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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Unofficial A-Z Challenge - C Is For The Charlotte Medal

Charlotte Medal.Wikipedia, Creative Commons

C Is For The Charlotte Medal

The Charlotte was a ship which came to Australia with the First Fleet, carrying convicts. One of the convicts on board was a convicted forger called Thomas Barnett. The ship's surgeon commissioned a medal(see above) which was made from a silver kidney bowl. There's no question that this is a work of art - Australia's first. It was bought in 2008 by Sydney's Maritime Museum.

Thomas Barnett was, let's not forget, a forger. That's what  had got him transported. Along the way, he forged quarter-dollar pieces and used them to buy food and other supplies through the ship's porthole in Rio Di Janeiro. Why waste a talent, he must have thought.

Unfortunately for Thomas after all that travel,  he never got a chance to create Australia's second piece of art. A few weeks after his arrival Down Under, he was caught stealing food and was executed.

D is for Lucy Dudko

Lucy Dudko was a Russian librarian who made the mistake of falling in love with a crook, John Killick. Such a nice man, he brought her coffee in bed!

When John was sentenced to several years in Sydney's Silverwater prison for armed robbery, Lucy decided to rescue him. In 1999, Sydney was getting ready for the Olympic Games, which gave her an idea. As a librarian, she knew how to do her research; she borrowed three videos about daring escapes and hired a helicopter, supposedly to check out the Olympic facilities. Instead, she pointed the gun at the pilot, Tim Joyce, and demanded he take her to the yard of Silverwater Prison, where she helped her boyfriend escape. Bad enough to be hijacked, but Tim found himself being shot at by the guards!

The couple tied him up and left him, fleeing for about forty-five days. When they were caught, Lucy protested she was innocent and someone else had hijacked the helicopter, but there were those videos, which she had forgotten to return and which were still in her home. 

She was sentenced to ten years, though she was released after seven, for being a model prisoner.

As a librarian myself, I can only say, serve her right for being overdue!

If you enjoyed these stories, here's a link to the Ford Street Publishing web site: 

Tomorrow: "Dumb And Dumber"
                    James Finch
                    The Great Bookie Robbery

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