Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day 3 - Silverton, the boom & bust mining town.

Day 3 - Silverton, the boom & bust mining town.
Silverton Hotel today

Silverton Hotel yesterday. What happened to it?

Mining drives men mad, builds town & creates ghost towns. Silverton is an example of this. This is the country of the Walijakali Aboriginal people, who were part of the Paarkanji group. From the Mundi Mundi lookout about 50 k NW from Broken Hill, one can gaze across this 'Great Southern Land' to feel the connection that our ancient Aboriginal brothers & sisters had to it. There is something deeply spiritual about the space, landscape & light, which give me a deep sense of being uniquely Australian. I feel this gives a great understanding & connection with my fellow Aboriginal Australians.
How many kilmetres to Adelaide? Which is further from Broken Hill, Adelaide or Sydney?

Clouds above Mundi, Mundi. What type of clouds are they?
During the late 19th century various valuable mental were discovered leading to European settlers leaving the diminishing mining opportunities in South Australia & heading for Silverton. The town grew by the late 1880s to almost 3,000. But like many mining booms the bust soon followed when the mother lode was discovered in near by Broken Hill. Within a few short years Silverton had shrunk to a couple of hundred inhabitants.

Keep your gate closed or the feral donkeys will eat you garden.
Today there are only 40 residents with only two school-aged children living in Silverton. While artists, craft shops, pub & historical building reflect the impact of the past mining boom; I found the old school most interesting. In its hay day thee were almost 200 students in this single classroom. The 3 Rs were, Respect for yourself, Respect for each other & Responsibility for your actions.
 3 Rs, which we should never forget.
Would you like to go to Silverton Public School & learn of Dame Mary Gilmore? Ask your parents if can see her picture on the $10 note.

Where are the three Rs? What do you find funny on this balckboard? What did they use to write on the board?
What happened in the civil war that the 10 year old girl is writting about in the 1900's? What bird is in her other narative?
How many mines are there near Silverton? Can you do the maths they did over 100 years ago?

We made a short sunset visit to the living sculptures on a nearby mountain to Broken Hill, viewing the work artist work of both Indigenous & non-Indigenous sculptors.