Maloney, Shane & Chris Grosz: Franz Ferdinand and platypus

Maloney, Shane & Chris Grosz

Archduke Franz Ferdinand & the platypus‘, The Monthly, May 2011

Whimsically explores the visit to Australia in 1893 of the unfortunate Archduke, noting his penchant for barbecued meat and for shooting large amounts of wildlife, including a platypus on the Wollondilly River. There is more on the mustachioed princeling’s visit from Greg Pemberton: ‘Australians recorded him saying [of his shooting], “Dis is de sport for me; dis is de sport my soul lofes’.’ The newspaper reports of the visit can be tracked in Trove. A related piece on a blog.

Many years later, Miss Edith Sellers recalled the Archduke’s visit, particularly an incident with beer in Thursday Island. Miss Sellers’s recollections were reprinted in the Brunswick and Coburg Leader almost three months to the day from when the Archduke had another close encounter with a firearm. The account may have been read by the young John Curtin, at that time a resident of Brunswick.

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