Spanish Influenza – Part 4

Compiled by Martha Valentine

Tuesday, 25th February 1919

Recently a young girl, Miss L. Spears, of North Prentice, was suspected as suffering from a mild case of influenza.  Some of the residents got alarmed and avoided Mrs Spears and her residence.  Dr Rodda, who was attending Miss Spears, states that influenza did not develop and there was no justification for avoiding or quarantining either the house at North Prentice or the inmates of it.  Miss Spears is now improving in health.

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Mrs A. McIntosh, Murphy street, received word on Monday that her daughter, Mrs McDonald, had died of pneumonic influenza at the Central Hospital, Melbourne, on Sunday last.  The deceased’s husband died at the Port Melbourne Hospital on Friday, February 14th.

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There are now 1,478 patients in the 82 metropolitan hospitals, but as the number of discharges now generally exceeds the number of fresh admissions each day, this total should decrease fairly rapidly.  Several of the hospitals intimated on Sunday night that most of their patients were now “almost convalescent.”

Of the 21 deaths reported for the week-end, 14 were reported on Saturday and seven on Sunday.  Two of those reported on Saturday occurred in the country – one at Bendigo and one at Dimboola.  The others all occurred in the metropolitan hospitals.

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The officer in charge of the Albury quarantine station received a telegram from the Board of Health, Sydney, on Wednesday, stating that the period of detention in quarantine for New South Wales residents returning from Victoria had been reduced to four days, as from Wednesday.  A number of New South Wales residents who were detained at Hawkesview bridge, twelve miles above Albury, were medically examined on Wednesday, and allowed to enter New South Wales.

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Information received by the director of the Immigration Bureau (Mr Whitehead) shows that a considerable number of persons have succeeded in gaining admission into New South Wales recently.  It appears that parties, composed in most cases of New South Wales residents anxious to return home, have proceeded to several small towns along the border, and after residing for seven days on clean areas, have obtained permission to cross into New South Wales.  At Cobram, for instance, travellers are allowed to cross the border by arrangement with the State medical officer at Tocumwal.  A party which arrived at Rutherglen reported to the Victorian police officer and communicated with the medical officer at Corowa, in New South Wales,  Then, after a week’s residence within six miles of the border, the travellers signed the necessary declaration that they had been living in a “clean area,” and went on their journey without further hindrance.  Mr Whitehead states that there are two hotels in Rutherglen, but advises intending visitors to give notice some time in advance.  Persons going to Echuca may go into an isolation camp at Torrumbarry, 17 miles from Echuca, and obtain a clearance from the authorities at Moama after the period of isolation has elapsed. – “Argus.”

Mr Whitehead is a little out in reference to Rutherglen when he states that there are only two hotels in the town.

Friday, 28th February 1919


The President brought under notice the position of the Corowa Club was [illeg.] owing to the influenza restrictions.  It was unfortunate that the Corowa Club could not keep their engagements.  Now they would have to deal with how they would have the second round. Mr Yates suggested that the draw be left as it stands.  Perhaps the restrictions will be lifted and Corowa would be able to fulfil their engagements. Mr Cunneen agreed with Mr Yates.

Mr Donovan moved that a letter be sent to the Corowa club, expressing the Association’s regret of the Influenza restrictions preventing their fulfilling of engagements, and intimating that when the embargo is lifted the associated clubs will be pleased to meet Corowa.  Seconded by Mr Cunneen and carried.


The health officer reports that the cases treated within the Rutherglen Borough and Shire are now convalescent and that the district has a clean bill of health as far as influenza.

To-day (Friday) will be the last day on which public vaccination will be conducted at the Town Hall.  All those who have not received their second inoculation should attend to-day.

Dr Featherstone and Dr Rodda, with the Mayor and town clerk, are to be congratulated on the manner in which those attending for public vaccination were treated.  Although there were close on 900 subjects, the operations were carried through successful and without causing unnecessary delay to any one individual.

Tuesday, 4th March 1919


From F. Neil Rodda, M.B., Ch,M., notifying a case of mild influenza – Gladys Jasper. – Received.

From F.B. Featherstone, health officer, reporting two cases of influenza at Wahgunyah – May Savage and Mary Ann Savage. – Received.

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On Friday evening Lieut.-Colonel McIntosh and his warrant-officer arrived by cab in Rutherglen and put up at the Victoria Hotel.  On Saturday morning the two officers made it known that by the midday train on Saturday about 80 men of the A.A.M.C. would arrive in Rutherglen and stay for seven days previous to proceeding to Sydney.

