We made it to Koolkyne yesterday and I met the photo of Greg’s grandfather, Thomas Campbell, which hangs in the entrance hall of the Grand Hotel.
Thomas was the fourth Mayor of Menzies and the first mayor of Koolkyne. He also established Campbell’s Koolkyne Hotel in the late 19th century. He must have been a very able and hard working man.
Like most other buildings that once graced the gold rush town there is nothing left of his hotel.
His photo indicates that he was a most handsome man and I owe him an apology.
Thomas Campbell – #Inktober2016
When I practiced the text I got it right!*#!?!
Menzies, WA have some impressive, metal 2D sculptures as part of the Heritage Walk along the Main Street.
My favourite is ‘Taking tucker to the train’. I love the energy and urgency the sculptor has captured. I was also taken by the words on the accompanying plaque. They read:
“Well the train used to come through from Leonora or Laverton, going to Kalgoorlie – used to arrive here about lunchtime. Or the train could be coming from Kalgoorlie, going to Leonora and it still arrived here about lunchtime. My mother would be watching to see if there were any Wongi – they start waving from over there, then she would get me and Margie to take some food over to them.
Didn’t matter who it was- and sometimes we were running with a billy can of tea too, usually black tea, with a bit of sugar in it. Like I said, damper or tins of meat – or cold meat, usually wrapped up in a bit of cloth. You would take it up there to the train and give it to them. That’s their lunch.
Usually people didn’t have any money to buy food…. If you didn’t have any money…you’d miss out on something to eat, so our job was to run and take tucker to the train.”
Wongi people look out for each other – the culture dictates that they share resources, especially food.
Taking Tucker to the Train – #Inktober2016
I was delighted to see some of the history of the Wongi people acknowledged.
The Gwalia Gold Mine, now open pit, is 290 metres deep and 750 metres wide! The mine has produced more than 4 million ounces of gold and there are about 2 million ounces left. The impact on the environment is just as awesome as the engineering feat but in a different way. For an overview of impacts read this.
Gwalia Gold Mine – #Inktober2016
It saddens and embarrasses me that the history of the Golden Outback focuses on the European settlement and mining. The history of the Aboriginals who were the first humans to arrive in Australia is not apparent in the museums or tourist spots. This was most disconcerting in Laverton as the Shire’s resident population is largely indigenous.
Laverton WA – #Inktober 2016
Nevertheless it is impressive what the European explorers achieved in a remote area on the Western edge of the Great Victoria Desert.
The mining town of Leinster in the ‘Golden Outback’ of Western Australia was named after a Leinster Downs Station (cattle / sheep) in the locality, which itself was probably named with fond memories of Leinster in Ireland. A great contrast of scenery and climate between the two!
It was surprising to me that a company can own a whole town – housing, swimming pool, shops, infrastructure, everything!
Leinster WA Style – #Inktober2016
interesting to see but once was enough and I wouldn’t suggest anyone puts it on their ‘bucket’ list!
London Bridge, WA – #Inktober2016
Camel trains and cars are no longer allowed to drive over and under London Bridge in the Shire of Sandstone, Western Australia! I am relieved. I’m wondering how the bridge got its name! 😀
In 2011 the census recorded 105 people in the whole Shire, which is nearly 33,000 sq kms in size, including 6 aboriginals.
It was Lela’s 7th birthday today and she got to meet 2 medium sized poodles at London Bridge (in this empty, red land). Our toy held her own. She’ll be a red dog by the time we get home! 😉
There is no more gold mining at Paynes Find and no more town – just a roadhouse and a few other buildings, yet the area is rich.
The beautiful, panoramic red land supports an amazing diversity of flora and fauna under vast blue skies.
Worth More Than Gold – #Inktober2016