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Goldfields Stories of Western Australia

Goldfields Stories of Western Australia

By Lorraine Kelly
History and stories of the Western Australian Goldfields written by local historian, Norma King (OAM) and Lorraine Kelly. Podcasts produced and published by Lorraine Kelly
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Norma King and George Bennetts Interview in 1970

Goldfields Stories of Western Australia

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Norma King and George Bennetts Interview in 1970
George Bennetts was an early resident of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and became a Member of Parliament. Synopsis of interview Born in South Australia he arrived in Fremantle in 1896 with his mother and siblings, to join his father who was working at the Great Boulder Mine.  They came out on the steamship 'Innamincka'.  He then details his journey by train to Kalgoorlie; the Cobb &​ Co. coach; Afghans and camel teams. His father had contracted typhoid fever and his mother had to walk a distance through the bush to visit him. Recollections of schooling at Reverend Collick's school in a tank in 1896 and then the Boulder school. After leaving school at 14 he starting work with a building contractor; work with a bike shop, Alfred's Dairy and sandalwooding. He describes his travels to the Whim Creek Copper Mine aboard the SS Koombana and the slave-like conditions he encountered at the mine. Details his walk 69 miles to Roebourne; being caught by police and a night in gaol. To return to Kalgoorlie he is employed as a cook for a cattle droving team and describes the poor treatment of aboriginal stockmen and working conditions. He recollects a conversation he had with an employee of the SS Kombanna, and how the employee told him the ship was dangerous since it was re-plated, as it was top-heavy. This man thought it would sink during a cyclone.  The ship did sink during a cyclone on the 20th March 1912 killing 150 people.  This was the first time Bennetts had told this story.
46:38
November 23, 2020
Was Jack the Ripper caught at Southern Cross, Western Australia? Chapter Two
Recently I began revising an article Norma King had written about the first piano of Southern Cross and then of Coolgardie. In it, she stated that the notorious murderer, Frederick Deeming, who had many aliases, used to play it. She claimed in this article that his reputation as a good pianist helped detectives unravel his alias, which led to his arrest in Southern Cross. The article then went on to tell of how the piano also played a role in saving another man's life. I was interested in learning more about this notorious murderer, so I began searching for articles written about Deeming at the time and it turns out he is one of the suspects for being Jack the Ripper. This podcast looks into the life of the murderous Deeming. Listen to chapter one before listening to this podcast Chapter two of two. For more information, go to Goldfieldstories.com
33:26
July 19, 2020
Was Jack the Ripper caught at Southern Cross, Western Australia? Chapter One
Recently I began revising an article Norma King had written about the first piano of Southern Cross and then of Coolgardie. In it, she stated that the notorious murderer, Frederick Deeming, who had many aliases, used to play it. She claimed in this article that his reputation as a good pianist helped detectives unravel his alias, which led to his arrest in Southern Cross. The article then went on to tell of how the piano also played a role in saving another man's life. I was interested in learning more about this notorious murderer, so I began searching for articles written about Deeming at the time and it turns out he is one of the suspects for being Jack the Ripper. This podcast looks into the life of the murderous Deeming. Chapter one of two. For more information, go to Goldfieldstories.com
