The Daily Advertiser, Tue 17 Jul 1928 1
ITEMS OF NEWS
Albert Ireland, aged 49 years, a cook, appeared before Mr MC Nott, PM, at the Wagga Police Court yesterday charged with an abominable offence. He was committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions to be held in Wagga. Bail was not applied for.
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Cootamundra Herald, Tue 4 Sep 1928 2
CRUMBS AND PERSONAL
A recent count of the hotels in Sydney’s metropolitan area shows there are 530 within its boundaries. This does not include its wine saloons.
Judge Coyle, at the opening of the Quarter Sessions this morning, referred to the absence of the Deputy Sheriff, Dr EH Florance, who was ill. “It is one of the few times for many years that he could noot attend,” continued his Honor, “and I am sorry at the cause of it.”
[COOTAMUNDRA] QUARTER SESSIONS.
Before Judge Coyle, with Captain Storkey, VC, as Crown Prosecutor.
There was only one other case for the sessions, the accused being Albert Ireland; and this was proceeding when we closed our report for the press.
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Cootamundra Herald, Wed 5 Sep 1928 3
PRISONERS’ AID ASSN.
Address by Judge Coyle
Last night the Mayor presided over a meeting of the above. The attendance however, was very small.
One apology was in—from Rev McLeod.
His Honor [Judge Coyle] remarked that the smallness of the meeting was sad, but the press was generous, and through them he would speak to the many. Whenever the managing secretary of the association, Mr RW Robinson, called upon he was only too glad to explain, in his quiet way, what the society’s aims were, and what it did for the welfare of those on the lower rungs of society. A wonderful work had been done.
“Though I am on the council of the association,” continued his Honor, “I was working for it before I was a judge. Though, as a Crown Prosecutor, it was my duty to put men in gaol, no one was more sorry than I. However, we all have our jobs. The country asked me to do mine; and I did it. The men and women who go to gaol lose everything they hold dear. Society says to itself, “Oh, they are well out of the way!” There, it would seem, their world ends. But those who go to gaol usually leave someone behind. A man might leave a woman and a child; a woman might leave a decrepit husband. The dependants are left starving. And it is here that the noble men and women of the Prisoners’ Aid come in. They find something for the home. They find work for those left behind. They keep the home fires burning. A man out to find his wife and children have been well looked after by the association. Those who have never known what want is have been helping those on the outer—those who have failed. These people—and Mr Robinson is in the vanguard—do wonderful work, I say. They do their work, and do it well. Read the report for yourselves, and see, many, from the Chief Justice down, are doing something to help those against whom it would almost seem that God has turned His back. When you think of it, this room should be full to–night. All should be interested. Don’t wait till a man is starving—till he looks as if a meal would save his life. Do something for those who, by their weakness—or their wickedness, if you like to call it—have dragged others down. It may sound ridiculous to hear or read of a judge sending men and women to gaol, and then feeling sorry for them; but few are so sorry as the judge who sends them there. When one gets beyond the pale, there are only two or three who stick—a wife, a husband, or a decent pal. The rest of the world say, ‘Serve them right!’ Not so the Prisoners’ Aid! They are the first to help when he or she comes out. A man requires tools; he wants aid in lots of things. Men and women wait at the goal gates to help, in the same way that Christ Himself would have helped the erring sinner. They set him on the straight and narrow path. And in 90 per cent of cases, as the council’s reports show, it is the path which leads to rehabilitation, and sometimes to quite an honorable career. I cannot ever speak of the work of this society without feeling it very deeply. Imagine what is was in the old days, when the lepers sat beside the road, and cried, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ But some said, ‘Rubbish! There is nothing unclean where good can be done!’ They did it. They looked after the lepers. And the prisoners of to-day are the social lepers. Help them. Help the association in its wonderful work. In the days when we were at war propaganda played its part. It made us feel we had to win. Let me ask each one present to go and say to others that there is something in this. Look out when the collectors come round. I would say that those who contribute will be helping one of the noblest works of God. (Applause.)
Mr RW Robinson, the managing secretary, referred to the sacrificial help of Judge Coyle. It was always a pleasure to hear his Honor speak on this subject. Mr Robinson proceeded to give two concrete results handled by the society. These could not have happened, perhaps, but for the way the society had helped both.
