Research Reveals Faces of the Past; A Tragic Part of Gympie's Gold Mining History Is in Friendly Hands, Writes PAT TOWNER

Gympie Times, The Qld., May 8, 2010 | Go to article overview

Research Reveals Faces of the Past; A Tragic Part of Gympie's Gold Mining History Is in Friendly Hands, Writes PAT TOWNER


GYMPIE hotels, and the various doctors who served throughout the Gympie region in the past, are currently being researched by the Friends of Gympie Regional Libraries.

Friends of the Libraries' member Rose Sami and others also recently compiled a list of the miners who died while at work in this region, and the project was taken up by fellow member, Judith Keetley.

Judith has taken more than three years to find the records of the 148 miners who died in mines throughout the Gympie district.

Judith said the project had been a fascinating one, and the information she compiled was a valuable addition to the history section of the library.

Already one family has been into the library trying to find out about their forebear, and all of the information was on file, ready for them to access in a few minutes.

A letter of gratitude was received by the historian, and over time many others will visit the library and find the material of great value.

Visitors are thrilled to visit the miners' memorial on Calton Hill and take photographs, many of them later posted on the internet.

The miners' memorial gives the names and years of all who died.

The years 1877 and 1883 were particularly bad years, when one miner died for nearly every month of the year.

Other years there were only one or two deaths.

All of the miners who died had their own story and came from all sections of the globe, dying thousands of miles from their birth place and loved ones.

One of the miners researched by Judith was Robert Sands, who was injured in the South Phoenix mine in 1888, and later died from his injuries.

After his death, his wife and five children posed for a photograph then asked that a photograph of Robert Sands be inserted into the group. …

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Research Reveals Faces of the Past; A Tragic Part of Gympie's Gold Mining History Is in Friendly Hands, Writes PAT TOWNER
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