Tag Archives: Stone

The rock engraving highlights Australia’s top-secret World War II mustard gas program | Instant News

In 1943, a young man carved his name, date, and place of birth, on a rock outside the Glenbrook Railway Tunnel, on the eastern side of the Blue Mountains.

Nearly 80 years later, that small act highlighted his extraordinary involvement in the highly classified storage of deadly mustard gas in Australia during World War II – despite a ban on its use after World War I.

The road to discovery began last year after the Glenbrook District Historical Society submitted a photo of the engraving to the Manning Wallamba Family History Society on the NSW Mid-North Coast.

This engraved stone sits at the entrance to the old Glenbrook Railway Tunnel with the inscription, 8/43, LAC RA Bryan, Taree, NSW.(Provided: Neil McGlashan)

This sparked the interest of local researcher Janine Roberts.

Ms Roberts began investigating who “RA Bryan” was and why she had her name engraved on that location.

“It’s these little little clues that give clues about what happened in the past,” he said.

He applied to the Australian National Archives for RA Bryan service records.

“It confirmed to me that he was in the RAAF, but the story that unfolded below, I was just blown away and shocked,” said Roberts.

‘Mustard gas man’

Ms Roberts discovered that Ross Ashley Bryan was born in Taree in 1924 and registered with the RAAF in 1943.

“I thought he might be dreaming of becoming a pilot, but he was actually training as a protector at RAAF Glenbrook base and stationed in the Glenbrook Tunnel,” he said.

Ms Roberts discovered the unused Glenbrook Railway Tunnel was one of 14 mass storage facilities in Australia that was used covertly to store toxic phosgene and mustard gas during World War II.

He said mustard gas was used in World War I with devastating effects and many countries, including Australia, became signatories to the 1925 Geneva Protocol which prohibits the use of chemical warfare.

“When I researched the story, I read that there was a growing threat from Japan [in World War II], especially after the fall of Singapore… and it is suspected that chemical warfare was used against China, ”said Roberts.

“They’re stored in 14 different locations across the country, and this is where Ross Ashley Bryan’s story comes in.”

The entrance to a large underground tunnel, surrounded by stone walls, with storage drums in the foreground.
The eastern entrance of the Glenbrook Tunnel in 1943 with a bulk storage drum filled with mustard gas.(Provided: Geoff Plunkett)

Ms Roberts said Mr Bryan was part of the RAAF’s specialist chemical warfare protection unit set up to handle chemical weapons supplies.

“In the following years those people were called mustard gasmen, and they handled, transported and ended up destroying the chemical weapons,” he said.

He said the men did very hazardous work without suitable protective equipment, leading to gas burns and exposure to carcinogens.

Ms Roberts said part of Mr Ross’s work on the Glenbrook tunnel would be releasing mustard gas which would build up under pressure in the drums stored in this old railway tunnel.

“That would release lethal gas into the air, and then they repainted the drums and made sure all the seals were properly sealed so they could see if there was a gas leak,” he said.

Side view of naked man from hip up with burns to the torso.
A male volunteer demonstrates mustard gas burns that occurred during the Australian Chemical Warfare Field experiments and Experiments Section.(Provided: Australian War Memorial)

“He also went to north Queensland where they tested humans using mustard gas, and he was there, in Innisfail, where they were doing the test nearby.

“It’s really awful what these people go through.”

Roberts said the men suffered health complications in the following years through their exposure, including respiratory problems such as emphysema, a rash that never went away, neurological conditions and cancer.

“These people are exposed to phosgene and mustard gas every day,” he said.

“While these immediate wounds appear to be healing, the people don’t know how badly it has affected them, and no one there told them.”

‘It’s almost like these people don’t exist’

Ms Roberts said the men were not allowed to talk about their roles.

“Because many of them have signed the documents bound in the Crime Law being kept secret for 50 years, they don’t discuss it with their family, friends or anyone else,” he said.

“So it is this terrible secret they have been holding on to for more than 50 years. It was only in the 1990s that knowledge of the operation began to become public.

Black and white photo of dozens of barrels on top of a dilapidated wooden building beside the beach.
The Japanese island of Okunoshima had a poison gas factory during World War II.(Provided: Australian War Memorial)

Ms Roberts said Mr Bryan married in Coopernook after the war and died in 2005, without receiving any acknowledgment of his role.

“In 2009 there was a plaque laying ceremony to acknowledge the dangerous work these people were doing [at Glenbrook] and the sacrifices they make for our country, “he said.

‘We need to understand our own history’

Historian and researcher, Geoff Plunkett, has written numerous books on chemical warfare in Australia and interviewed several mustard gas man.

