ACT News

Gang-gang. 100 Years Ago. Melburnians burn and misbehave at the seaside.

Melbourne folk were at the seaside for their Christmas 1915/New Year 1916 holidays. "Clio" of Melbourne's Punch reported the damsels getting sunburnt and the young men being swine.

"The girls who have been to the seaside for their holidays [notice] the havoc which sun and wind play with their skin and complexion. The time at the seaside is lovely, but the after effects, to use their own expression, are horrid. They are, therefore, all rejoicing at the advent of 'Uthifier' pronounced "youth-e-fire". 'Uthifier' is the name of a Parisian liquid face powder, which chemists are now selling. It is a perfect godsend for remedying the ravages of sun and rain."

It was wartime and hooligan Australians were behaving very badly towards German-Australians and even towards folk with German-sounding names.

"Baiting Germans seems to be the holiday hobby of a certain class of physically fit young men at some of our seaside resorts," the columnist seethed.

"Nightly bombardments of houses occupied by Germans consisted of kerosene tins thrown on the roof ... and window-smashing. On the bathing sheds used by aliens were written most offensive remarks.

"No doubt the perpetrators thought it immensely good sport, but it would be much more to the credit of these physically fit young men if they left the proper authorities to deal with the Germans in our midst, and they got into khaki, and went off to shoot Germans at the front. Anybody can stay at home and throw kerosene tins on a roof of a German. Even a woman or a child can do that."

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