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22. Rush for gold
GOLD DISCOVERED AT COPELAND: JULY,
There was one constant in the pioneering days of
Australia – if you wanted a population explosion,
have yourself a gold rush.
Copeland, near Gloucester, is now a village of
about 300 people, but at the height of a goldrush
in 1879 it had about 3000 people, a thriving
town with eight pubs. There were some 51 mines
operating in the area, which produced about 11
tons of gold, equating to about $400 million in
According to the NSW Department of Primary
Industries, gold was discovered near Copeland at
Back Creek in July, 1876, although this may be a
little after the fact.
It was found by cedar getters the Saxby
brothers (Henry, Robert, Edward and John) and
George Bartlett, whose son, Robert, wrote in the
Gloucester Advocate in the 1920s suggesting the
discovery was actually made in 1874/75 but kept
He wrote that the ﬁrst “colour” was washed
out in the creek by John Saxby, and the ﬁnd kept
secret until the group found out the government
was offering a 500 pound reward for new
goldﬁelds. They broke the news of the ﬁnd in July,
1876, and afterwards the government delayed
the reward because of the delay in making the
discovery known, although one was paid after
Once word of the discovery got out miners
ﬂooded the area and the population increased to
1100, of whom 800 were miners. The ﬁrst mining
was alluvial, then reef mining. The ﬁrst gold lease
was applied for on November 25, 1876, with the
reefs being worked in 1877 including Rainbow,
Centennial, Mountain Maid, Hidden Treasure, Lady
Lizzie, Mechanics, Morning Star, Star of the South,
Rose and Thistle and Lord of the North.
In 1879 the industry was at its peak, but by 1880
the miners were off to a new strike at Temora. By
1887 mining had almost ceased.
The last mine and one of the biggest, Mountain
Maid, closed in 1878, and is now managed by the
National Parks and Wildlife Service as a tourist
attraction and education facility as part of
Copeland Tops State Conservation Area.
23. Beating the best
CHOISIR WINS AT ROYAL ASCOT:
When Newcastle trainer Paul Perry’s four-year-old
colt Choisir, at 40-1, charged down the straight
to win the King’s Stand Stakes in June, 2003, he
became the ﬁrst Australian-trained horse to win at
England’s Royal Ascot track.
Days later, when the colt fended off the best
sprinters in Europe to lead all the way in the
group one Golden Jubilee Stakes, in record time
on the same hallowed turf, he became the ﬁrst
horse to win two races at a Royal Ascot carnival
since Stanerra in 1983, the ﬁrst horse to claim the
King’s Stand-Golden Jubilee double and had Perry
shaking the hand of the Queen.
“After the race we got to meet the Queen,”
Perry told racing writer Craig Young at the time.
“She shook our hand, presented the cup to us.
I thought I’d only be there for 30 seconds but
she really knows her racing, loves her racing, we
discussed our horses and the race.
“We also spoke about her grandson William’s
21st birthday party that night. It was fancy dress.”
After possibly the biggest breakthrough for
Australian horses going to Europe, the horse Perry
bought with long-time client Terry Wallace for
$55,000 was spoken of as having a price tag of
Choisir had one more start in the UK, ﬁnishing
second in the July Cup, before being purchased by
Coolmore Stud Australia for a career as a shuttle
In his racing career Choisir had 20 Australian
starts for ﬁve wins, four seconds and six thirds,
including a victory in the group one VRC Lightning
at Flemington, and three Great Britain starts
for two wins and a second, and was Australia’s
International Horse of the Year in 2003.
At stud he is the sire of more than 700 starters
for more than 400 winners including 33 stakes
winners that have earned more than $33 million.
24. Hat-trick to express
ANTHONY STUART STRIKES AGAINST PAKISTAN:
A few years earlier, Newcastle-born Anthony Stuart was working
as a bank teller and playing second-grade cricket for Charlestown,
but at Melbourne Cricket Ground in January, 1997, the right-
arm seamer marked his third – and last – one-day international
for Australia with a hat-trick and 5-27 against Pakistan, helping
Australia to victory with three balls to spare.
Stuart played three one-day internationals in the 1996/97
triangular series between Australia, Pakistan and the West Indies,
taking eight wickets at 13.62, before a form slump resulted in
him losing his place for Australia and NSW before moving to the
Canberra Comets and into coaching.
But that day in Melbourne the 27-year-old was on the top of the
cricket world, recording Australia’s second one-day hat-trick after
Bruce Reid’s triple against New Zealand 11 years previously. His
wickets prompted the crowd to chant “Stuart should have been a
His three victims were all top-order players – Ijaz Ahmed, who
edged behind, Mohammad Wasim, who fell to the same fate, and
Moin Khan, caught by Mark Taylor at ﬁrst slip.
Mountain Maid mine
Anthony Stuart, 1997
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