A Bachelor Tax In Season and Out – in the news from 100 years ago today


Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of this time in 1915, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:

– In ordinary times the Bachelor Tax is a joke to be fired off at smoke-nights and sewing-meetings; but it appears to be a very serious problem just now, for Mr. J.B. Sharpe, Federal Member for Oxley, tells “Everylady’s Journal” for March (just issued) that he intends bringing a Bill before parliament for the purpose of imposing a tax on Australia’s half-million bachelors.

Sydney Morning Herald, 1 January, 1915
Sydney Morning Herald, 1 January, 1915

Following up the receipt of this information, “Everylady’s Journal” invited a number of prominent men to offer opinions upon the right or wrong of such a tax. Lord Mayor Sir David Hennessy says that bachelors ought to be taxed, and that he has always advocated a bachelor tax in season and out. Mr. Carmichael Minister of Public Instruction for New South Wales says that there are better ways, both of raising revenue and of getting our young men married off.

“The girls,” says Mr. Carmichael, “have the remedy in their own hands. They have the vote – let them make the proposals!” Altogether it is a bright and healthy discussion. 20/3/1915

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 11.27.55 am
Image: Everylady’s Journal, 5 October 1918 (National Library of Australia). Originally entitled the New Idea, the Everylady’s Journal reverted to the New Idea in 1938

NERRIGUNDAH(From our Correspondent.) – Now that the winter is approaching with its usual cold nights Nerrigundah will feel the want of a warm room where people could spend a few hours in a social chat, a debate, or enjoy a game of cards, draughts, etc., to pass away the time and relieve the monotony, as well as read in some comfort the papers of the day, or some of the scores of magazines and books that the well-stocked library possesses in the local School of Arts. The School of Arts would be the proper place if that institution could be made attractive.

There was some talk last year and the year previous about building a fireplace so that the hall could be warmed up during the cold evenings, and as it is understood that sufficient funds are in hand why is it not spent in this very necessary work, and induce the public to become members. The School of Arts is a public building and has been subsidised by the Government for the benefit of the people and should be made accessable and comfortable. It is hoped that some steps will be taken at once to place this institution under sound and progressive management. 20/3/1915

Presbyterian Church, Evans Street, Moruya

PRESBYTERIANISM – To-morrow (Sunday), the Rev A.G. McDonald will preach his farewell sermon in the local Presbyterian Church, this gentleman having resigned his charge of this circuit. Those who know Mr. McDonald best exceedingly regret his decision to leave, being an eloquent preacher and a most energetic worker in his calling.

The Reverend gentleman’s presence was a decided acquisition to the concert platform, his delightful Scotch ballads being always enjoyed by the Moruya audience. He is a versatile entertainer and a brilliant conversationalist, having gained vast knowledge through his travels around the Globe, and his departure will leave a decided blank in our social life. 20/3/1915

Sydney Morning Herald, 4 January , 1915
Sydney Morning Herald, 4 January , 1915

BELGIAN MEETINGS – A number of Turlinjah and Bergalia residents met on Saturday night last, when it was decided to organise a dance for Easter Monday night, the proceeds to go towards the Belgian Relief Fund. Mrs. F. Gardiner and Miss M. Bown were appointed Secretaries and Mr. S. Shumack treasurer. The Committee of the Turlinjah Mechanics’ Institute will give the use of their hall free, Mrs. Shumack has kindly volunteered to supply the music and the residents will donate the refreshments… 20/3/1915

Seventeen ‘100 years ago‘ booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1914 are available ($5 ea) from the Society’s rooms. Copies of local newspapers from the 1860s to date can be viewed at the Society’s Family History Research Centre (Ph 4474 3224) situated at the rear of the Pioneer Museum in Campbell St. Moruya (mdhs.org.au).

Our latest publication, entitled Kiora Kith and Kin, by Shirley Jurmann is also now available from the Society for $20.

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