25:43
July 19, 2020
The Dalmatian Connection, Chapter 8: The Coolgardie Exhibition of 1899
 Chapter 8: The Coolgardie Exhibition A brief history of the International Mining and Industrial Exhibition held in Coolgardie in March, 1899. The PDF booklet of the Dalmatian Connection and all of the  mp3 files are available from Goldfieldstories.com Further episodes are as follows: Chapter 1: The Kazeas. Jenny and Mat Kazea arrived in Boulder, Western Australia, from Victoria in 1897. They decided to embark on an overseas trip for six months to visit Mat's family in Zlarin and Jenny's family in Ireland. They also decided to go to Paris to see the International Exhibition that was held there in March 1900.  Chapter 2: Jenny's diary.  Go back in time with Jenny on the steamship Oroya, as they travel to Zlarin. You will then follow their travels in Zlarin, Trieste, Vienna Leplitz and Paris in the year 1900. Chapter 3: The Paris Exhibition Jenny's diary gives an interesting account of the Paris Exhibition of 1900 and the city of Paris. They then travel to England and Ireland. We then travel with them on the Ortona back to Australia. Chapter 4: Jean Jenny adopted Mat's niece from Zlarin. Her name was Tomasina. She later married and had a girl named Jean. This chapter looks at her early life in Fremantle and Spearwood. Chapter 5: The Lime Kilns In 1933 Jean agreed to work for her brother as housekeeper and cook in a remote settlement on the Transcontinental Railway Line called the Lime Kilns.  This chapter looks at the unique and isolated community that produced lime for the goldfields. Jean lived at the settlement for 33 years Chapter 6: A First World War Diary Jenny found a diary written by Sister Fitzpatrick. This diary details her experiences as a nursing sister in the First World War.  Chapter 7: Continuing Jean's Story Jenny's recollections of interesting events at the Lime Kilns and the challenges of living in a remote settlement.
10:48
May 26, 2020
The Dalmatian Connection, Chapter 7: Continuing Jean's Story
Chapter 7: Continuing Jean's Story Jenny's recollections of interesting events at the Lime Kilns and the challenges of living in a remote settlement. The PDF booklet of the Dalmatian Connection and all of the  mp3 files are available from Goldfieldstories.com Further episodes are as follows: Chapter 1: The Kazeas. Jenny and Mat Kazea arrived in Boulder, Western Australia, from Victoria in 1897. They decided to embark on an overseas trip for six months to visit Mat's family in Zlarin and Jenny's family in Ireland. They also decided to go to Paris to see the International Exhibition that was held there in March 1900.  Chapter 2: Jenny's diary.  Go back in time with Jenny on the steamship Oroya, as they travel to Zlarin. You will then follow their travels in Zlarin, Trieste, Vienna Leplitz and Paris in the year 1900. Chapter 3: The Paris Exhibition Jenny's diary gives an interesting account of the Paris Exhibition of 1900 and the city of Paris. They then travel to England and Ireland. We then travel with them on the Ortona back to Australia. Chapter 4: Jean Jenny adopted Mat's niece from Zlarin. Her name was Tomasina. She later married and had a girl named Jean. This chapter looks at her early life in Fremantle and Spearwood. Chapter 5: The Lime Kilns In 1933 Jean agreed to work for her brother as housekeeper and cook in a remote settlement on the Transcontinental Railway Line called the Lime Kilns.  This chapter looks at the unique and isolated community that produced lime for the goldfields. Jean lived at the settlement for 33 years Chapter 6: A First World War Diary Jenny found a diary written by Sister Fitzpatrick. This diary details her experiences as a nursing sister in the First World War.  Chapter 8: The Coolgardie Exhibition A brief history of the International Mining and Industrial Exhibition held in Coolgardie in March, 1899.
