MOUNT GARNET HISTORY INTRODUCTION By Al Gallo 19 July 2006 [Edited later] CHARLIE ROSAS  Bearing in mind that no fair description of the past could be achieved without including details about the indigenous people who have inhabited our land for some 50,000 years, I decided to talk to Charlie Rosas who, I was advised, could offer me an account of the tribes who populated this area in the distant past. Charlie is an affable man who was born near Yungaburra in 1926 and has lived in Mount Garnet since 1958. I was intrigued by Charlie’s surname ‘Rosas’ that originated in Laredo, a seafaring town of Northern Spain. He explained to me that his grandfather, Charles Simeon Rosas, worked at the corn farm owned by a Filipino who settled in Australia after working for many years as a ship’s diver. Spanish names are common in the Philippines, a country located where the oceanic trading routes provided an intense traffic of merchandise from Southeast Asia to Europe, after the Spanish began to colonize it in 1564. Charlie is obviously a man who belongs to a period of assimilation and respect for white man’s values and doesn’t carry in his memory much knowledge of any indigenous languages. He dislikes seeing young aborigines who don’t practice peaceful means and backs his ideas with citations from the Bible, as part of his senior minister involvement within the Assemblies of God. This is a Protestant Christian denomination founded in the United States by Charles Harrison in 1897. The Australian church was formed in 1937 and most aborigines in Mount Garnet belong to it. OLD TRIBES IN THIS AREA  I was told that it would be impossible to establish what Aboriginal tribes inhabited Mount Garnet or other areas of Australia, due to their nomadic lifestyle. While reading comprehensive material published by the South Australian Museum, I realized that this was certainly not true. Norman Tindale, an anthropologist who worked for that institution, carried out many field-work trips around Australia to study the Aboriginal tribes, studies that in total extended to more than seven years. Tindale collected more than 150 parallel vocabularies and after fifty years of dedicated work, his map of the Aboriginal group boundaries when the Europeans arrived was published in 1974. This demonstrated that the belief that the groups roamed across Australia without fixed territories is incorrect. Norman Tindale’s map clearly shows that there wasn’t any part of this country that could be called terra nullius, a Latin expression that means no ‘man’s’ or ‘empty’ land, used by European sovereigns during the 17th century to take possession of territories unclaimed by other Europeans. From Mount Garnet towards the North was the region occupied by the Barbaram, centred at 145°0'E - 17°15'S, between Petford and Boonmoo. From Mount Garnet towards the South were the Kokopatun, with the central position at 145°5'E - 17°55'S in the Gunnawarra area. Tindale's outstanding fieldwork in tropical Australia took place in 1921-22, 1927, 1938-39, 1960 and 1963. THE MINES  The earliest reference to the name Mount Garnet relates to the Swiss Albert Vollenweider’s discovery of copper on a slope of what was known as Garnet* Hill in 1882 and there has been a continuous title for that area under various ownerships since 1885. Vollenweider maintained a small scale operation until John Moffat, a Scot who had several other mining interests in North Queensland purchased the lease in 1898, which led to the formation in 1899 of the Mount Garnet Freehold Copper and Silver Mining Company. The new venture began to produce high grade copper oxide and provided jobs for around 150 people. The most remarkable period in the history of Mount Garnet was 1901, with the opening of the provisional school that catered for the children of the families of some of the 1,800 men who by that time worked in the mine. The total population reached about 2,000 making Mount Garnet the second largest inland town after Charter’s Towers. The same year the mining company collapsed after having to face the high cost of transport of raw materials from the railway terminal at Lappa, relying on the use of camels. The railway line to Chillagoe was only finished in 1902 just after the mine operations had ceased. While the provisional school became a State School, the dark point this year was an outbreak of typhoid fever due to lack of sanitation. The late Bill Brotherton (Basalt Bill), a local poet, dramatically referred to it like this: But hygiene in those days gone by Was barely known or used; The water from the little creek Was filthied and abused. Then typhoid took its ghastly toll Of people born so free; One lonely grave, a head stone says, Contains our infants three. Some miners who remained in Mount Garnet got the smelter going during that year but finished it with a loss. A zinc-rich zone was discovered in 1903 when the main shaft was deepened to 60 metres, but zinc at that time did not have much commercial value, which discouraged any attempt to continue the operation. There was some zinc mining activity between 1915 and 1917 and lead oxide was recovered in 1926. Kagara Ltd., a company formed in Western Australia in 1981 to first mine gemstones and later gold, became interested in the local zinc in 1997 and by 2000 owned the whole project. Mining began in Mount Garnet in an open pit in 2002 and production in the new plant started in April 2003. Kagara was described as Australia’s leading low cost base metals producer and expanded its activities in other projects near Chillagoe to achieve a much higher production of zinc and copper by 2008. Kagara Ltd., went into voluntary administration in April 2012. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of Mount Garnet is the cattle stations surrounding the town. Lucey's cattle station is mentioned as having its stockmen living in the Assay Office’s building after the end of the mining boom in 1902. We have also included information about tin mining activities since 1928. *Garnet is a hard stone that can be found in different colours. The local ones I have seen are dark green.
