blue King Tom, known far and wide as Shooting Tommy, has been living at this end of the Peninsula for forty years or more. How long he was here before that is hard to say, for those whose memories go farthest back say that he was an old man then, and he claimed to have seen and chased or been chased by the first white man on the Peninsula. In happy bygone days, before the settlers came and destroyed the scrub and game, Tommy roamed and hunted at his own sweet will, and it was his long, constant, and skilful use of the gun that won for him the distinguished title of Shooting Tommy, a cognomen of which he was immensely proud. His first efforts at gunning instead of wadding. Tommy boasted not of royal blood, yet he would probably have been king of his tribe had there been anything of that sort about, for he was one of the most stately and dignified of his race, and used neither strong drink nor bad language. He was always on the best of terms with his white, brethren, except perhaps once in the long ago, when it is said that a wicked white called in to his camp and gave bad tea, out of a black bottle, which so enraged Tommy that he seized his gun and had three flying shots at white fellow, before he got out of range. Fortunately there was no great harm done. Since his lubra died, many years ago, Tommy had lived almost exclusively alone, not caring to associate with natives less highly colored than himself, and during the past few months he had been camped in the park lands near Kadina, coming into the township at regular intervals for supplies. Only a few days ago he was seen in the street, and had not been missed, until the news was brought in on Saturday morning that he had been found dead in his wurlie. There the police found him snugly rolled in his blanket. Alone in his little wurlie, in a small patch of his native scrub, Shooting Tommy had passed quietly away in his sleep, as befitted one of the last of his race.


Sat 29 Aug 1903, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954)

Sat 17 Feb 1907, Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1906 - 1931)


Sat 14 Jul 1917, The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929)

The remains of a boomerang, the stone end of a spear, and a decomposed waddy ploughed up in a recently cleared piece of land recall vivid remembrances of the doings and undoings, of the original or aboriginal proprietors of these historic plains (writes, our Green's Plains correspondent). One of the best of these, was Tomaseus O'Quambo, the last great tribal king.- better known as Shooting Tommy. By his genial and condescending manner with those less highly coloured than him self Tommy, became a favourite with his white brethren, and as he grew in civilization so also grew his desire to emulate his new brothers in dress. In accordance with this oft-expressed wish he was rigged out in a tight fitting pair of underpants surmounted and overlapped by an old red Crimean shirt, about two sizes if too big for him; and then, loaded up with tea, sugar, flour, billycans, tobacco, and waddies, Tommy proudly made his way across the paddock to where his tribal pals were awaiting his coming. He stepped high and pranced sideways to catch a glimpser of the shirttail of his shadow. But, it so happened that there were cattle in that paddock, and it also happened that those early settled cattle could not stand too much colour, and when they saw black and red prancing about as if in defiance they burned down to investigate, led by a big he-cow that notified his coming with a roar that took all the prance out of Tommy, and set him off at top speed with the tail of his red shirt floating on the breeze. But the he-cow gained fast and Tommy began to shed his belongings. While doing a 10-feet stride he lost his sugar, flour, and tea. At 12 feet his billycan went, and he parted with waddies, tobacco, and matches in the middle of a 15-feet leap, and he was doing 18 feet when he reached the fence, and would have cleared it in mid-stride had not the taft of his, shirt caught on a projecting knot on the top rail, and brought him up standing as it were, on the other side of the fence, within a few inches of the horns of the animal that was prodding through rails at a tender spot under the overhanging shirt. With a waddy, spear, or boomerang Tommy was invincible, and seldom went supperless to wurley ; but he wanted 'white phelow's gun,' and wanted it so badly that one of his best friends kindly took him down with an old single barrelled gun in return for heavy, stump grubbing. Yet, although Tommy's gun was continually going off, so also was the game and Tommy began to look a bit tucked, up until he bethought himself to carry a sheaf of his own weapons, and if he missed, with the gun (which he almost invariably did) he would take a second shot with something else which seldom missed. Tommy's most remarkable performance was running down an old man, kangaroo. This old roo had long defied Tommy, and his gun, and one early morning the aborigine fired his shot charge of slugs at the brute at short range, and the 'roo just smiled over his shoulder, kicked up his heels, and went on feeding. This so enraged Tommy that he threw down his gun, draw a waddy, and charged him the same direction that the slugs had gone. For three days he kept at a slow trot on the tracks of that kangaroo, sleeping on the trail at night, merely taking m a grub and a hole in his belt before restarting at dawn, and tho shades of night were fading fast on the third day when Tommy overtook and slew his long-stalked prey. It is stated on unreliable authority that this remarkable test of endurance was run in a circle of not more than four miles. But Tommy has long since passed to happier hunting grounds.