26:43
May 25, 2020
The Dalmatian Connection, Chapter 6: World War 1 Diary of Sister Fitzpatrick
Chapter 6: A First World War Diary Jenny found a diary written by Sister Fitzpatrick. This diary details her experiences as a nursing sister in the First World War.  The PDF booklet of the Dalmatian Connection are available from Goldfieldstories.com Further episodes are as follows:  Chapter 1: The Kazeas. Jenny and Mat Kazea arrived in Boulder, Western Australia, from Victoria in 1897. They decided to embark on an overseas trip for six months to visit Mat's family in Zlarin and Jenny's family in Ireland. They also decided to go to Paris to see the International Exhibition that was held there in March 1900.  Chapter 2: Jenny's diary.  Go back in time with Jenny on the steamship Oroya, as they travel to Zlarin. You will then follow their travels in Zlarin, Trieste, Vienna Leplitz and Paris in the year 1900. Chapter 3: The Paris Exhibition Jenny's diary gives an interesting account of the Paris Exhibition of 1900 and the city of Paris. They then travel to England and Ireland. We then travel with them on the Ortona back to Australia. Chapter 4: Jean Jenny adopted Mat's niece from Zlarin. Her name was Tomasina. She later married and had a girl named Jean. This chapter looks at her early life in Fremantle and Spearwood. Chapter 5: The Lime Kilns In 1933 Jean agreed to work for her brother as housekeeper and cook in a remote settlement on the Transcontinental Railway Line called the Lime Kilns.  This chapter looks at the unique and isolated community that produced lime for the goldfields. Jean lived at the settlement for 33 years Chapter 7: Continuing Jean's Story Jenny's recollections of interesting events at the Lime Kilns and the challenges of living in a remote settlement. Chapter 8: The Coolgardie Exhibition A brief history of the International Mining and Industrial Exhibition held in Coolgardie in March, 1899.
33:45
May 25, 2020
The Dalmatian Connection, Chapter 5: The Lime Kilns
 Chapter 5: The Lime Kilns In 1933 Jean agreed to work for her brother as housekeeper and cook in a remote settlement on the Transcontinental Railway Line called the Lime Kilns.  This chapter looks at the unique and isolated community that produced lime for the goldfields. Jean lived at the settlement for 33 years. The PDF booklet of the Dalmatian Connection and all of the  mp3 files are available from Goldfieldstories.com Further episodes are as follows: Chapter 1: The Kazeas. Jenny and Mat Kazea arrived in Boulder, Western Australia, from Victoria in 1897. They decided to embark on an overseas trip for six months to visit Mat's family in Zlarin and Jenny's family in Ireland. They also decided to go to Paris to see the International Exhibition that was held there in March 1900.  Chapter 2: Jenny's diary.  Go back in time with Jenny on the steamship Oroya, as they travel to Zlarin. You will then follow their travels in Zlarin, Trieste, Vienna Leplitz and Paris in the year 1900. Chapter 3: The Paris Exhibition Jenny's diary gives an interesting account of the Paris Exhibition of 1900 and the city of Paris. They then travel to England and Ireland. We then travel with them on the Ortona back to Australia. Chapter 4: Jean Jenny adopted Mat's niece from Zlarin. Her name was Tomasina. She later married and had a girl named Jean. This chapter looks at her early life in Fremantle and Spearwood. Chapter 6: A First World War Diary Jenny found a diary written by Sister Fitzpatrick. This diary details her experiences as a nursing sister in the First World War.  Chapter 7: Continuing Jean's Story Jenny's recollections of interesting events at the Lime Kilns and the challenges of living in a remote settlement. Chapter 8: The Coolgardie Exhibition A brief history of the International Mining and Industrial Exhibition held in Coolgardie in March, 1899.
14:02
May 20, 2020
The Dalmatian Connection, Chapter 4: Jean
 Chapter 4: Jean - Her early life in Fremantle & Spearwood Jenny adopted Mat's niece from Zlarin. Her name was Tomasina. She later married and had a girl named Jean. This chapter looks at her early life in Fremantle and Spearwood. The PDF booklet of the Dalmatian Connection and all of the  mp3 files are available from Goldfieldstories.com Further episodes are as follows: Chapter 1: The Kazeas. Jenny and Mat Kazea arrived in Boulder, Western Australia, from Victoria in 1897. They decided to embark on an overseas trip for six months to visit Mat's family in Zlarin and Jenny's family in Ireland. They also decided to go to Paris to see the International Exhibition that was held there in March 1900.  Chapter 2: Jenny's diary.  Go back in time with Jenny on the steamship Oroya, as they travel to Zlarin. You will then follow their travels in Zlarin, Trieste, Vienna Leplitz and Paris in the year 1900. Chapter 3: The Paris Exhibition Jenny's diary gives an interesting account of the Paris Exhibition of 1900 and the city of Paris. They then travel to England and Ireland. We then travel with them on the Ortona back to Australia. Chapter 5: The Lime Kilns In 1933 Jean agreed to work for her brother as housekeeper and cook in a remote settlement on the Transcontinental Railway Line called the Lime Kilns.  This chapter looks at the unique and isolated community that produced lime for the goldfields. Jean lived at the settlement for 33 years Chapter 6: A First World War Diary Jenny found a diary written by Sister Fitzpatrick. This diary details her experiences as a nursing sister in the First World War.  Chapter 7: Continuing Jean's Story Jenny's recollections of interesting events at the Lime Kilns and the challenges of living in a remote settlement. Chapter 8: The Coolgardie Exhibition A brief history of the International Mining and Industrial Exhibition held in Coolgardie in March, 1899.
