Few pioneers received their just rewards


By John Drayton

Paddy Hannan, ‘the man who found Kalgoorlie’, was living with his two nieces in Brunswick, Victoria, when he died on November 4th, 1925. He was 83 years old and apart from the discovery of the goldfield, there was nothing else on his record that entitled him to post mortem mention. He didn’t get rich from the discovery, though he did receive a pension, so he was no secret benefactor of good causes or anonymous philanthropist propping up struggling charities.

Had he been a company promoter and not a prospector, he might have lived the life of a man of great possessions and died in the comfortable odour of big money, leaving a number of relatives to rejoice in the too-long delayed distribution of his estate.

The story of the first find of gold in the mulga, 28 miles from Coolgardie, on June 10th, 1893, has been told in various and numerous ways and a thorough and interesting account of Hannan’s discovery appeared in the 2013 Yearbook issue of Gold Gem & Treasure.

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