The Centennial Of The Automatic Clyster

You went and looked that one up, didn’t you? That’ll teach you to read my column…

I already knew the word so I didn’t, but I did look up what had happened in Australia 100 years ago – to see what I could do in 2021 for a bit of historical celebration. I did caution in a post that this sort of thing should be kept to regional history, else it gets ridiculous.

It should also be kept within other boundaries. I am not an indigenous person, nor Asian. I would, therefore, be well advised not to dress myself up in the costumes of these peoples and bounce around in their ceremonies. They can do so with some style and be perfectly appropriate while doing it. I was bad enough when I played faux-Scotsman for a couple of years for theatrical purposes. No more.

It should be kept to an age limit. I am an older person – I do not intend to act the kid any more. I distrust their lifestyle and detest their clothing, in any case. I will take to 100-year-old style very well. I have things in my wardrobe that look very much the part.

So what happened in Australia in 1921 that I can take an interest in? What sort of things will get a local remembrance?


The Group Settlement Scheme started in Manjimup – a timber town in our Southwest. There’s a big museum there and a tourist industry that is begging for visitors. I’ll bet they have a festival that is worthwhile seeing…if only to count the teeth on the locals and listen to the banjo playing. It’s an overnight motor trip and very do-able.

The Group Settlement Scheme was a social disaster so it should be fun to observe how the locals sanitise it. Bet there’s a state politician who weeps on a podium…


The Royal Australian Air Force was formed in 1921. Well, seeing as I live a block away from the state aviation museum and I build model airplanes I can’t see why I should not start to build an Australian wing of my 1:72 Air World Museum. And encourage other people at my model building club to do the same.

The planes of 1921 were all British leftovers anyway and scale kits of leftovers are available.


Australia assumed protectorate duties for Papua New Guinea in 1921. I do not intend to go there, but an evening at the local Tiki bar should do just as well.


Ginger Meggs – the Australian cartoon strip – was started. What a good excuse to get some of the GM collections in books. It’ll be sad stuff, perhaps, but I read Pogo for political satire…


An Australian senator predicted Armageddon in 1934. Well, there ya go – a politician using popular superstition to gain attention. If I can’t write my way to equal infamy and ridicule, it won’t be for lack of trying.

The other good thing about living in Australia 100 years later is we never had a Volstead Act back then. Oh, we had, and have, wowsers of all descriptions but none of them ever succeeded in causing prohibition or the ganglands of the Roaring Twenties. I have a Savoy Cocktail book and I’m not afraid to use it.

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