Moonta, part of SA’s Little Cornwall.

flat,550x550,075,fOne of my favourite country towns in South Australia is Moonta which is situated on the Yorke Peninsula.
I guess it would be about 2-3 hours  from Adelaide by Road.
Copper ore was discovered  at Moonta in a wombat hole in the mid nineteenth century and so began 60 to 70 years of booming activity in the town.
Moonta became the 2nd largest town in South Australia after Adelaide.
Thousands of “Cousin Jacks” were brought from Cornwall to mine the Ore in and around Moonta.
They had a lot to put up with, disease, disasters and about 40 hotels in the town, some no more than a tent. But they did have a great sense of community.
They set up their various Guilds and Friendly Societies all designed for the betterment of the mine workers and their familes.
The genesis of the Labor Party in South Australia was driven by the Unions in Adelaide and the miners in Moonta.
However, in the 1920s the price of copper crashed  worldwide and the town of Moonta came crashing down as well.
The industrialists upped stumps tore down their infrastructure, sold off whatever they could as scrap and walked out of Moonta with no livelihood left for the thousands of Cornish miners who had left Britain for that new start in life in the Lucky Country.
But Moonta survived and is both a beautiful and interesting place to visit.
Pictured: One of the many memories of the old copper mining and smelting days of Australia’s Little Cornwall that surround the Moonta area in South Australia’s Copper Triangle.

The Albion Hotel, Adelaide.

Man and children standing in front of the partially demolished old Albion Hotel, Morphett Street c.1910
by Jessica Barrett
My third great-grandfather, George Mather arrived in South Australia late in 1864.
A publican, the first hotel he took over was the Albion Hotel located on Morphett Street and his first order of business was to hold a Grand Opening Ball on 26 December 1864.
George continued with the licence to run the Albion until it was transferred to John Lamb on 13 June 1866.
While some early pubs were substantial structures with several public rooms, away from main city streets the pub could be a private home with one room set up as a bar and one for overnight guests.
From the 1850s pub facades began to resemble shop fronts, but interiors changed little until the late 1860s when the Licensing Bench demanded minimal room sizes and numbers of rooms.
Pub styles reached their zenith between the late 1870s and 1910, by which time most pre-1860 pubs had been rebuilt or new ones established.
Usually Italianate, with shady balconies and verandahs with balustrades of ornate cast iron, these hotels have contributed significantly to Adelaide’s townscape.
via Albion Hotel Ball | SA History Hub 

Great Shot of ‘Old Guv’ in Adelaide, 1905.

Image: A Wonderful and detailed picture of the Old Guv supplied by David “Gunna” Copley. Well, at least we know he took something from The Guv when he left. Right Click to see the Image larger.
Seriously though we may take the piss out of Copley for being a flashy, suave bullshit artist who wouldn’t work overtime at the Guv.
Much to Fred Hardwicke and Merv “Nobby” Clark’s disgust.
The reason was simple, apart from annoying Ralph Hannant during working hours, he was out at night playing his drums with DC5 (not Dave Clark) and earning big dough in the old days. He wasn’t bad either.
I call him “Gunna” because he is always going to come to our Old Guv Luncheons but never does.
Perhaps on 18 August, 2017 we might be lucky.
Oh! Your comments on the Photograph would be warmly welcomed.
Rod Parham

The Peterborough Print Museum.

Most people would know of the magnificent collection of wooden type housed in the Hamilton Wood Type Museum, Two Rivers, Wisconsin in the United States.
Also, A lot of Old Guvvers would realise that the Government Printing Office in Adelaide had a terrific collection of priceless wooden type which magically disappeared when it was put up for auction. Only the wooden type cases remained.
Well it’s a pleasure to let you know that the Peterborough Print Museum (pictured above) in Peterborough, South Australia has the best collection of wooden type that I have personally seen since my Old Guv Days.
Thanks must go to Mary Zimmermann and Judy Evans for the Photographs and the wonderful work that they do along with their History Group Committee members in maintaining and displaying all the fascinating history of this charming old Print Shop.
Some samples of the wooden type can be seen below:



Print Shop Address: 9-11 Jervois Street, Peterborough.

Open for Tours: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – 10 am to 2 pm. or by Appointment.


Judy Evans 0408 220 248; Heather Parker 0400 461 100; Mary Zimmermann 0427 188 023.

Entry: $5 per person.

Rod Parham

Dennis Gill, Friend and Gentleman.


Dennis Gill, Comp and Linotype Operator (Retired)
The Yorke Peninsula Country Times is produced in Kadina, South Australia and is a family owned country weekly newspaper.
It has been in the hands of the Ellis family for quite a number of years.
Nowadays, it is computer typeset, the featured picture above is from the last years of Hot Metal at the Times (in the 1980s).
The Linotype operator pictured above is Dennis Gill, who started his apprenticeship as a Hand and Machine Composing Apprentice with the company way back in 1958.
I have known Dennis for the past 55 years and what a good bloke he is. Dennis originally came from the port town of Wallaroo.
The current General Manager of the YP Times is former Compositor and family member Michael Ellis.

George the Orangutan, Adelaide Zoo.

Remember when we referred to George as a gorilla?
George was an orangutan and was always one of the most popular animals at the zoo, but growing up as kids, we always talked about him as a gorilla.
He was a real character whose favourite possessions were his old hessian bag and an Australian Rules football.
He also used to like a smoke and was known for a couple of other antics including masturbating, peeing at people in front of his cage and throwing his poo into the crowd.
He would throw out the hessian bag in front of his cage and people would throw peanuts, lollies and other treats onto the bag, which he would then drag back in for a feast.

Photograph: George the orangutan with his hessian bag and Australian Rules footy.
Stories abound about George, including one of the night he escaped through his unlocked door and climbed a huge tree within the zoo grounds.
Hoogen, who was his keeper at the time, had to rush to the zoo to talk him down.
George climbed down the tree and hand in hand walked back to his cage.
George died in 1976 and his bones are now housed in the old elephant house near the Elephant Interpretation Centre.
It saddens me now to think back and contemplate the solitary and miserable existence it must have been for George, locked up in a cage for most of his life and unable to mix with his own species.
Thankfully zoos today have come a long way and now take an animal’s psychological health as well as physical well-being into consideration when creating enclosures.
Source: George and Friends at the Adelaide Zoo. | Adelaide Remember When