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April 3, 2021 By Moya Sharp
The Donors Of Famous Nugget: Mrs. Lynch, the first woman to be married at Coolgardie, and her sister, Mrs. Airey and inset the brooch on which is mounted the original nugget of gold found by Paddy Hannan at Kalgoorlie and presented to Mrs. Lynch by the famous prospector himself.
There have been bids from all over the world, but up to the present, the owner has refused all offers and has now asked the Lord Mayor of Perth (Dr. T. W. Meagher) to dispose of the nugget in aid of the war funds.
The owner of the famous piece of gold is Mrs Clara Lynch, now a resident of Southern Cross, but who has the distinction of being the first girl to have been married at Coolgardie. She went to the famous gold town In 1892 and a year later, at the age of 15, she was appointed manageress of Evan Wisdom’s Exchange Hotel.
She had known both Bayley and Patrick Hannan at Parker’s Range in 1892. Her next meeting with Hannan was in December 1893 – six months after the discovery which rocked the world. The famous prospector came to the Exchange Hotel in Coolgardie, very ill through drinking bad water. Mrs. Lynch (known as Miss Clara Saunders at that time), whose fame had spread throughout the Goldfields for her willing help to distressed prospectors, gave up her own bedroom to ensure that he would be comfortable.
By Anne Skinner
Mufulira, Northern Rhodesia, 1937
Cecil Turton didn’t normally go in for loitering outside the mine manager’s office. In later years, he could never quite remember what he had been doing there in the hot Northern Rhodesian sunshine on that day in 1937. But he never forgot the words he heard his boss say through the open window. Even when the former British colony was renamed Zambia at its independence nearly 30 years later, Cecil was still telling the story of the luckiest day of his life.
“Buy those ABC Mine shares,” he heard the manager urge an anonymous other in the room. “Buy up big. They’re going to double overnight and keep on going up, I’m telling you.”
Cecil strode home, his gut churning and his brain racing. Should he withdraw his slender life savings from the bank and sink them into those shares? Of course, he’d first have to get it past Evelyn, his frugal wife, who was bound to object. Hang on, what if he didn’t tell her? She’d have to know sometime, but one of Cecil’s lifelong personal rules was to do the deed and apologise later, if caught.
Blast it! He earned the wages and he’d jolly well buy as many of those shares as he could! The mine manager was a canny Scotsman, after all. His advice – even though not directed at himself – was bound to be right.
Cecil was due a bit of good luck. He’d turned to underground mining after stints as a farmer and a driller. Both careers had ended more or less in tears. The promising citrus farm in South Africa had gone broke after their bumper crop of oranges rotted on the London docks during a snap wharfie strike. He’d loathed the British ever since, even though he’d married an English girl looking for a new life on the Dark Continent after losing her first husband to the 1914-18 war.
September 5, 2020 By Moya Sharp
As we commemorate the ANZAC battles of a century ago, it is not generally appreciated today that Australia was bitterly divided over its commitment to the war effort. The Labor Prime Minister, Hughes, had promised Britain another 80,000 men but was unable to get the necessary legislation through the Labor-controlled senate; two thirds of the party opposed the plan. Hughes split from the ALP, reasoning that the senate would be morally obliged to pass the legislation if the public supported a referendum on the issue.
After a public debate marked by its bitterness, division and violence, Hughes lost two referendums. In a letter to journalist Keith Murdoch, Hughes blamed the defeat of the first referendum on Sinn Fein, the IWW, and the sentimental vote of women. There was little that he could do about the Irish Catholics and Australian women, but he could, as we shall see, certainly move against the Industrial Workers of the World.
In 1878, my great-grandfather Tom McMillan arrived at Moreton Bay as a ten-year old, the son of a Scottish coal miner. He worked in the mines of New England, Kiama and Tasmania, before the Federation Drought and 1890s depression forced him to join his parents and sisters in Southern Cross. Various family members worked at Day Dawn, Frasers, Mt Jackson, Never Never, Corinthian and Marvel Loch.