Lambing Flat Folk Museum (Young, NSW)

Click here to edit subtitle

History Blog

AN AUSTRALIAN FILM

Posted on December 19, 2015 at 12:30 AM

AN AUSTRALIAN FILM

Production at Young

 

From the Sydney Morning Herald Monday 23 May 1927

 

The manner in which Australian film companies have taken advantage of the opportunities now being provided in Australia, and within the Empire, is illustrated by the Dominion Film Co., which was recently formed at Young, with Mr. Phil. K. Walsh as managing producer.

 

The shares were taken up rapidly, and within a few weeks Mr. Walsh has started on his first picture, "The Birth of White Australia", a 7000 ft film of dramatic and historical incidents in the development of the country.

 

The film is said to provide a version of the epic story of the pioneers, explorers, and statesmen who moulded the history of the nation.

 

The company’s directors are mainly pastoralists fired with a desire to assist the Australian film industry. Mrs. Sarah Musgrave will appear in the picture, the romantic element of which will revolve around her adventurous life.

 

 

From the Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 25 July 1928

 

There is some beautiful photography in "The Birth of White Australia", a new film produced by Mr. Phil Walsh, which was screened privately yesterday before Government Representatives and others; and from this point of view the picture should be a good advertisement for Australia abroad.

 

The serenity of light slanting down through gum trees and illuminating a thin veil of smoke; the mercury-like presence of a rushing river; the rolling spaciousness of a landscape with a herd of cattle—such aspects of Australian scenery as these the photographer, Mr. Lacey Percival, has presented with great artistry. Mr. Walsh has made his contribution to the effect by re-creating on a large scale the hustle and picturesqueness of the gold diggings of Lambing Flat and Tipperary Gully in 1860. There are hundreds of men in these scenes, all digging and washing and engaging in free fights, just as engravings and records of the period show them to have done as a matter of history. The whole of the setting is authentic.

 

The title rises from the anti-Chinese riots of the 1860s, when the diggers came into conflict with the police as a result of the Chinese causing difficulties with the claims and otherwise making themselves objectionable to Australian sentiment. This forms the climax of the narrative. (NB. With the passing of time this sentiment has changed. In more enlightened times most people realise that the Chinese were within their rights to be on the goldfields and should have been treated on equal terms to anyone else. Today they find the town of Young to be a most welcoming destination.)

 

The earlier sections (of the film) embody an aboriginal corroboree; a representation of Captain Cook’s landing; and pictures of the Duke of York opening Federal Parliament House.

 

The following are some interesting newspaper reports about the filming.

 

Goat eats the scenario

 

Prominent in the scenes that are being taken for the film "The Birth Of White Australia" are several goats which help to add "atmosphere" to the scenes of Old Tipperary Gully. While Mr. Phil Walsh was directing the actors in one scene at Young, he placed his typewritten scenario on a stump behind him. One of the goats wanted to "read, mark, learn and inwardly digest" his part, was discovered chewing the type-written pages with evident relish.


Climbing Trees at 98

 

Mrs. Sarah Musgrave, the first white child born on the Bland, was 98 years old on May 4. She celebrated the event by climbing to the top of St. Mary’s Church tower, which is about 50 feet high, to get a bird’s eye view of Young and thus contrast it with the days of Lambing Flat diggings. Now a resident of Auburn, Mrs. Musgrave often makes railway trips to Young. She wrote a book two years ago. Recently she climbed a tree at Tipperary Gully, and watched the old mining scenes being re-enacted for the film, "Birth of White Australia." A memorial is being erected near the High School to perpetuate the memory of some of Mrs. Musgrave’s pioneer ancestors.

 

Accident to Film Actor

A young film actor, Mick Quinn, had a narrow escape from death while acting in the film "The Birth of White Australia". He was rounding up a mob of cattle when he fell from his horse, rolled down the bank and fell unconscious in the stream. He was rescued by onlookers.

 

Young Historical Society – Brian James.

 

 

Categories: None