Wed 29 Mar 1911, The Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA : 1888 - 1954)

One of the seven results of the local option taken here on April 2, (writes the "Register's" Green's Plains correspondent) when, through the medium of the ballot box, the electors decided to close one third of the hotels in the Wallaroo district, is that the old Travellers' Best at Kulpara put up its shutters for the last time at 11 o'clock on Saturday night last. This favourite hostelry, famous in the old coaching' days, was built in the early sixties by the late Mr W. V. Brown, of Green's Plains repnte, and is in reality one of the oldest public houses on the Peninsula. For half-a century or thereabouts it has stood on the top of the big hill, a beacon light to all and sundry in the earlier days, and a. perfect haven of rest to weary travellers along the lonely road from the out-beyond to the big mining centres. Many a weary Willie, having miscalculated the distance to sundown and supper, has had cause to bless ita friendly light as he came stumping through an unfriendly world, for no traveller was ever turned away. If be could not be accommodated indoors, he was always at liberty to stretch his limbs and rest bis weary head on the big dam adjoining the premises, where he might cool his heated brow and speculate on the chances of a big drink.

This was also one of the first Government dams on the Peninsula, although there have been many since that time. Situated on the main road to Adelaide, and at one time the only road over the Hummocks, the Travellers' Rest was for many years (especially before the railway) the greatest camping place oa this side of the range, and scores of teamsters could be found there almost any night around their camp fires, which they were loth to leave even in the morning for the long dry stretch of waterless country between there and Whitwarta, or for the almost unbroken scrub that then stretched from the Hummocks to Moonta. The old house has witnessed some start

ling changes in its surroundings—in fact everything seemed to change bat itself. When the railway came along, a siding called Kulpara (now Melton) was established on the line three miles distant; but that did not detract either trade or importance from the old house and store, excepting the coaching interest. The old house in turn has successfully withstood sieges by fire, flood and drought. It did not even change its name. It was Brown's " pub" at the start, and it was Brown's till the finish, not the same family, but the same name, and the last lessee was A. R. Brown. The old house served its day and generation, and, although the curtain has now been rung down, the Travellers' Rest at Kulpara will long be kindly remembered by travellers of the past.


Thu 30 Mar 1911, Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912)

Reappearance of a Good Old Sport.

A lively old man entered The Registers Office on Thursday and introduced himself as "the late Mr. Brown." There is nothing ghostly about his appearance, but quite to the contrary; and the incident recalled that related of Mark Twain, who, having read in a paper his own obituajy, telegraphed to the editor to inform him that '. ^the news of his death had been greatly! exaggerated.'1 Mr. W. Vowles Brown explained that in . The Register on Tuesday, the Green's | Plains correspondent, under the heading of 'The Passing of the Travellers' Rest,' had passed him— the builder and first landlord of that house— over to the great majority. The paragraph in question was written by one whose joking propensities are well known, under the guise of sober fact; I and Mr. Brown refused to recognise himself as dead. He was born at the Old Port 72 years ago, had never been outside of South Australia, was in fair health, and hoped to live years longer, and to see still greater developments in his native land. The visitor went on to give something of his history. He had retired from business several years ago, and was now living at Rose Park. In about 1850 his father had removed from Eyre's Flat, near Clarendon, and had opened the Thatched House Tavern at Brighton.

—An Interesting History .—

He had himseelf followed in his parents' steps, and determined to offer accommodation for man and beast' on the then well trodden road between Port Wakefield and the Peninsula mining centres. With that intent he became landlord of the little hotel at Green's Plains West, in 1862. That was on the old mail track, and eight miles from Kadina; but the road was afterwards shifted to the telegraph line three miles eastward, where Paskeville now stands. The stream of traffic from Adelaide, Port Wakefield, and the Burra to the Peninsula mineB was diverted, and he removed to Kadina, where he opened the Miners' Arms, being the first licencee of the house that had been built by Mr. W. Graham, a well-known identity. A year later Mr. Brown had to give up the business, and so to the Adelaide Hospital. for treatment for rheumatic fever. It was after recovery from a long illness that, with the assistance of friends, he was enabled to build and occupy the Travellers' Rest Hotel at Kulpara. In after years he went back to Green's Plains East, and still wears a gold medal presented to him by the residents as a token of esteem, when he left the district on December 11, 1879. Since then Mr. Brown has been licencee of the Bushman Hotel Gawler; the Virginia Hotel; and Brown's Hotel, Port Gennein. The hstnamed house is still his own property, held nnder lease by the present licencee. Mr. Victor Vowles Brown, who died in the Northern Territory a year ago, after a residence there of 30 years, was a brother of ! Mr. W. V. Brown; and another brother is ! Mr. J. A. V. Brown, who until Ihe end of i last year was ope of the representatives of the Territory in the South' Australian House of Assembly