MOUNT GARNET HISTORY INTRODUCTION
By Al Gallo 19 July 2006 [Edited late] CHARLIE ROSAS  Bearing in mind that no fair description of the past could be achieved without including details about the indigenous people who have inhabited our land for some 50,000 years, I decided to talk to Charlie Rosas who, I was advised, could offer me an account of the tribes who populated this area in the distant past. Charlie is an affable man who was born near Yungaburra in 1926 and has lived in Mount Garnet since 1958. I was intrigued by Charlie’s surname ‘Rosas’ that originated in Laredo, a seafaring town of Northern Spain. He explained to me that his grandfather, Charles Simeon Rosas, worked at the corn farm owned by a Filipino who settled in Australia after working for many years as a ship’s diver. Spanish names are common in the Philippines, a country located where the oceanic trading routes provided an intense traffic of merchandise from Southeast Asia to Europe, after the Spanish began to colonize it in 1564. Charlie is obviously a man who belongs to a period of assimilation and respect for white man’s values and doesn’t carry in his memory much knowledge of any indigenous languages. He dislikes seeing young aborigines who don’t practice peaceful means and backs his ideas with citations from the Bible, as part of his senior minister involvement within the Assemblies of God. This is a Protestant Christian denomination founded in the United States by Charles Harrison in 1897. The Australian church was formed in 1937 and most aborigines in Mount Garnet belong to it. OLD TRIBES IN THIS AREA I was told that it would be impossible to establish what Aboriginal tribes inhabited Mount Garnet or other areas of Australia, due to their nomadic lifestyle. While reading comprehensive material published by the South Australian Museum, I realized that this was certainly not true. Norman Tindale, an anthropologist who worked for that institution, carried out many field-work trips around Australia to study the Aboriginal tribes, studies that in total extended to more than seven years. Tindale collected more than 150 parallel vocabularies and after fifty years of dedicated work, his map of the Aboriginal group boundaries when the Europeans arrived was published in 1974. This demonstrated that the belief that the groups roamed across Australia without fixed territories is incorrect. Norman Tindale’s map clearly shows that there wasn’t any part of this country that could be called terra nullius, a Latin expression that means no ‘man’s’ or ‘empty’ land, used by European sovereigns during the 17th century to take possession of territories unclaimed by other Europeans. From Mount Garnet towards the North was the region occupied by the Barbaram, centred at 145°0'E - 17°15'S, between Petford and Boonmoo. From Mount Garnet towards the South were the Kokopatun, with the central position at 145°5'E - 17°55'S in the Gunnawarra area. Tindale's outstanding fieldwork in tropical Australia took place in 1921-22, 1927, 1938-39, 1960 and 1963. THE MINES The earliest reference to the name Mount Garnet relates to the Swiss Albert Vollenweider’s discovery of copper on a slope of what was known as Garnet* Hill in 1882 and there has been a continuous title for that area under various ownerships since 1885. Vollenweider maintained a small scale operation until John Moffat, a Scot who had several other mining interests in North Queensland purchased the lease in 1898, which led to the formation in 1899 of the Mount Garnet Freehold Copper and Silver Mining Company. The new venture began to produce high grade copper oxide and provided jobs for around 150 people. The most remarkable period in the history of Mount Garnet was 1901, with the opening of the provisional school that catered for the children of the families of some of the 1,800 men who by that time worked in the mine. The total population reached about 2,000 making Mount Garnet the second largest inland town after Charter’s Towers. The same year the mining company collapsed after having to face the high cost of transport of raw materials from the railway terminal at Lappa, relying on the use of camels. The railway line to Chillagoe was only finished in 1902 just after the mine operations had ceased. While the provisional school became a State School, the dark point this year was an outbreak of typhoid fever due to lack of sanitation. The late Bill Brotherton (Basalt Bill), a local poet, dramatically referred to it like this: But hygiene in those days gone by Was barely known or used; The water from the little creek Was filthied and abused. Then typhoid took its ghastly toll Of people born so free; One lonely grave, a head stone says, Contains our infants three. Some miners who remained in Mount Garnet got the smelter going during that year but finished it with a loss. A zinc-rich zone was discovered in 1903 when the main shaft was deepened to 60 metres, but zinc at that time did not have much commercial value, which discouraged any attempt to continue the operation. There was some zinc mining activity between 1915 and 1917 and lead oxide was recovered in 1926. Kagara Ltd., a company formed in Western Australia in 1981 to first mine gemstones and later gold, became interested in the local zinc in 1997 and by 2000 owned the whole project. Mining began in Mount Garnet in an open pit in 2002 and production in the new plant started in April 2003. Kagara was described as Australia’s leading low cost base metals producer and expanded its activities in other projects near Chillagoe to achieve a much higher production of zinc and copper by 2008. Kagara Ltd., went into voluntary administration in April 2012. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of Mount Garnet is the cattle stations surrounding the town. Lucey's cattle station is mentioned as having its stockmen living in the Assay Office’s building after the end of the mining boom in 1902. We have also included information about tin mining activities since 1928. *Garnet is a hard stone that can be found in different colours. The local ones I have seen are dark green.