08:59
May 19, 2020
The Dalmatian Connection, Chapter 3: The Paris Exhibition of 1900
Chapter 3: The Paris Exhibition Jenny's diary gives an interesting account of the Paris Exhibition of 1900 and the city of Paris. They then travel to England and Ireland. We then travel with them on the Ortona back to Australia.    The PDF booklet of the Dalmatian Connection and all of the  mp3 files are available from Goldfieldstories.com  Further episodes are as follows: Chapter 1: The Kazeas. Jenny and Mat Kazea arrived in Boulder, Western Australia, from Victoria in 1897. They decided to embark on an overseas trip for six months to visit Mat's family in Zlarin and Jenny's family in Ireland. They also decided to go to Paris to see the International Exhibition that was held there in March 1900.  Chapter 2: Jenny's diary.  Go back in time with Jenny on the steamship Oroya, as they travel to Zlarin. You will then follow their travels in Zlarin, Trieste, Vienna Leplitz and Paris in the year 1900. Chapter 4: Jean Jenny adopted Mat's niece from Zlarin. Her name was Tomasina. She later married and had a girl named Jean. This chapter looks at her early life in Fremantle and Spearwood. Chapter 5: The Lime Kilns In 1933 Jean agreed to work for her brother as housekeeper and cook in a remote settlement on the Transcontinental Railway Line called the Lime Kilns.  This chapter looks at the unique and isolated community that produced lime for the goldfields. Jean lived at the settlement for 33 years Chapter 6: A First World War Diary Jenny found a diary written by Sister Fitzpatrick. This diary details her experiences as a nursing sister in the First World War.  Chapter 7: Continuing Jean's Story Jenny's recollections of interesting events at the Lime Kilns and the challenges of living in a remote settlement. Chapter 8: The Coolgardie Exhibition A brief history of the International Mining and Industrial Exhibition held in Coolgardie in March, 1899.