He said several of the men interviewed said they had signed a confidentiality act.

“Most of them were around 18 years old in 1943, they were old people, so a lot of them didn’t talk about it until I came along as official historians,” said Plunkett.

Mr Plunkett said it was important for Australians to be aware of their country’s involvement with chemical weapons.

Handwritten diary notes page.
The diary of a World War II sergeant refers to loading and unloading gasoline at Berry Springs, in the Northern Territory.(Provided: Geoff Clarke)

“These people were criticized because they never left Australia, but most of them wanted to become air gunners in the air force – they were forced to do this.

“In fact, the first thing they know is when they show up in the unit.”

He said they couldn’t come out if it was because they became an important unit that was very specialized.

“But it was a consequence after the war because they were not entitled to multiple pensions because they did not serve abroad,” said Plunkett.

“We have at least one million chemical weapons in Australia, which is not necessarily a small number, but there are still a lot of people who don’t realize that … we certainly need to understand our own history.”

A surprise find for the family

Ms Roberts wrote about Ross Bryan’s story for a local heritage website, MidCoast Stories, which she co-founded.

A woman with black hair sits at a desk at a computer smiling, at headquarters.
Janine Roberts says the people kept their “terrible secrets” for 50 years.(ABC Mid North Coast: Wiriya Sati)

It was through this story that Mr Bryan’s nephew, David Kedwell of Old Bar, NSW, first learned of his uncle’s wartime role.

“It was never mentioned to me by my immediate family … that’s something that really surprised me,” he said.

“Isn’t that a wonderful thing, [it can come] from the little act of carving your name into stone, “says Kedwell.

“And the fact he’s carved Taree, NSW into stone – he’ll probably never be found [without that]. “

Ms Roberts said it was very satisfying that little hints from the past have allowed a man’s life and sacrifice to be remembered.

“It gives me the satisfaction of looking at a photo – and to me I don’t think it will be much – and then it ends up being this incredible story,” he said.

Chemical storage drums lined up outside the underground tunnels.
Drums were cleaned under tarp in mid-1943 in the Glenbrook Tunnel by a chemical warfare gun maker.(Provided: Geoff Plunkett)


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Dave Dobbyn Becomes Sir Dave Dobbyn At New Zealand’s New Years Awards | Instant News

Dave Dobbyn, best known for his 1986 no.1 song ‘Slice of Heaven’, has been knighted in New Zealand as part of the Queen’s New Year Awards.

New Zealand, unlike Australia, still has knightly titles. Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson is a sir. Kiri Opera star Ti Kanawa has a female equivalent, a Dame.

Dave Dobbyn was a member of the New Zealand bands Th ‘Dudes (1975-1980) and DD Smash (1980-1986). DD Smash had six Top 40 hits in New Zealand.

In a statement, Sir Dave Dobbyn said:

Thank you so much for the flood of beautiful messages about my New Year’s Honor. We were completely overwhelmed and a little daunted by the generous spirit given to us.

Thank you Lady Anneliesje for everything in my known universe. You showed me what love is by living it to the fullest. I can only put music to its glory along the way. God willing, our best song is in front of us.

We were given this blessed land. He has given us all the voices and songs to find in this land, for people to share. So, it is in that Spirit that we respect our community of artists and musicians and give great impetus to the growth of art across our cultural heritage. This vital community is evidence of the value and freedom of dialogue and discourse in a free society.

A big thank you to my wonderful and inspiring manager Lorraine Barry. She has been our right and left hand woman for nearly seventeen years. I say right and left hand because, even when he fell and broke both arms, he ventured to work tirelessly for others. It is dedication.
Thank you to all the musicians and characters who have had the privilege of playing and traveling with me. Our hearts are for all of you in love.

Big congratulations to every recipient of this year’s award. May God’s peace lift you up in 2021, and always. Happy New Year Everyone ! thanks.

Always love

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Ciara and Russell Wilson launch a fashion house – Music News | Instant News

Ciara and Russell Wilson have announced the launch of their own fashion house.

The husband and wife duo teamed up with industry veteran Christine Day to create The House of LR&C, and the first brand to be released from their own maison was a sustainable streetwear collection called Human Nation.

Ciara and Russell are eager to commit to using eco-friendly materials for their debut clothing collaboration, and also want to ensure Human Nation is an inclusive brand.

“We have that reach. Whether you want to be a tomboy or refine, there is a section in the collection that lets you do that, ”the Goodies singer told Vogue, noting that the collection is gender neutral.

