Down the Mall: Unusual fruit of debatable origin

THERE'S been a lot of talk this week about whether “fresh” fruit in our supermarkets had their country of origin properly shown on labels.

Fair enough, too. Some of the produce comes from some remarkably improbable countries.

But we had to wonder about the picture on the front of the Weekly Times that accompanied the paper's version of the story.

It showed some fruit labelled “nactarines.”

And… how about this: we looked up “nactarine” and apparently, it’s very close to a Hindi word for “barbarous”.

Mangled, possibly.

Popeye pays a visit

DTM is still trying to digest the advice from Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert “Popeye” Doyle, who spent a few moments in Bendigo this week and (among other things) said: (1) we’re all doing very well, (2) we need to tell state and federal governments to mind their own business, (3) we should think about having a popularly elected mayor, and then asked (4) what sort of a city tolerated someone “mooning” him in Hargreaves Mall 12 years ago.

To which, we’d like to reply:

1) Yes we are; 

2) Bendigo is pretty damn good at determining its own future already;

3) Victoria has two of those – him and Geelong’s Paparazzi king, the pink and purple-haired Darryn Lyons, and we’re not sure they are good advertisements for the concept; 

4) Has he looked at his own streets lately?

But if we could find out who was involved in Point Number 4, he might be a good candidate for Point Number 3.

Spirit of caring

Did you notice the recent centenary of the great Extended Hustler’s mining disaster? On May 2, 1914, seven miners died deep beneath our city in a shocking explosion.

But centenaries also throw up other, more positive aspects of our society.

We note in a wide range of reports in papers of the time that the entire state rallied around the families of the dead miners for months afterwards.

And today is, for example, the centenary of a heart-warming event, best reported in the 

May 30  1914, edition of the Malvern Standard:

“Bendigo Mining Disaster.

“A sum of £26 was collected outside the Prahran Town Hall on Friday on behalf of the Bendigo mining disaster fund. The local City Band, with its usual kindness, discoursed a programme of music. The collection was taken up under the management of Mr Joseph Rogers (hon. secretary) and Mr Frank Gray (hon. treasurer).

“On behalf of the Bendigo Mine Disaster Fund, a benefit night is to be given in the Prahran Town Hall on Tuesday next, June 2, by the Richmond Juvenile Frolic Party, known as the only benefit entertainers in Victoria. An attractive vocal and vaudeville programme will be presented, and, it is promised, every item will be cheery and bright. The object of the entertainment is a good one. The prices of tickets are one shilling and two shillings.”

That sort of thing was going on all over Victoria, and it’s comforting to think that we still do stuff like that.

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