Wednesday, February 23, 2011

After the Gold Rush

My father, his father and his father were all born on different islands in different countries and it's merely a warp in history (World War I) that has me typing today from Australia and not New Zealand, where some of my relatives still live. Today's post is for them and the folk suffering following yesterday's devasting quake in Christchurch. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
The Welcome Stranger was a dirty big nugget found in the 1800's - about 160 pounds or 72 kgs. It was the largest single piece of alluvial gold ever found on this island or anywhere, ever. Men like my father's grandfather came from all over the world to seek their fortune, as part of the gold rushes of the 1800's. But it was a slow trip in those days - six months on a leaky boat - as one NZ bard would put it.
By the time my great grandfather got to Melbourne, the gold rush was alomost over but there were stories of gold being found around Otago on another island not so far away (and greener and cooler, like his homeland). So off he went and stayed.

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