Tuesday, April 13, 2010
THAR'S GOLD IN THEM THAR HILLS!
There’s an amusing story tied up in the title, however, until I get to know you better it shall remain untold! Suffice to say that because of the misguided politically-correct world in which we dwell these days it would go down like a lead balloon or worse! Sexual harassments cases would be rife if one was so inclined! More the pity when something innocent and fun can be contorted into something evil and defamatory. Speaking of “gold”; time spent reading is golden.
As children growing up in the gold town of Gympie, my brother and I were encouraged to read, receiving books as gifts for birthdays, Christmas and times in between. Also, our fertile, impressionable imaginations were nurtured by our Nana whose fascinating tales of her “golden olden days” growing up in the Gympie area kept us enthralled night after night. There’s a lot of history emanating from Gympie.
This morning I was struck by a bug...a violent bug! I started cleaning out the drawers of my computer desk and those of a nearby chest of drawers. Boy! I'm a hoarder of paper; paper with many notations upon it! So far I've managed to fill five bags full of rubbish!
However, on going through my many jottings and other bits and pieces, I came upon "The Beadle", a little Gympie newsletter published in February, 1918! "The Beadle", apparently, was published by the Gympie Presbyterian Church. Reading it, I came across the following:
"We regret to record the death of Mr. Robert Hose, who was killed in the Scottish Gympie Mine (gold mine...at the time acclaimed to be the biggest in the southern hemisphere) by the fall of a rock. He was buried on the 24th, the Rev. W.J. Taylor officiated.
Mr. Hose was just over 50 years of age, and within a few days would have left the mine to take up land at Goomboorian."
Said Robert Hose was my great-grandfather. He usually didn't work underground but that particular day he was covering for another workmate who had called in sick.
Reading an article a short while ago I learned that Tom Bath, the grandfather of Clarissa Dickson Wright, one of the famous “Two Fat Ladies” was born in Gympie. “Bath Terrace” in Gympie was obviously named after him, a fact of which I was unaware.
Judy Cornwell who played Daisy, Hyacinth’s daggy sister in “Keeping Up Appearances” came from the Gold Town. I knew Judy’s brother, Max quite well when he and I were members of the Gympie Drama Group. Their father, Barry was a writer with the “Gympie Times”. And, of course, I come from Gympie…there has to be something golden in that, don’t you think? No? Okay…perhaps that’s a load of bullion!