Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Readers Write


Email from Tim B in respect of yesterday’s Quote for the Day, which mentioned Rosie asking me to check the milk when I went to the bathroom: 
Hello Otto, really enjoyed the post today with Her Maj’s speech and the pictures. Just one question though, is the fridge where you keep the milk in the bathroom?

Tim B 
Thanks, Tim. 

No, the kitchen and the bathrooms are both at the end of the same hallway, down from my office.  Rosie knew that I get to the office early and asked me to check the milk in the kitchen if/when I went to the bathroom. Well noticed, though. 


Email from Brett B: 
There's a 4th monarch who ruled longer:
Thanks, Brett. 

From the article that is the subject of the above link: 
You may have occasionally found yourself wondering who the longest-reigning monarch in all of recorded history was, but, chances are, you have probably never had the time to look it up.

Queen Elizabeth II of Britain is the longest-reigning monarch who is currently still alive. She ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952 and has remained queen ever since. In spite of this, however, she is not the longest-reigning monarch of all time or even the longest-reigning monarch in modern history.

The longest reigning monarch in modern history is King Sobhuza II of Swaziland, who ascended to the throne on December 10, 1899 and continued to reign until his death on August 21, 1982. He reigned for nearly eighty-three years, which is truly an astonishingly long period of time. Nonetheless, although King Sobhuza II is the longest-reigning monarch in modern times, he is not even close to being the longest-reigning monarch of all time.

The longest reigning monarch of all time is Pharaoh Pepi II Neferkare of the Egyptian Old Kingdom, who ascended to the throne in 2278 B.C. when he was only six years old. He continued to reign until his death in 2184 B.C. at the age of one hundred years old. He reigned for a whopping timespan of ninety-four years, which is over a decade longer than King Sobhuza II. To put that into perspective, ninety-four years is roughly the same amount of time between the country of Egypt gaining nominal independence from the British Empire and the present day.

In fact, Pharaoh Pepi II Neferkare lived for so long that his death caused widespread chaos and instability throughout all of Egypt. At the time of his death, he had already outlived all of his brothers and sisters as well as all of his sons. His only living descendant was his daughter, who was already old and senile. His daughter ascended to the throne and became Pharaoh Nitokeri, the first female pharaoh in all of Egyptian history. She died sometime around 2181 B.C., having only reigned for three or four years. After her death, the kingdom, which was already falling apart, collapsed into pieces. This marked the end of the Egyptian Old Kingdom and the beginning of the First Intermediate Period. It would not be for approximately another 125 years until Egypt would once again be reunited under the rule of a single leader. 

What is it with Chullora? I mentioned last week that I was surprised to get some emails about this flyspeck of an industrial suburb after it had been one of the locales briefly looked at in the continuing Sydney Suburbs series. 

Of late the only claim to fame for Chullora is that at the beginning of March, some women brawled in the aisle of the local Woolworths supermarket over toilet paper: 

It was therefore another surprise that the day following my posting the reader comments about Chullora, I received an email from Bruce R: 
G’day Otto,

Hope you are holding up under self isolation

I read your Saturday Bytes but only as far as Chipping Norton and Chiswick when the phone rang and I got side-tracked. Fancy seeing in todays edition that you went on to Chullora. Like your other correspondent Phillip C (is that Philip Cross?)
[It is. Otto] I also went to Chullora Primary School but not the same years. My recollection (& I am sure I would have some memento hanging around to support this) is that I was there from 1960 to 1965. There were lots and lots of “new Australians” coming and going which always made for an interesting playground. Philip’s recollections of the drive in are spot on – another most interesting place. Went through there about 12 months ago and while things have changed they are still pretty much the same! (Draw your own conclusions). Must go back there and have a walk around one day, perhaps Philip & I could reminisce.


Thanks, Bruce. 

Did everyone, apart from myself, attend Chullora Primary School???


By the way . . . 

The US Woolworths: 

From Wikipedia: 
The F. W. Woolworth Company (often referred to as Woolworth's or Woolworth) was a retail company and one of the original pioneers of the five-and-dime store. It was among the most successful American and international five-and-dime businesses, setting trends and creating the modern retail model that stores follow worldwide today.

The first Woolworth store was opened by Frank Winfield Woolworth on February 22, 1879, as "Woolworth's Great Five Cent Store" in Utica, New York. 
Frank Winfield Woolworth 
Though it initially appeared to be successful, the store soon failed. When Woolworth searched for a new location, a friend suggested Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Using the sign from the Utica store, Woolworth opened his first successful "Woolworth's Great Five Cent Store" on July 18, 1879, in Lancaster. He brought his brother, Charles Sumner Woolworth, into the business.

The two Woolworth brothers pioneered and developed merchandising, direct purchasing, sales, and customer service practices commonly used today. Despite its growing to be one of the largest retail chains in the world through most of the 20th century, increased competition led to its decline beginning in the 1980s, while its sporting goods division grew. The chain went out of business in July 1997, when the company decided to focus primarily on sporting goods and renamed itself Venator Group. 

Fun fact: 

Frank Woolworth often made unannounced visits to his stores, where he would shoplift items to test the staff's attentiveness. Managers or clerks who caught him doing so were sometimes rewarded with promotions. 


The Oz Woolworths: 

From Wikipedia: 
Woolworths Group is a major Australian company with extensive retail interest throughout Australia and New Zealand. It is the second largest company in Australia by revenue, after Perth-based retail-focused conglomerate Wesfarmers, and the second largest in New Zealand. In addition, Woolworths Group is the largest takeaway liquor retailer in Australia, the largest hotel and gaming poker machine operator in Australia, and was the 19th largest retailer in the world in 2008.

Despite similar names, Woolworths Group has no affiliation with the F.W. Woolworth Company in the United States, the now-defunct Woolworths Group in the UK or the South African chain of retail stores, Woolworths Holdings Limited. Its main operations include supermarkets (under the Woolworths brand in Australia and the Countdown brand in New Zealand), liquor retailing (as BWS and Dan Murphy's in Australia), hotels and pubs under the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH Group) umbrella, and discount department stores under the Big W name in Australia.

The company announced a loss of $1.235 billion for the 2016 financial year on 25 August 2016, the biggest in more than 20 years since it has been publicly listed on the ASX, mainly due to more than $2 billion in write-downs of the failed Masters business and losses in the Big W business.

Woolworths opened its first store, the Woolworths Stupendous Bargain Basement, in the old Imperial Arcade Pitt Street, Sydney, on 5 December 1924. The name on the draft prospectus "Wallworths Bazaar" – a play on the F.W. Woolworth name (the owner of the Woolworth's chain in the United States and United Kingdom). After being dared to register the actual name Woolworths, one of the founder members Ernest Robert Williams found that the name was available for use in New South Wales. He therefore registered then name in Oz and acordingly, Woolworths Ltd in Australia has no connection with the F.W. Woolworth Company in the United States, nor the Woolworths Group of UK. It also has no connection to the Woolworths Group in South Africa.

The new Woolworths store was innovative; it was the first variety store in the world to use cash registers that print receipts for customers. 

1924, first store, Sydney 
Woolworths was established in Australia on September 22, 1924, with the first store, Woolworths Stupendous Bargain Basement, opening on December 5 that year in the Imperial Arcade on Pitt Street, Sydney. It was the place “where good things were cheap”. 

1927, second store opened, in NZ 

1955: first self service stores 

1973: Woolworths launches own brands. Note the outfit with the granny squares. 


Sent to me by a person who shall remain nameless . . . 

Thanks, Rosie . . . oops! 


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