New Australasian Gold Mine disaster

The New Australasian No.2 Deep Lead Gold Mine, was a goldmine located in Creswick, Victoria, Australia, that is now infamous for being Australia's worst below-ground gold mining disaster.

At 5.30am, Tuesday 12 December 1882, 27 miners became trapped underground by an inrush of flood waters that came from the flooded parallel-sunk No.1 mine shaft. Despite two days of frantic pumping and bailing of the floodwater and with other equipment transported from the monitor ship HMVS Cerberus, the waters filled the mine shaft. The trapped men scrawled last notes to their loved ones on billy cans before they drowned. Some of these are kept at the Creswick Museum and still bear the messages. Only five men survived and made it to the surface. Of the men that perished,18 left widows and 63 dependent children.

The funerals[1][2] took place on 15 December and the procession of 4,000 was about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long between the mine and Creswick cemetery. 15,000 mourners lined the funeral route. Many of the victims were originally from Cornwall or of Cornish ancestry. Shortly after the accident approximately £20,000 had been raised for the relief fund.[3]

In 1982, the Premier of Victoria, John Cain unveiled The New Australasian No.2 Deep Lead Gold Mining Memorial, which relates the story on a plaque. [4] In 2007 a further plaque was unveiled at the mine site for the 125th Anniversary along with an avenue of 22 oak trees., one for each miner who died in the disaster. The site is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.[5]

References edit

  1. ^ L.M Williams Diary of disaster 1982
  2. ^ Mining accident relief fund Act (Victoria) 1884
  3. ^ "The Flooding Of The Creswick Mine, Australia". The Cornishman. No. 239. 8 February 1883.
  4. ^ Williams.L.M.Diary of disaster 1982
  5. ^ "New Australasian No. 2 Deep Lead Gold Mining Memorial and Site, Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number H1302, Heritage Overlay Number HO948", Victorian Heritage Database, Heritage Victoria, retrieved 12 March 2011

External links edit

37°23′42″S 143°52′12″E / 37.39500°S 143.87000°E / -37.39500; 143.87000