The colonel arranged for the men to be quartered at the Star, Victoria, Rutherglen, Royal Standard, Cumberland and Globe, each hotel being allotted the number they could provide for.  The colonel showed that he was interested in his men and arranged a cricket match for them for the afternoon, in which he took part. The visitors travelled in a special carriage, and after de-training were lined up and addressed by their officer.

The Mayor (Cr Berryman) stated that while he regretted that the men had to do quarantine before proceeding to their own State, he welcomed them to Rutherglen, and assured them that the towns-people would endeavour to make their visit as pleasant and enjoyable as possible.  During their stay in the town there would be no restrictions by the local authorities, and he trusted that when their visit closed, they would carry away with them very pleasant recollections of the town.


During Saturday afternoon a cricket match took place between the visiting soldiers and a local team.  On Saturday morning Lieut. Col. McIntosh, who had arrived the previous evening arranged with Mr Cock, captain of the local club, for a match with his boys. The soldiers proved enthusiastic cricketers, and it did not take them long after having dinner to get rid of their leggings, get into their shorts and find their way to the cricket ground to have a practice previous to the match, it being the first match that they had taken part in on land for some months.  Attired in their shorts, the military boys looked a fine athletic combination, and although they were not successful in carrying off the honors of the afternoon, they gave a good exhibition.


On Saturday evening the visitors did the town, as the saying goes, but are to be complimented on their very fine behaviour; in fact, they a fine sociable lot of men. Several were greatly surprised when they found that the town was sighted with electric light and provided with a good water supply.  When leaving Melbourne, they pictured being located in a little back block town on the Murray for seven or eight days.

They were delighted with their reception and said that the Mayor was a “Britisher” and that the manner in which the Mayoress and other ladies had entertained them at the cricket match was “dinkum,” and that they were confident that their vigil would be a pleasant one.

On Sunday several members attended their respective church service.  During the afternoon many accepted the invitation of Mr and Mrs Morkham to visit Lake Moodemere.

On Monday evening the Rev. Watt and members of the vestry entertained the visitors at the Guild Hall at a smoke social. On Monday afternoon a number of the members of the platoon enjoyed themselves at the tennis court. This evening an open-air concert, arranged by the Mayor, will be held at the Town Hall grounds, to which all visitors are invited.

OPEN AIR CONCERT. Town Hall Grounds,

THIS TUESDAY EVENING At 8 O’Clock, A Special Invitation is given to the members of “The Lost Platoon” and all stranded visitors.


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Such of the cable news on this page so headed has appeared in “The Times,” is published by special permission.  It should be understood that the opinions are not those of “The times” unless expressly stated to be so.

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(“Herald” Service.) LONDON, Thursday.

References to the shortage of whisky for use in influenza cases were made in the House of Commons. Lieutenant Colonel W.W. Ashley (Unionist, Blackpool) and others declared that people were dying from influenza owing to the lack of whisky, while the Government was keeping large stocks in bond.

It is understood that, in view of representations, the Cabinet is considering the question of releasing additional quantities of whisky.

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Dr F.R. Featherstone reported: — O have the honor to present to you the annual report on the health of the Borough of Rutherglen.  The sanitary condition of the town continues very good, and infectious diseases in an epidemic form have been non-existent.  Two cases of diphtheria, four of scarlet fever, and one of tuberculosis, were notified.  Twelve deaths occurred in 1918, three being makes and nine females.  The births numbered seventy-four, thirty seven being male, and thirty seven female children.  The health and vital statistics of the borough may be considered as very satisfactory. – Cr Jasper moved that the report be received.  Seconded by Cr Harvie and carried.

Tuesday, 18th March 1919


Mr R.H. Berryman (mayor) has received the following letter from Lieut. Colonel McIntosh, O.C. Troops No. 1 A.H.S. Karoola: — “I write as officer in charge of the returned men from the hospital ship, Karoola, who were recently in your town for some five days, to express our deep sense of gratitude for the very kindly treatment shown us whilst we were in your midst.  We have seen and experienced similar kindness else-where, but never have we met such a warm-hearted welcome nor such an unanimous desire to make our stay happy.  We are all agreed that our short stay in your delightful township will be ever memorable to us.  We will gladly re-visit you and renew many pleasant friendships.  We fervently hope that the future hold in store for Rutherglen boundless prosperity.”

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