Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

An Eye for the Kingdom

My son and I went gold-digging the other week, to the site of the original gold-rush in Australia, the Ophir goldfields, north of the city of Orange. Unfortunately for us there was no flash in the pan, not even the hint of a flash, but we did come home with a pan-full of stories.

Like this one, about an old prospector in his seventies who single-handedly changed the course of a river in his pursuit of the gold stuff. Armed only with a double-ended pick and bucket, the old bloke dug a tunnel through a small hill, literally digging through rock, in order to achieve his hydraulic diversion.

It transpired however that when he turned his attention to the now-drained creek bed, it became painfully obvious that someone had beaten him to the bullion. Apparently some of the early Chinese prospectors simply took advantage of a drought year in order to collect the virgin nuggets,  and the old man walked away with only five ounces for his effort. And for his sacrifice. For part of the story is that during the dig, an eye came out from its socket, courtesy of the sharp end of the pick! But undeterred, and with heightened focus, the old man simply covered the void, continued his mission, and left the scene looking more like a pirate than a prospector.

Made me think about my zeal in chasing the better treasure.

DM 10th June 2014


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