Arawata Bill: The Story of Legendary Gold Prospector William by Ian Dougherty

By Ian Dougherty

this can be the tale of a pioneering folks hero. it's a vibrant story of experience, discovery and survival within the remotest components of latest Zealand’s Southern Alps.

William James O’Leary used to be a guy of humble origins. His lifetime (1865-1947) spanned a interval of recent Zealand heritage while the rustic was once looking for homegrown heroes in whose lives the younger state may become aware of clues to the query of its identity.

The many years O’Leary spent within the unforgiving mountain kingdom of North-West Otago and South Westland, prospecting for gold and different minerals and making new tracks in unexplored components, used to be guaranteed to be seemed with envy and admiration through townsfolk.

The myth-making method used to be assisted whilst the nickname ‘Arawata invoice’ caught, however it is the man’s dazzling feats of persistence, tenacity and fascinating eccentricity which seize the mind's eye. upload within the secret of a misplaced ruby mine, a seaboot filled with gold sovereigns and the air of mystery of secrecy surrounding the search for invaluable steel, and you've got the stuff of which legends are made.

Generations of recent Zealand schoolchildren are conversant in Denis Glover’s poem ‘Arawata Bill’, but the topic of that paintings used to be in basic terms loosely in response to William O’Leary. the guy himself, in his solitary and self-effacing method, was once either smaller and larger than the legend. He emerged as a kind of archetypal New Zealanders who helped to outline a particular nationality.

In this biography, Ian Dougherty has separated the guy from the parable, with a warmly human portrait of a regular guy who lived a unprecedented life.

Ian Dougherty is a Dunedin-based journalist and author. He was once born and proficient within the southern urban and has an M.A. in heritage from Otago collage. After learning journalism at Canterbury college, he labored as a print and broadcasting journalist and journalism show, and as an historian with the old department of the dept of inner Affairs in Wellington. he's the writer of 20 books on New Zealand historical past, biography, tradition and society, together with ‘Heart Of Gold: the folk And areas Of Otago’, and ‘Southern Sting: The workforce That encouraged A Region’, either released through Exisle Publishing.

'If you love the secret of hidden gold and tales of a pioneering hero set amidst the awe-inspiring grandeur of South Westland, you will like this ebook. the fee will not harm your pocket an excessive amount of, and it will do your middle good.' - New Zealand Wilderness

'Witty, concise and admirably researched, Ian Dougherty's short biography moves an ideal stability, not just outlining the veritable proof yet retelling a number of the extra relaxing legends.' - Pacific Wave

'Dougherty and Exisle have produced a ebook that makes for outstanding narrative and interesting reading.' - Marlborough Express

'Dougherty serves up a desirable portrait of the outdated prospector, even if he debunks a few of the legends that experience threatened to weigh down O'Leary the man.' - night Post

'Arawata invoice used to be a real personality and merits this tribute. He may perhaps infrequently have had a extra sympathetic chronicler who has sifted fiction from truth yet has misplaced not one of the romance of his subject.' - Northern Advocate

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