MOUNT GARNET HISTORY INTRODUCTION
By Al Gallo 19 July 2006 [Edited later] CHARLIE ROSAS  Bearing in mind that no fair description of the past could be achieved without including details about the indigenous people who have inhabited our land for some 50,000 years, I decided to talk to Charlie Rosas who, I was advised, could offer me an account of the tribes who populated this area in the distant past. Charlie is an affable man who was born near Yungaburra in 1926 and has lived in Mount Garnet since 1958. I was intrigued by Charlie’s surname ‘Rosas’ that originated in Laredo, a seafaring town of Northern Spain. He explained to me that his grandfather, Charles Simeon Rosas, worked at the corn farm owned by a Filipino who settled in Australia after working for many years as a ship’s diver. Spanish names are common in the Philippines, a country located where the oceanic trading routes provided an intense traffic of merchandise from Southeast Asia to Europe, after the Spanish began to colonize it in 1564. Charlie is obviously a man who belongs to a period of assimilation and respect for white man’s values and doesn’t carry in his memory much knowledge of any indigenous languages. He dislikes seeing young aborigines who don’t practice peaceful means and backs his ideas with citations from the Bible, as part of his senior minister involvement within the Assemblies of God. This is a Protestant Christian denomination founded in the United States by Charles Harrison in 1897. The Australian church was formed in 1937 and most aborigines in Mount Garnet belong to it. OLD TRIBES IN THIS AREA I was told that it would be impossible to establish what Aboriginal tribes inhabited Mount Garnet or other areas of Australia, due to their nomadic lifestyle. While reading comprehensive material published by the South Australian Museum, I realized that this was certainly not true. Norman Tindale, an anthropologist who worked for that institution, carried out many field-work trips around Australia to study the Aboriginal tribes, studies that in total extended to more than seven years. Tindale collected more than 150 parallel vocabularies and after fifty years of dedicated work, his map of the Aboriginal group boundaries when the Europeans arrived was published in 1974. This demonstrated that the belief that the groups roamed across Australia without fixed territories is incorrect. Norman Tindale’s map clearly shows that there wasn’t any part of this country that could be called terra nullius, a Latin expression that means no ‘man’s’ or ‘empty’ land, used by European sovereigns during the 17th century to take possession of territories unclaimed by other Europeans. From Mount Garnet towards the North was the region occupied by the Barbaram, centred at 145°0'E - 17°15'S, between Petford and Boonmoo. From Mount Garnet towards the South were the Kokopatun, with the central position at 145°5'E - 17°55'S in the Gunnawarra area. Tindale's outstanding fieldwork in tropical Australia took place in 1921-22, 1927, 1938-39, 1960 and 1963. THE MINES The earliest reference to the name Mount Garnet relates to the Swiss Albert Vollenweider’s discovery of copper on a slope of what was known as Garnet* Hill in 1882 and there has been a continuous title for that area under various ownerships since 1885. Vollenweider maintained a small scale operation until John Moffat, a Scot who had several other mining interests in North Queensland purchased the lease in 1898, which led to the formation in 1899 of the Mount Garnet Freehold Copper and Silver Mining Company. The new venture began to produce high grade copper oxide and provided jobs for around 150 people. The most remarkable period in the history of Mount Garnet was 1901, with the opening of the provisional school that catered for the children of the families of some of the 1,800 men who by that time worked in the mine. The total population reached about 2,000 making Mount Garnet the second largest inland town after Charter’s Towers. The same year the mining company collapsed after having to face the high cost of transport of raw materials from the railway terminal at Lappa, relying on the use of camels. The railway line to Chillagoe was only finished in 1902 just after the mine operations had ceased. While the provisional school became a State School, the dark point this year was an outbreak of typhoid fever due to lack of sanitation. The late Bill Brotherton (Basalt Bill), a local poet, dramatically referred to it like this: But hygiene in those days gone by Was barely known or used; The water from the little creek Was filthied and abused. Then typhoid took its ghastly toll Of people born so free; One lonely grave, a head stone says, Contains our infants three. Some miners who remained in Mount Garnet got the smelter going during that year but finished it with a loss. A zinc-rich zone was discovered in 1903 when the main shaft was deepened to 60 metres, but zinc at that time did not have much commercial value, which discouraged any attempt to continue the operation. There was some zinc mining activity between 1915 and 1917 and lead oxide was recovered in 1926. Kagara Ltd., a company formed in Western Australia in 1981 to first mine gemstones and later gold, became interested in the local zinc in 1997 and by 2000 owned the whole project. Mining began in Mount Garnet in an open pit in 2002 and production in the new plant started in April 2003. Kagara was described as Australia’s leading low cost base metals producer and expanded its activities in other projects near Chillagoe to achieve a much higher production of zinc and copper by 2008. Kagara Ltd., went into voluntary administration in April 2012. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of Mount Garnet is the cattle stations surrounding the town. Lucey's cattle station is mentioned as having its stockmen living in the Assay Office’s building after the end of the mining boom in 1902. We have also included information about tin mining activities since 1928. *Garnet is a hard stone that can be found in different colours. The local ones I have seen are dark green.