What was Arch­duke Franz Fer­di­nand do­ing in Nar­romine?

Dubbo Photo News - - Front Page - By YVETTE AUBUSSON-FO­LEY

AF­TER down­ing a swathe of wildlife in In­dia while on a global hunt­ing trip in 1893, Arch­duke and heir pre­sump­tive of Aus­tria, Franz Fer­di­nand, sought to keep his taxi­der­mist ex­tra busy at the most ob­vi­ous of ex­otic des­ti­na­tions: Nar­romine.

The 29-year-old royal caught the vice-re­gal train to Nar­ramine rail­way – no, that’s not a typo, that’s how it was spelt then, named af­ter the 167,000acre prop­erty nearby known as ‘Nar­ramine Sta­tion’.

Fer­di­nand wasted no time in join­ing the sta­tion’s owner, Frank Mack, in a cou­ple of days of what most re­ports in­fer as a slaugh­ter.

He dropped into the home­stead at Nar­ramine Sta­tion and one of the ladies present de­scribed his fair hair as “parted in the mid­dle, he had light blue eyes, and he con­stantly twirled his mous­tache”.

He also spent a day hunt­ing at the junc­tion of Mul­len­gudgery and Canon­bar sta­tions where he made a per­sonal record for the num­ber of species he’d killed in one day.

Don’t judge. It was 1893 and by 1914 Arch­duke Franz Fer­di­nand was as­sas­si­nated in Sara­jevo in an event re­garded as the fi­nal straw for ten­sions in Europe which ig­nited the First World War.

There is much, much more to this tale, and Mudgee re­searcher John Broadley will be in Dubbo on Mon­day, June 18, to give a much deeper ac­count of the Arch­duke’s fly­ing visit to “Nar­ramine”.

Main photo: Nar­romine Lo­cal His­tory Cen­tre re­searcher Norma Meadley and Trangie his­to­rian Bob Richard­son are very fa­mil­iar with the story of Arch­duke Fer­di­nand’s visit to “Nar­ramine”. They’re pic­tured in front of the re­stored Nar­romine Rail­way sta­tion...

Nar­ramine Sta­tion, owned by Frank Mack, was vis­ited by the Arch­duke. The home­stead was washed away by flood and no longer stands. TWO HIS­TOR­I­CAL PHO­TOS: NAR­ROMINE LO­CAL HIS­TORY CEN­TRE

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