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Australian Star
Title : Australian Star Australian Star
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Source : Australian Star, 10 May 1879, p. 1
Date of creation : 1879
Format : Newspaper
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Description :

The Australian Star was an 'independent' newspaper founded in 1878 by Henry Allerdale Grainger and William Watson. Grainger had an interesting career - he worked as a journalist in America before coming to Adelaide and was elected to the South Australian Parliament.

In the Australian Star Grainger voiced his views on protectionism, restricted Chinese immigration and employer liability. Grainger claimed his newspaper was the first in South Australia to publicly advocate these and other measures, including extending the jurisdiction of local courts, providing free land to settlers and preventing land monopoly (Australian star, 25 September 1880, p. 1). The Star was unusual for its time in printing its 'leaders' or editorial comments on the front page and placing the advertising pages in the centre of the newspaper. Good coverage was given to sport - in particular local football and cricket, as well as detailed theatre reports. A shipping column and a social column were among the regular features. Poems and stories, largely reproduced from English periodicals, were also included. However, the serials 'Helen's babies' and 'The Jericho Road' by John Habberton, were possibly locally written.

A letter written by 'Paterfamilias' complained of the coming visit of the Duvali sisters, in particular their advertised performance of the can-can at a show to be held in White's Rooms in May 1879. (3 May 1879, p. 3). However the Star pointed out afterwards that the room was not big enough to hold the appreciative audiences. (10 May 1879, p. 8) The newspaper also enjoyed highlighting the annoyance of Archdeacon Marryat over an article in the Anglican Church Standard, suggesting better music could be heard at the Blenheim Music Hall than was in most Anglican churches on a Sunday. (1 September 1877, p. 6)

'Both sides of the wall by the man on the top' and 'Proceedings in Parliament by Ventilator' were columns of political comment, while 'Waif' wrote about local theatre, 'Myrton' covered cricket, 'Mark' covered football and 'Amicus' provided a column of news in the German language.

A wry sense of humour was frequently employed in Grainger's writing. The births, deaths and marriage column was quirkily titled 'Born, married and dead'. The entirely satirical serial 'The story of the coal scuttle or the folks in the fire and how they came there', with characters including King Bang, Queen Truth, Mr Brag and Miss Pop, was contributed by Grainger in the latter months of 1879. The newspaper ceased in early 1881, apparently due to financial difficulties.

Related names :

Grainger, Henry Allerdale, 1848-1923

Habberton, John, 1842-1921

Watson, William

Coverage year : 1879
Place : Adelaide, S. Aust.
Region : Adelaide city
Further reading :
Rollison, Kay. 'Grainger, Henry William Allerdale (1848-1923)', Australian dictionary of biography, Volume 9, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1983, pp. 72-73



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