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The mystery of King O’Malley

By workexpboy - 29 November 2011 11

The Canberra Museum and Gallery’s location was a mystery to me. It is a rather large museum tucked away right next to the Canberra Theatre. Despite living in Canberra for nearly 15 years I never knew it existed.

On display is an exhibition about King O’Malley. I soon learned after walking in he was not an Irish king but an American who became a member of Cabinet in the Australian Parliament.

The man himself is a mystery.

It is unknown how old he really was, or where he came from. It is thought he is from Kansas although no birth certificate is available to prove this. His dates of birth are conflicting. As the exhibit shows he changed his birth date in his diaries, as well as publicly stating conflicting dates.

His sole major contribution to society appears to be a law which made children born out of wedlock legitimate so long as their parents married later. Although he also proposed a law to ban women working in hotels unless they were related to the publican.

However, he is portrayed in the exhibit as a man who stood up for people’s rights.

He said of the future site of Canberra that it was so dry a cow going on vacation there would have to bring a water bottle, but then when elected to Cabinet, publicly supported the site.

Before coming to Australia he was an insurance salesman in America, where he had questionable business dealings. O’Malley was blackmailed about the release of these details to the Australian public. He fought a defamation battle against a man whose name escapes me. In any case O’Malley won the legal fight, however, his previous life in America was forever the source of public concern.

Adding to my wholly mysterious experience was a flushing water sound. I first thought this may have had some relevance to an object I had not yet reached in the exhibition, although I believe it was originating from two large pipes hanging overhead.

As I have already said the whole event was a mystery, however, it is a mystery well worth taking a look at.

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What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
The mystery of King O’Malley
Thumper 7:33 pm 30 Nov 11

caf said :

He’s also alleged to be behind the ALP using the spelling “Labor”.

Really? Thanks for that caf, I have never heard that before.

caf 5:32 pm 30 Nov 11

He’s also alleged to be behind the ALP using the spelling “Labor”.

Duffbowl 12:55 pm 30 Nov 11

poetix said :

mr reason said :

“Sounds like O’Malley would no longer be eligible to run for Parliament, now they’ve tightened up the citizenship rules. Did he ever take out Australian citizenship?”

There was no such thing as Australian citizenship back then. We were all British Subjects.

Even the Americans?

One small piece of information missing – King O’Malley originally claimed to be born in Canada, making him (at the time) a British subject.

poetix 9:25 am 30 Nov 11

mr reason said :

“Sounds like O’Malley would no longer be eligible to run for Parliament, now they’ve tightened up the citizenship rules. Did he ever take out Australian citizenship?”

There was no such thing as Australian citizenship back then. We were all British Subjects.

Even the Americans?

qbngeek 9:17 am 30 Nov 11

djk said :

Workexpboy, your next mission should be to O’Malleys in the city to learn more about him. From (drunken/hazy) memory, he didnt drink and introduced a prohibiton as well (or maybe tried to?).

He was responsiblew for prohibition in the ACT, from memory, hence the naming of a pub after him.

djk 8:43 am 30 Nov 11

Workexpboy, your next mission should be to O’Malleys in the city to learn more about him. From (drunken/hazy) memory, he didnt drink and introduced a prohibiton as well (or maybe tried to?).

mr reason 8:37 pm 29 Nov 11

“Sounds like O’Malley would no longer be eligible to run for Parliament, now they’ve tightened up the citizenship rules. Did he ever take out Australian citizenship?”

There was no such thing as Australian citizenship back then. We were all British Subjects.

poetix 5:26 pm 29 Nov 11

Sounds like O’Malley would no longer be eligible to run for Parliament, now they’ve tightened up the citizenship rules. Did he ever take out Australian citizenship?

I suppose I’ll have to go the the exhibition to find out.

Me no fry 3:31 pm 29 Nov 11

jackal said :

… reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer gets an intern (for Kramerica Industries)! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icDXNHF-oEw

And that guy ended up going to jail (or gaol or prison – choose your poison). Hope that doesn’t happen to the FNG at RiotAct.

fgzk 3:02 pm 29 Nov 11

Fabulus……..

jackal 2:48 pm 29 Nov 11

Johnboy having a work experience boy reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer gets an intern (for Kramerica Industries)! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icDXNHF-oEw

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