THE WILD, WET, WEST COAST OF TASMANIA
1894 - 1901
Stories by Rev Frederick George Copeland 1864 - 1935
DID YOU KNOW THAT:
The Rev Frederick George Copeland sailed from Hobart in 1891 to become the Church of England Minister on the mining fields of the West Coast of Tasmania from 1891-1901. His district was the size of Yorkshire. Before the railways were built, he estimated that he walked many hundreds of miles each year.
The Roaring Days - In Australia the great gold rush began in 1851 and miners followed the rumours of discovery from one place to another - Mt Alexander, Ballarat, Bendigo, Creswick, Clunes and Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie in Western Australia, and many more. The ships arrived in the old Port Phillip Bay and no sooner had the passengers disembarked than they wanted to be on the way to the fields. Some crews abandoned their ships to join in the rush. The colonial governments were losing their shepherds from the country, the labourers around the cities, and the shopkeepers.
In 1852 the British Colonial Land & Emigration Commissioners in London were flooded with over 700 letters a day and 18,000 had applied for assisted passage to Australia. These were called our ‘Roaring Days’ in a poem by Henry Lawson but they were fading in the search for alluvial gold by the late 1880s.
The Tasmanian Government appointed Charles Gould Surveyor, in 1859 to undertake surveys for gold. The geology of Tasmania is unique and lends itself to a very active minerals exploration and mining industry. The West coast of Tasmania is world famous for its mineralisation. The minerals industry is the cornerstone of Tasmania’s economy. It is important to the lives of every Tasmanian and brings with it a rich economic heritage and a capacity to ensure a prosperous future. (Tasmanian Minerals Council).
Mt Lyell and the fate of the West Coast - One of the most enduring mines in Australia has been the Mt Lyell copper mine at Queenstown. In the beginning it didn’t reveal the gold for which men were searching. It took the eventual formation of a mining company to extract the gold and the copper. It has been of world class standard and in operation for most of the last 100+ years. It became MLMR Company (Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company), in 1893. Nearly one hundred years later, in 1994 the company ceased operations.A reprieve came when the State Government awarded the leases to Gold Mines of Australia in 1995 that then set up the company, Copper Mines of Tasmania Pty Ltd as the operator. This company went into receivership and the Company itself was sold to Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd.
Echoes from the Wild West Coast ... by Marilyn Quirk .
Published 2012 in Tasmania by Print Domain.email Marilyn to buy a book
GENRE: Geographical, historical. 176 pages
Many photograph and maps.
ISBN: 978 0 646 58097 5