‘Twas the early 1800’s and the word was passed around
That the California gold rush had begun,
And Australian freeman settlers soon were California bound
Joining many hapless convicts on the run.
They ranged up and down the horse trails of this new and vibrant land
Many found their wildest dreams had been fulfilled,
They experienced much hardship, scarcely had a helping hand
But a lucky few their fortunes they did build.
Now Australia is a country that can grip you by the heart
And the winners and the losers soon came back,
As they settled in it’s provinces to make a brand new start
They remembered well the California track.
California was a cousin to this sunburnt southern land
And its landscape was surprisingly the same,
So the miners sought out river beds with mining gear in hand
And on striking rich another gold rush came.
From the 1850’s onward numerous quantities of gold
Beckoned migrants to this lucky sunburnt land,
Of the exploits in Eureka many stories have been told
But most miners dredged up nothing more than sand.
Then a bank collapse in England caused Australian banks to close
And the local folk cried out in desperation,
When Nash discovered Gympie gold, a cry of joy arose
For his find was the salvation of the nation.
More people came to settle here, community ethos grew
And the tales those early settlers have told,
Have inspired great achievements as we from their spirit drew,
And we owe a lot of it to Gympie gold.
PS: I was raised in the mining community Gympie Queensland Australia. Stories from the past claim newly established State of Queensland was almost bankrupt when James Nash discovered gold in the Mary River Valley in what is now called Gympie. A statue of Nash can be seen opposite the old Council Chambers. Incidentally, the word Gympie is the aboriginal word for a stinging bush found in that area. A recent news item reported the last deep mine closed its doors as returns were not considered currently viable. However history points out mines had been closed in the past for the same reason, but subsequent finds by those who persevered produced vast fortunes. A big flood in 1893 flooded all deep shafts and no attempt was made after that to pump out and rebuild the tunnels. There is still great wealth to be had in those old flooded mines.
To read more, “Gympie Gold, Hector Holthouse, Harper Collins Publishers Pty Ltd 2001
“© Copyright Ian Grice 2013 all rights reserved”
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