“My first pleasing duty,” Mr Robinson said, “is to convey to the officers and committee of this branch of the association the council’s sincere appreciation for your practical sympathy and support in the past year, and to solicit increased interest in the days that lie ahead. I want especially to mention Miss Constance Ward, who has rendered noble service as hon[orary] collector, and has been compelled to give up the work she loves so well on account of domestic ties. I also thank your local press for disseminating information relative to our work and meeting. As you are no doubt aware, these meetings are held to stimulate interest in our objects. The printed reports gives you the tabulated figures recording our ramifications. But the things that count most in this work are the things you cannot count. Charitable work that benefits not only the individual, but the whole community, must ever enlist the sympathy and practical support of benevolent people. These are wonderful days in which we live; and we have to thank God for the marked progress that has been made in improving the lot of prisoners and ameliorating the conditions for their dependants. In the ‘Labor Daily’ posted to me of August 16 an article appeared by Rev CW Chandler, Chaplain in New Zealand, headed, “Do Prisoners Reform?” I say, as far as our NSW system operates, largely yes. There are three stages—first, the penal stage; second, the preparation for liberty; and, third, liberty itself. This association and prison officials work harmoniously together, so far as their respective spheres will allow, in their endeavour to reform the fallen, and place them on the right path to useful citizenship. The present C[omptroller] G[eneral] of Prisons, Mr WF Hinchy, is a man of great experience. He is, above all, an advocate of mildness as opposed to severity; and, while fully awake to the necessity of stern measures with the habitual criminal, he believes in a system whereby the prisoner works out his own redemption, and feels that when he has served his sentence he can start with a clean sheet. And my council deeply appreciates the existing helpful, happy, co-operation. Then again, we have our Chief Justice, judges, and magistrates moulding the public thought in the direction of forbearance and intelligent pity towards social outcasts. Our activities are essentially Christian, and are the result of earnest, deep thought of many of the leading citizens of this State who are actuated by humanitarian motives, and have given their time and money to assist these men and women on their discharge. Our treatment is to create an atmosphere that makes them feel a desire to become better men and women. Most men, when discharged, feel at least a desire to do something better. They are sick of their old selves, and for a while at least there is a healthy reaction. This is the psychological moment for us to operate. To convert human waste into la-abiding citizens surely is a great service to humanity; to assist them to regain their self respect the basis of all virtue. My own opinion is that employment on discharge is the great insurance against crime, and we are ever grateful for those employers of labor who assist us in this direction. The only way to change men’s lives is to reach their hearts. I trust the citizens of this town will be wholeheartedly behind the local committee in their efforts. In the service of humanity. (Applause.)
The following were elected committee for the ensuing year: Messrs CA Vaughan, A Bragg, G Thompson, SP Ward, WB Burrows, TE Fisher, Dr Florance, GT Hutchinson, W Abbott, H Osmond, AE Caunt, CH Inson, FL Holmes, JK Middle miss, FJ Purves, F Taylor, HL Kinsey, and EH Sargent, the Mayor, head of the churches, the Acting Gaoler (Mr JP Reardon).
Hon secretary, Mr JW Kirley; hon treasurer, Mr JP Reardon.
Misses Ruth Briggs and Ruth Winchester were appointed hon collectors.
A vote of thanks was accorded Miss Constance Ward, the late collector.
Mr Robinson said, though the meeting was small, the Cootamundra people had subscribed well in previous years.
Mr Vaughan moved a vote of thanks to the Mayor for presiding, and to Judge Coyle for the address. The people Cootamundra were not brought face to face with the main objects of the association, for the Cootamundra gaol was not used for prisoners to serve sentence. The best way to reach the people on this matter was through the press. The people would, he felt sure, subscribe to the funds according as they could afford.
The motion was carried with applause.
In reply, his Honor said a few shillings from each would not hurt anyone.
ALBERT IRELAND ACQUITTED
Albert Ireland , pleaded not guilty to an unnatural offence [bestiality] at Wagga.
Mr Kinsey for accused.
Jury: Jas Hollihan, M Brown, W Curry, TS Scott, G Thompson, A Duncan, FC Walkom, SP Bennett, J Fogarty, A Bladry, S Gilmour, GH Pollard.
After evidence the jury returned a verdict of not guilty, and accused was discharged.
1 The Daily Advertiser, (Wagga Wagga, NSW), Tue 17 Jul 1928, p. 2.
2 The Cootamundra Daily Herald, Tue 4 Sep 1928, pp. 2, 3.
3 The Cootamundra Daily Herald, Wed 5 Sep 1928, p. 2. Emphasis in original document and added.