TOPICS: Flash mob rallies

MORE than 100  people with disabilities will go Gangnam Style  on the Newcastle foreshore on Thursday. 

Participants in the flash mob will range in age from five years old to 50 and will be dancing to hits from the Korean sensation PSY, Lady Gaga and One Direction.

During rehearsals at Newcastle Entertainment Centre last week, five-year-old Riley Brown-Perry took her baby doll B (for baby) along for some dance lessons.

Riley, who proudly wore her Don’t Dis my Ability shirt, attends St Dominic’s Centre for Hearing Impaired Children Mayfield.

Flash mob organiser Kate Whitton emailed most of the disability groups and schools in the Hunter asking for participants. ‘‘I wanted an event where everyone could participate no matter what their disability,’’ she said.

‘‘I work with teenagers and we have a disco every week. They are are my inspiration.’’

The International Day of People with Disability is on Thursday November 29 and Newcastle Council is co-hosting a fun day in partnership with Disability Network Hunter. This year’s theme is ‘‘removing barriers’’. 

Whitton said music was a great leveller and all people liked to dance and move.

The flash mob will take place at 11.30am at the Tram Sheds, Foreshore Park Newcastle.

PAPERS RECOUNT DETAILS OF PUBLIC CANING

 LYNETTE Dailey has found this rather frightening little gem in the Newcastle Historical Journal. 

The story, published on February 18, 1884, mentions three youths who were publicly caned at Maitland Goal for assaulting the hotelier of a pub in High Street.

The judicial caning of Michael Stapleton, 18, William Cush, 17, and Henry Hannigan, 17, took place in front of 25 people, including several leading medicos at the time.

Cush got eight lashes, Hannigan copped at least one on the buttocks and wardens saved the cat-o’nine tails for Stapleton.

The Morpeth Times and Maitland Mercury published rather gruesome and detailed accounts of the lashings at the time.

Topics is grateful this harsh penalty no longer exists, although a similar type of punishment is still used in Singapore. 

We’ve been told it is a very safe city to live in. No surprises there. 

MO MAINTENANCE TIPS

NBN sports presenter Mike Rabbitt will team up with fellow media identities at ABC 1233 in the name of a good mo.

Rabbitt, who is one of the most recognisable mo-sporting Novocastrians, has had his moustache since January 1973. It has  been shaved off only once and that was in 1978.

He will be the guest of honour and give expert tips on mo maintenance at a Movember fund-raising event at the ABC studios in Parry Street on Wednesday. 

The radio station will run a live broadcast during Paul Bevan’s program, between 3pm and 6pm.

The large 1233 sign on the Parry Street side of the building will  be decorated with a big black moustache on the day.

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