—A Great Race Revived.—

Mr. W. V. Brown is well remembered as a keen turfite. After he left The Register Office on Tbursdav he was proceeding i down the street, wWi he was introduced by a member of The Register staff to Mr. Alexander McLeay. 'Surely,' faid the latter, 'you are not the Brown who kepi the old pub at Kulpara?' 'The. same old Brown.' was the reply. 'Goodness 'gracious. I thought you were dead,' exclaimed Mr. McLeay. Then the two old friends fell to talking about old memories. Mr. McLeay said, 'I remember when Tidal Wave, owned by Mr. O'Dea, beat your horse The Jewess at Bakklava 30 years ago, and you shouted to the owner that you would race him for £100 around the course.' t Mr. Brown told how once Dr. j Horton raid he would race any one around the course which was situated between Moonta and Moonta Bay for a 'tenner.' I level weights. He (Mr. Brown) only had ; £5 in his pocket. He borrowed a like amount from Mr. W. H. Beaglebole, who had the booth, and Dr. Horton objected. 'You haven't got my weight on.' There ' upon he picked up his little boy, told him to put his arms around his neck, and thus ; encumbered started on the race, and won amid the enthusiastic plaudits of the crowd.

THE PASSING OF A NAME. Green's Plains West to be Thrington.

Mon 26 Nov 1927, The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929)

Our Green's Plains correspondent; wrote on November 25:— Considerable disappointment, indignation, and regret are expressed here at the pronouncement appearing in The Register yesterday to the effect that the time-honoured and historical name of Green's Plains West is no more to be known in the land, and that this almost sacred soil, the city of the plain, the hub of the west, is henceforth and for ever more to be designated Thrington. Thrington. Why Thrington, of all names neither romantic, euphonic, nor descriptive? Not a 'thring' about it to thrill, inspire, or perpetuate the reverberating reminiscences of these great prehistoric plains, whose conquest and subjugation is as fraught with thrilling incident, adventure, and romance, as the blood-soaked fields of Kentucky or the Maori invasion of New Zealand. Shades of dusky warriors—Shooting Tommies, Running Jimmies, Fighting Billies, Wurtabunkums, Nangapunkas, and Scallywaglas— who once with the speed of blackness traversed these great hunting grounds, following the mighty marsupalino or the tall, streaking emulet across the grassy fastness or through the jungle's thickest thick, where dingoes large as lions roared and chased the flying fox, while bunyips with the sundogs played on various vacant blocks. Imagination cannot place these sons of darkness, after some great tribal war, shedding streaks of dust, blood, and speed across the plains in the direction of a place called Thrington. And is not this a slight to the memory of the late lamented John Green, explorer, pioneer, and martyr; who, after having been several times killed and wounded, eventually succeeded in discovering this fertile Iand, which he had fully intended to discover several years earlier, had he known where to look for it. When he first sighted these wide, rolling plains, with kangaroos bounding and abounding, emus running or otherwise, as they felt disposed, wallabies hopping, stopping, or feeding, and turkeys walking, sitting, or flying, as it pleased them so to do, he threw up what remained of his hat, and called his discovery the land of Goshen, saying by gosh'n he'd have it for an inheritance for himself and his dependants for all time, with the right of renewal for another term if necessary. And now even this name is to be blotted out of remembrance! Thrington! Should the hardy old pioneer happen to hear of it and throw a back somersault in his grave, extreme provocation would surely justify the action and entitle him to exemption. Surely the old name might have been allowed to stand; it was good enough for us, and would have been good enough for others yet to come. Or, if change was necessary, why not have substituted Taits, a name long associated with the plains, and well worthy of being held in remembrance; or, failing that; Bob Selway, the first postmaster-general of the plain, an original identity whose history would make three-volume reading. But where are the pioneers, whither gone the mighty men of old? The Brownses, Smithses, Joneses, all the men of grit and gold?

The men who came and blazed the track, and piled up history, too; who never thought of looking back, nor feared to dare and do.

The men who never owned defeat, and wouldn't knuckle down. Faced all the odds that came along, and smiled at hardship's frown.

Where's the success they fought to win, the name to leave behind; that others following in their track, an easier way might find?

Gone now are all their works and ways, and gone their little fame. Gone is the plain they loved so well, and gone its very name.

'Tis as it always used to was, and will be as before. The place that knew them once so well, won't know them now some more.