26:14
May 18, 2020
Prince 'Teddy" Visits the Goldfields
Written by Norma King and first published in the Kalgoorlie Miner in 1979.  Prince Edward spent a day in Kalgoorlie and Boulder in 1920.  This is a brief account of his successful tour in the goldfields and an account of the earlier train-crash in the South-West that the Prince and Lord Mountbatten apparently enjoyed! For more information and photos, go to https://www.goldfieldstories.com/post/untitled
08:17
May 17, 2020
The Dalmatian Connection, Chapter 2: The Paris Exhibition
 Chapter 2: Jenny's diary.  Go back in time with Jenny on the steamship Oroya, as they travel to Zlarin. You will then follow their travels in Zlarin, Trieste, Vienna Leplitz and Paris in the year 1900.Chapter 1:  The PDF booklet of the Dalmatian Connection and all of the  mp3 files are available from Goldfieldstories.com Further episodes are as follows: Chapter 1: The Kazeas. Jenny and Mat Kazea arrived in Boulder, Western Australia, from Victoria in 1897. They decided to embark on an overseas trip for six months to visit Mat's family in Zlarin and Jenny's family in Ireland. They also decided to go to Paris to see the International Exhibition that was held there in March 1900.  Chapter 3: The Paris Exhibition Jenny's diary gives an interesting account of the Paris Exhibition of 1900 and the city of Paris. They then travel to England and Ireland. We then travel with them on the Ortona back to Australia. Chapter 4: Jean Jenny adopted Mat's niece from Zlarin. Her name was Tomasina. She later married and had a girl named Jean. This chapter looks at her early life in Fremantle and Spearwood. Chapter 5: The Lime Kilns In 1933 Jean agreed to work for her brother as housekeeper and cook in a remote settlement on the Transcontinental Railway Line called the Lime Kilns.  This chapter looks at the unique and isolated community that produced lime for the goldfields. Jean lived at the settlement for 33 years Chapter 6: A First World War Diary Jenny found a diary written by Sister Fitzpatrick. This diary details her experiences as a nursing sister in the First World War.  Chapter 7: Continuing Jean's Story Jenny's recollections of interesting events at the Lime Kilns and the challenges of living in a remote settlement. Chapter 8: The Coolgardie Exhibition A brief history of the International Mining and Industrial Exhibition held in Coolgardie in March, 1899.
42:05
May 16, 2020
The Dalmatian Connection, Chapter 1: The Kazeas
Chapter 1: The Kazeas. Jenny and Mat Kazea arrived in Boulder, Western Australia, from Victoria in 1897. They decided to embark on an overseas trip for six months to visit Mat's family in Zlarin and Jenny's family in Ireland. They also decided to go to Paris to see the International Exhibition that was held there in March 1900.  The PDF booklet of the Dalmatian Connection is available from Goldfieldstories.com Further episodes are as follows: Chapter 2: Jenny's diary.  Go back in time with Jenny on the steamship Oroya, as they travel to Zlarin. You will then follow their travels in Zlarin, Trieste, Vienna Leplitz and Paris in the year 1900. Chapter 3: The Paris Exhibition Jenny's diary gives an interesting account of the Paris Exhibition of 1900 and the city of Paris. They then travel to England and Ireland. We then travel with them on the Ortona back to Australia. Chapter 4: Jean Jenny adopted Mat's niece from Zlarin. Her name was Tomasina. She later married and had a girl named Jean. This chapter looks at her early life in Fremantle and Spearwood. Chapter 5: The Lime Kilns In 1933 Jean agreed to work for her brother as housekeeper and cook in a remote settlement on the Transcontinental Railway Line called the Lime Kilns.  This chapter looks at the unique and isolated community that produced lime for the goldfields. Jean lived at the settlement for 33 years Chapter 6: A First World War Diary Jenny found a diary written by Sister Fitzpatrick. This diary details her experiences as a nursing sister in the First World War.  Chapter 7: Continuing Jean's Story Jenny's recollections of interesting events at the Lime Kilns and the challenges of living in a remote settlement. Chapter 8: The Coolgardie Exhibition A brief history of the International Mining and Industrial Exhibition held in Coolgardie in March, 1899.
03:41
May 14, 2020
Wiluna - Memories of Bloomers, Mice & Kangaroos
Historian and author, Norma King, fondly reminisces about her life in Wiluna, Western Australia during the 1940s. First published in "Colourful Tales of the Western Australian Goldfields" in 1980.  To read the story and many more, go to goldfieldstories.com/blog
11:12
May 14, 2020
William Carr-Boyd - The Prince of Storytellers
In the early days of Western Australia, there were a lot of colourful characters, but none were more colourful than William Carr-Boyd who was known as the Prince of Storytellers. His exploration was recognised by giving his name to the Carr-Boyd Ranges in the Kimberly, Carr-Boyd Rocks in the Eastern Goldfields and, in the 1970s, a mine, the Carr-Boyd Nickel Mine was named after him but he was also famous for his whimsical sense of humour that often went out of control.
