Early Canberra

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Canberra was 'dry' 1911-1928

Posted on September 5, 2010 at 1:04 AM

In the General Section a number of newspaper articles refering to the ban of the sale of alcohol in the territory between 1911 and 1928 had been added.

 

King O'Malley was the man who had the sale of alcohol banned in the FCT.  This of course meant a great deat of money was spent in the four Queanbeyan hotels and a brisk trade of buying alcohol at Queanbeyan (eight miles from Canberra) and resale in Canberra occurred during the years of prohibition.

 

In September 1928 the people of Canberra - that is if 21 or older and of Australian or British citizenship - had a vote whether or not to allow the sale of alcohol to return to the Territory.  The Yes vote was overwhelming.

 

The newspapers also contain many articles about deaths by drowinging in the Molonglo River - many of the 'victims' were drunk at the time of their demise.  There is also many references to drunken men fighting - in some cases, resulting in death.

 

The 1928 electoral roll was not the first in the territory - 1916 and 1917 rolls were formed for a vote for or against conscription.

 

The people of the FCT (renamed Australian Capital Territory in the late 1930s) did not have a representative in the Federal Parliament until 1949 - House of Representatives - the first was Dr Lewis Wyndamere Nott.  He was followed by Jim Fraser who remained the local representative for decades - a well loved man. For many years the vote of our representative was limited to local affairs.  It was the Minister for the Interior who had the say over what happened in the ACT.

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