“Inclusivity is at the forefront of our design process; we want to talk to as many people as possible. I love borrowing Russ’s clothes, “continued Ciara, adding that they wanted to focus on being comfortable with the collection, as most people stayed at home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We want to prioritize comfort now that we are all in our homes during this Covid era. What’s cool is that you can wear Human Nation when you’re at home and then take it out on the street when you go out – having that flexibility is important to us. “

The House of LR&C also incorporates the men’s clothing line Russell’s Good Man Brand, which it launched in 2016, and the couple’s fashion house will eventually include more labels.

And three percent of the net income from each purchase goes directly to Ciara and Russell’s non-profit Why Not You Foundation, which supports children’s health and education.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to make an impact with The House of LR&C, and that keeps me motivated,” added Ciara.

Human Nation is available to purchase online from thehouseoflrc.com.


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CM Murad Ali Shah will lay the foundation stone for Malir Toll Road next month | Instant News

The chief minister of Sindh has decided to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the 39-kilometer Malir Toll Road project in the second week of November. He also approved the construction of a connecting road for the Korangi.

Syed Murad Ali Shah took this decision on Thursday during a meeting he chaired at the CM Building to review a project launched as part of a public-private partnership.

Malir Toll Road

The Sindh Investment Department notified the chief executive that the concession agreement for the Malir Toll Road project had been implemented, while an independent auditor as well as an engineer had been appointed for the project.

The meeting was informed that the agreement was being finalized and the bank had begun approving the financial closure of the project, while the concessionaire had finalized the detailed design of the project.

The Malir Toll Road is a 39 km long road which will be built along the Malir River. This will be a four-lane line. The initial estimate of the completion period is three years, but CM has directed the investment department to complete it in two years.

Three overpasses and eight underground roads will be constructed as part of the project, which will start from the KPT Interchange in Qayyumabad and end at the Karachi-Hyderabad Highway near Kathore. CM Shah gave the investment department permission to mobilize machinery for the project, saying he will lay the foundation stone in the second week of next month.

Korangi connecting road

The chief executive also approved the construction of a 12 km connecting road for Korangi. The starting point of the road is Creek Avenue at the Korangi Causeway intersection and ends at the PAF Airmen Golf Club.

The road alignment will be along the Korangi Causeway and the Malir River. This will be a new four-lane road that connects to Korangi. Shah directs the planning & development department to complete geotechnical investigations and traffic surveys before submitting their results for collection as part of a public-private partnership or through an Annual Development Plan.

Recycling plant

Municipal Wastewater Recycling Plant at Treatment Plant-I in Karachi aims to supply 50 million gallons of recycled wastewater per day in two phases – 30mgd in first phase and 50mgd total in second phase – to Haroonabad Wastewater Treatment Plant for Industrial Estate SITUS .

The private sector will be involved to bring water supply to industry, handle operations & maintenance, upgrade and replacement, and prepare the necessary water supply infrastructure.

A special pipeline network will be installed for water distribution to industries in the SITE Area. CM directed its government public-private partnership unit to accelerate the project and start working on it.

Water supply

The 30mgd water supply project requires the establishment of a special bulk water transmission system from Dhabeji to Korangi Crossing to supply an additional 30mgd of water, of which 10mgd will be provided for the Dhabeji Industrial Zone and 20mgd to the South Karachi District.

This also includes laying a pipeline from Dhabeji to the Korangi Crossing, and setting up a pumping station and filter factory at the Korangi Crossing Area. The water will be distributed through the existing network at the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board and the cantonment board.

Waste treatment

The chief executive was informed that KWSB was interested in building a wastewater treatment plant project at TP-IV, and that the project covered the design, construction and management of 180mgd primary and secondary treatment plant facilities.

The Asian Development Bank’s Public Private Partnership Office is in the process of hiring a consultant for the project feasibility study. It has submitted an expression of interest to undertake transaction consulting services of the TP-IV project.

CM said the project had been approved at the 30th Public-Private Partnership Policy Council meeting to carry out advisory services. He directed the investment department to speed up consulting services to get the project started.

Pump station

The Jamila Wastewater Pumping Station Project requires the rehabilitation, upgrading and operation of the existing Jamila Water Pumping Station in Karachi, including the adjacent infrastructure. The CM directed KWSB to present the project to the Public-Private Partnership Policy Board so that project implementation could be approved as part of the public-private partnership.


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Louis Mobile Food Market will be in your Community in Partnership with St. Louis. Louis Area Foodbank Listing for August 1 – 21 | Instant News

Louis Mobile Food Market will be in your Community in Partnership with St. Louis Area Foodbank Listing for August 1 – 21 | RiverBender.com


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