17:38
May 11, 2020
Mt Ida Ghost-town, An Isolated Community
In the early 1900s, Mt Ida was a small, but productive community with no telegraphic communication. 'Bone-shakers' - the trusted bicycle, were used to send messages to Menzies, which was 86 km away, over rough, dirt tracks. Long term Tommy Andrews also gives an account of life there in the early days. To read the blog, go to https://www.goldfieldstories.com/post/history-of-mt-ida-ghost-town-and-long-term-resident-tommy-andrews
14:35
April 14, 2020
New Hopes: The Bullfinch Gold-rush of 1910
By 1910 most of the excitement had gone out of mining in the eastern goldfields. Then the Bullfinch was discovered. Fortunes were made and lost during the boom, but the main mine was a big producer for a number of years. To read the blog and see photos, go to https://www.goldfieldstories.com/post/new-hopes-the-bullfinch-rush-of-1910
07:57
April 11, 2020
The Amazing Escape of Modesto Varischetti - the Entombed Miner, 1907
Modesto Varischetti was entombed underground for 9 days in a goldmine at Bonnievale, Western Australia. He was kept alive with the assistance of brave divers who gave him food, tobacco, candles and diluted claret daily. To read the blog and see photos, go to https://www.goldfieldstories.com/post/the-amazing-escape-of-modesto-varischetti-entombed-miner-in-1907.  First written by Norma King in 1980. Published and edited by Lorraine Kelly in May 2019.  Copyright belongs to Lorraine Kelly.
07:43
April 10, 2020
Reminiscing with Herbert Hoover's God-daughter
Phyllis McMillan recalls her life in Gwalia and Peppermint Grove. Her father was an Engineer at the Gwalia Mine with Herbert Hoover and her parents were part of the 'fast set'. For photos and more information, go to https://www.goldfieldstories.com/post/reminiscing-with-norma-president-hoover-s-goddaughter-born-1902
11:12
April 10, 2020
Her Final Walk: A Christmas Tragedy
Mrs Quinn had just arrived from Scotland to visit her son in Bulong, Western Australia on Christmas Day 1915. She decided to save a few pounds by not catching a taxi, this decision became fatal.  This story is taken from my book, Goldfield Stories: Early days in Western Australia.  For more posts, go to https://www.goldfieldstories.com/blog
05:55
April 8, 2020
Underground Horses in WA Gold Mines
In Western Australia, the Sons of Gwalia mine near Leonora had a long history of using pit horses. Discover why and other interesting information relating to mining horses in Australia.  Read this blog and more, go to https://www.goldfieldstories.com/post/underground-horses-in-wa-mines
04:23
April 8, 2020
The Murder of Tiger (Wimbah)
Tiger (his Aboriginal name was Wimbah) was murdered in 1898. He was a genius at gold-specking and was the first to find gold in Bulong. His murder by Pindinnie Aboriginies made national news at the time. To read this blog and more, go to https://www.goldfieldstories.com/post/murder-of-wimbah-tiger-who-was-the-first-to-find-gold-at-bulong
03:48
April 6, 2020
Mildred Walshaw: Lady Gold-miner
Mildred was the only permanent resident of the ghost town of Comet Vale and was most likely the only active woman prospector with her own gold mine in Australia in 1957. She was born in 1896 in Yellowdine, just outside Southern Cross, Western Australia. To read the article, and many more, go to https://www.goldfieldstories.com/post/mildred-walshaw-lady-gold-miner
03:08
April 6, 2020
Among the Early Ones- Pioneer of Greenough, Western Australia
A brief account of Lillian King (nee Waldeck) who was my Great-Grandmother and pioneer of Greenough, Western Australia. I found this letter to Norma King, my Nanna, which has been reproduced and published. Her father was one of the first missionaries in the region. To see photos and read the account, go to https://www.goldfieldstories.com/post/among-the-early-ones  
06:59
April 5, 2020