Hovell and Hume

The Sydney Morning Herald

9 July 1924


Mr. John Adrian wrote to "bring retired teachers" (and many other people's) knowledge of the Hume-Hovell Journey up to date."

Mr. Alex. Wilson merely ventured to gently correct a "Retired School Teacher."

Neither of these gentlemen counted on the forces of Miss Mary B. J. Yeo.

I do not know how Mr. Adrian is still licking his wounds, but the yeoman's lance appears as effective as in the past ages, for in a blind return Mr. Wilson hits the Yass school kiddies under the belt.

Mr. Adrian says he is up to date on the Hume-Hovell Journey, but Mr. Wilson admits being still in the dark, and shows an inclination to read still further.

It may be that after further literary effort that he may come to the conclusion that, like Mr. Adrian, there is really nothing more for him to learn on the subject.

In order that he may be able to "gently" assert himself among the Australian school kiddies generally (there can be no gentle conditions expected where the Yass school kiddies are concerned).

Mr. Wilson had, perhaps, better read Fitchett and Long in the Sydney Public Library. He may also find Sutherland and other Australian history books there.

Either the Australian school children have been wrongly instructed or Messrs. Adrian and Wilson have "a heap to learn."

The school books tell of continual quarrels, while Messrs. Adrian and Wilson proclaim harmony.

The school history details indicate a generally dominant Hume a genius explorer, and a superb bushman.

Hovell, with his professional training, wanted to keep in a straight line, which meant crossing mountains in an easterly direction.

Hume, with his bushman's instinct, wanted to make a westerly detour along the plains.

Was it Hovell's fault that so much mountainous country was crossed?

Hovell may have been badly treated by the children's historians, but he is generally represented as petulant and ineffective.

As your Albury correspondent kept putting Hovell first, it naturally got on the nerves of a good many.

Fancy writing about the discovery of the Murray, and then putting the actual discoverer's name second!

Rightly or wrongly, one comes to the conclusion that there has been a continued effort to rob Hume of the pride of place.

I am, etc.. Cumnock, July 5. A. Retired Teacher.