How to Dig For Gold


By An Old Digger

This article was first published in an 1894 edition of Melbourne's The Argus newspaper

There are many men walking about the city of Melbourne who read of gold being got daily, and would like to go and do likewise. But they don't know how to go about it, being perfectly ignorant of everything connected with digging. If they want to learn to be carpenters or bricklayers or plumbers there are plenty of teachers. If they wish to study agriculture there are two colleges. But if they want to learn practical alluvial gold digging, the greatest and most profitable trade, that has yielded 325 millions (pounds) in forty years in Australia, there is no-one to instruct them.

There is no 'gold chair' at the University. The Working Man's College doesn't teach digging, and the race of old alluvial gold miners is nearly, if not quite, extinct. Ah! If these hardy old fellows with all their practical knowledge and experience had but taught their sons the tricks of their trade, what a different story there would have been to tell today. The great bush with its free air, healthy life, and independent existence was not good enough for the descendents of the pioneer diggers; factory life in town working for wages they hankered after, and they got it. Much good it has done them.

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