Tacky

My ride to work this morning was aborted by this little tack that I picked up while riding on the bike path alongside Ford Oval in New Lambton. I hope this is just a random bit of debris and not some idiot deliberately having a go at cyclists.

Salesforce Summer ’19 issue with ADFS single sign on

This is a work related techie blog post for the benefit of others who may experience the same problem.

We have a production Salesforce Org and a number of sandbox Orgs, all set up with a Salesforce “My Domain” and configured to use Single Sign On authenticating against Microsoft ADFS. On the weekend, after our sandbox Orgs got upgraded to the Summer ’19 release, we were unable to login to any of our sandboxes using Single Sign On. We were just getting a very unhelpful “An error occurred” message on the sign-in screen.

Comparing the Single Sign On settings in our Production Org (which was still working), I noticed that where the “Login URL” SAML endpoint used to have an “so=OrgID” parameter, this was now gone in the updated sandboxes. Jumping on to our ADFS management console, and editing the relevant Relying Party Trust to remove the “so=OrgID” parameter from the Endpoint was all that was needed to fix the problem.

Curiously, when I checked the release notes for the Summer ’19 update (which is 480 pages long!), there appears to be no mention of this change in Single Sign In configuration.

Production (not yet updated to Summer ’19) had an “so=” parameter in the Login URL SAML endpoint
Sandboxes that had been updated to Summer ’19 release did not have the “so=” parameter in the Login URL SAML endpoint
Removing the “so=OrgID” parameter in the ADFS settings fixed the sign in problem.

Lizotte’s building

My article for the May 2019 edition of The Local is out. This month I clear up two errors that have appeared in a number of history books regarding the Coronation Hall (now Lizotte’s) in Morehead Street Lambton.

Error The truth
The Coronation Hall was built in 1910, the year George V became king. The Coronation Hall was built in 1911, the year of the coronation of King George V.
The Coronation Hall was built on the site of the Criterion Skating Rink/Star Theatre.

The Criterion Skating Rink was built on the south-west corner of Morehead and De Vitre Streets in 1888. In 1892 it became the Star Theatre.

The Coronation Hall was built on the corner of Morehead and Kendall Streets.

Lambton Council Update

I have just finished making quite a few updates and additions to my Lambton Council Chambers page. In light of Newcastle Council’s impending and controversial move of their council chambers to Newcastle West, I was quite amused by a quote from Alderman Dent in March 1887 in connection with the need for a new Council Chambers for Lambton …

“The present building was a beastly place. When they looked around they saw the very walls in mourning, whether for the sins of the aldermen he knew not.”

Alderman Dent’s desire for new chambers was fulfilled just a few months later when the Council building in the corner of Lambton Park was formally opened on 21 July 1887.

Lambton Council Chambers, September 1890.

True Identity

My April article for The Local is now out, this month on how I uncovered the true identity of one of the men whose name is engraved on the Lambton Park WW1 memorial gates. Private George Sturey was killed in France in 1918, but that wasn’t his real name.

In five years of researching and writing local history, this has been one of the most satisfying discoveries for me. This coming Anzac Day will be an opportunity to remember “George” and his sacrifice with greater clarity, know that we know who he was.

Teralba Railway Deviation

While looking at Google Earth this weekend I noticed that it was somewhat odd the way the Sydney-Newcastle train line has a big eastward loop just south of Teralba.

Why didn’t the train line just continue north-south in a relatively straight line? Consulting Parrott’s 1893 map revealed that’s exactly what the line used to do. Here’s the map overlaid onto Google Earth, with the present day path of the rail line shown in red.

So why the change, and when did it happen?

A search of Trove revealed that construction of the deviation was commenced around 1901. It was one of a number of re-alignments and deviations between Adamstown and Morisset designed to reduce the grade (steepness) of the track, and thus improve the efficiency of haulage. The Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate reporting on the program of rail deviations on 2 July 1901 stated that …

The grade will be 1 in 80 as against 1 in 40 and 1 in 50 on the present line. It is estimated that this deviation of the line, though a costly matter, involving as it does the expenditure of some thing between £70,000 and £80,000, will enable one engine to do work which it now takes two to do, and thus the expenditure is believed to be justifiable.

Construction of the Teralba deviation was halted in October 1901 because of a legal dispute. The deviation passed over the workings of the Pacific Co-operative Steam Coal Company, and the Railway Commissioner’s had offered £2,000 in compensation for the resumed land. The coal company thought this too little, and put in a counter claim for £25,000 compensation. Construction of the deviation recommenced in early 1902 while the legal arguments about compensation continued. In June 1902 it was reported that “the Teralba section is being pushed forward rapidly, giving employment to from 300 to 400 men”. The construction was reported as completed in April 1903.

However the argument over compensation was not completed. At an arbitration hearing in January 1903 the Railway Commissioners were ordered to pay £18,460 in compensation. The Railway Commissioners thought the award too high, and immediately asked “to have the amount of compensation settled by a jury, under the provisions of the Public Works Act of 1900.” On the other hand the Pacific Co-operative Coal Company thought the award too small, and immediately upped the ante by suing the Railway Commissioners for “£60,000 damages for the deprivation of mining rights.”

After a lengthy court case in March 1903, the jury awarded the coal company £17,609 in damages. On 11 June 1903 the coal company signed a “judgement for the amount of the verdict, with interests and costs.” But two months later in August 1903 the matter was back in the courts, where a ruling was made that the coal company “were not entitled to recover such costs.” To make matters even more complicated (as if they weren’t complicated enough), the Pacific Co-operative Steam Coal Company didn’t own the land they were mining. They leased it from the Perpetual Trustee Company for an annual fee based on the amount of coal extracted. The Perpetual Trustee Company thought that their payments would be reduced due to the resumption of land by the railway, and therefore they launched separate legal action against the Railway Commissioners for payment of compensation.

Convoluted legal proceedings continued for years, going all the way to the Privy Council in London in September 1904, other proceedings to the High Court of Australia in September 1905, and continuing in other courts until at least May 1906. With the massive amount of time spent in the courts and associated legal fees, I suspect the 3km Teralba deviation became the most expense piece of railway construction in NSW at the time.