In the last years of the 1890s the law regarding alluvial mining vs reef mining came to head in a number of protests. It was the closest the Eastern Goldfields in Western Australia came to having a Eureka moment. Large numbers of mounted police were transported to the fields and the Premier John Forrest was attacked by an umbrella (which became a symbol of the resistance).
A regulation was introduced known as the “Ten-foot regulation”. The regulation was brought in to protect reef miners from claims of alluvial miners which subsequently put a large number of alluvial miners in the Fremantle jail. Nobody knew where the reefs started and finished. Under the new act alluvial miners were not allowed to dig within 50 feet of a reef and they were limited to only ten feet in depth. It was widely known that the layer of overburden that the gold was found under was at least 100 feet or deeper.
John Forrest went off to a Federation Convention over East leaving Edward Wittenoom to put this into action. With effigies of Forrest and Wittenoom hanging from hotel balconies and being set on fire, this upset a number of political leaders in Perth. Wittenoom even braved the wrath of miners who drowned out his speeches with hoots and jeers. Mounted police became a feature on the streets of Kalgoorlie to control the crowds turning out to protest the regulation.
Every year the Diggers and Dealers Conference blows into Kalgoorlie-Boulder like a swift tornado grasping at the town with full force. From all over Australia, the Mining sector gathers for a few days of 'wheeling and dealing' and despite no eastern state representatives attending in person due to COVID lockdowns, there were over 2400 people to talk to. All and all, this was a very positive Diggers as attendees were be able to meet in large numbers without masks and Global Tenements was happy to take part.
The young man didn’t die alone. The bullet hole in the back of his skull proved that. And how many men can bury themselves?
Although the murder happened just out of town, it seems no-one heard the shot, there were no witnesses and – as the next few years were to prove – no-one to miss him.
As the Great Depression gnawed through the 1930s, the old gold mining town of Wedderburn hosted almost as many people looking for work as had flocked there during the height of the gold rush, more than 80 years before. They came and went, drifting into town one day and gone the next.
It was a great time and place for a murder.
One fine, hot January day in 1937, at the best guess about six months after that unheard shot, Wedderburn prospector Herbert Weston made a decision that was to haunt him for the rest of his life. If such a thing were possible, it even turned him off gold – or at least the search for it.
Herbert decided to revisit an old shaft he’d dug a few years previously. He hadn’t found any gold in it back then, but his luck had been pretty poor lately and he’d got to thinking… maybe paydirt was just a few shovel-loads further down. He would sink the shaft a bit deeper and see if he could turn his fortunes around.
Herbert took his mate Neal Thompson along to help. Someone seemed to have chucked a lot of debris and soil into it since he’d last been there, which was a nuisance as it meant more work for them. The pair began to dig. A few minutes later, one spade struck something hard. Excitedly, they scraped the soil away.
But what they found was no gold nugget. It was the top of a human skull, with strands of light brown hair still clinging to it.....
June 5, 2021 By Moya Sharp
Australia’s Richest Handicap Cycle Race
Cycling has been part of the Goldfields since the courier cyclist in the 1890’s carried messages around the Goldfields before the telegraph line came to the region. This year’s Minara Resources Goldfields Cyclassic will continue as a two-stage handicap race across the rich and historic landscape of the Western Australian outback from Kalgoorlie-Boulder to Menzies and on to Leonora....
Western Mail 26th Dec 1946
Ex-servicemen have banded together for a building project at Kalgoorlie
The Housing Problem – Enterprise on the Goldfields by K, Douglas
DUE to the initiative and willingness of a band of ex servicemen, a model community centre is well under way to being completed at Salisbury-road, South Kalgoorlie, The area is adjacent to the Kalgoorlie racecourse, and in the heyday of the goldfields was a well built on area.
Those responsible for the scheme are members of the 2/28th Battalion Association, and the 24th Tank Attack Association, who found they had men in their associations who had no accommodation for housing their families.
WITH other goldfields men who had served in the A.I.F, R.A.N., and R.A.A.F., a total number of 22 formed themselves into a mutual help organisation, with the Intention of providing homes for themselves and their families.
By each man contributing to a fund, £1,300 was. raised. This purchased the land, and by dispatching two of their members to Wiluna, the Lake Way Hostel, a dwelling of 22 rooms, was bought. Materials from this dwelling will complete the first six homes.
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.
Hillgrove, New South Wales | 1888
One fine evening late in January 1888, John Grace strode into Faint’s Hotel in the small gold-mining town of Hillgrove, slapped a handful of silver coins onto the bar and ordered a drink. Such a common sight in an Aussie pub shouldn’t have raised any eyebrows – except the drinker in question had been bumming beers and smokes from just about everyone in that bar ever since he’d blown into town after Christmas.
Even more amazing, Grace – who now sported an uncharacteristically smart pair of new boots – proceeded to join a poker game and spent the rest of the night gambling away a startling quantity of folding money. More remarkably still, he paid his bar and room tab up to date.
Some of the onlookers may have recalled that Grace had been seen in the company of a prospector in the same bar the evening before. Maybe the pair had struck it lucky? One or two of the other drinkers might even have looked around the room to see if the prospector was also there, celebrating a new gold find.
But he wasn’t anywhere to be seen.....
We are happy to announce our very first virtual tenement manager. Introducing…Dara!
The name Dara is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning is ‘nugget of wisdom’ - a name fitting don't you think? Nugget; goldrush, wisdom; owl - tenement manager summed up!
It's no secret that our Managing Director, Tracy Browning, is passionate about bringing clients value, and due to the explosion of interest in acquiring gold tenements in the Goldfields, wanted to offer a service of wisdom that is available 24/7.
Dara's office will be located on our website but keep an eye out for the nuggets of wisdom on our social media pages!
Enjoy the convenience of timely tenement wisdom in one fully integrated virtual tenement manager.
I’m sure that we have all heard of the term ‘Billy Cart’ which refers to a small cart with no power or pedals which was usually constructed and ridden by children. However the term originally came from Billy Goat Carts which were small carts pulled by one or sometimes two goats hitched to a small cart with a seat for one or sometimes two children.
As you will see from these ‘Goldfields Goat’ carriages it was popular from children of poorer families up to more stylish rigouts of the more well to do in the town. The goats were usually feral goats brought in from the bush and trained to pull a cart. The practice was eventually discontinued as being too cruel to the goats and dangerous to the children.
I recently caught up with Ashok Parekh, chartered accountant, and chairman of Horizon Minerals, to explain Global Tenements development of the Expenditure Strategy Tool.
In light of the industry being beset by plaints, causing huge grief and expensive legal bills, Mining companies must become more committed to exploring their ground – and recording every action and expenditure related to such exploration – to prevent exposure to forfeiture action.
Global Tenements Expenditure Strategy Tool enables clients to better plan their exploration spend through transparent budgeting and easy tracking. Launch date coming soon.