Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"Diggers Rest"


David Haig


At very short notice, treasurer David Haig presented his display, 'Diggers Rest' in place of our advertised speaker, George Graham, who was, unfortunately, in hospital. We wish George a speedy recovery. 

With a wonderful display of covers, stamps, postcards, coins and other related ephemera, he told the fascinating story of 'The Mineral Rush'. He began from 24th January 1848, when James W. Marshall discovered gold in the tailrace of the sawmill he was building on the banks of the river in California. Many stamps and covers told of the immediate 'Gold Rush' to the area after a major newspaper - The New York Herald - reported the find. This later led to searches in other areas, and - in the Rockies, gold, silver, copper, uranium, and coal were discovered and mined.

Stamps from Australia told how gold was found in Bendigo where it is still mined today. Stamps also depicted some beautiful gem stones found at Broken Hill.

In 1866, a diamond was found on the banks of the Orange River in South Africa by Erasmus Jacobs - and a 'Mineral Rush' followed. Stamps and postcards told of the finding of the Cullinan Diamond on 26th January 1905 in Premier Diamond Mine. A cut of this was presented to King Edward VII and is in the monarch's sceptre today.

In August 1896, Skookum Jim found gold in the Rabbit Creek - a tributary of the Klondike River, Alaska - this was followed by the 'Great Gold rush' to the Yukon.

The harsh reality of life in these ventures was also illustrated in differing ways - accidents, violence, starvation, thieving, executions - and, in the case of the Klondike, tremendous difficulty of access to the area of the Mine.

Some sets of stamps illustrated the importance of Geology in modern education - so to enable mining to continue - also with better safety standards.

The display was concluded with stamps of other types of mines - the Phalabora, South Africa, founded in 1956 - one of the major Copper Mines in the world. We were finally, after all the gold and gems, brought down to earth with the mining of one of life's essentials - Salt!

Dr Brian Dow proposed the Vote of Thanks for a most interesting and educational vision of the world's mineral mines.

Our next meeting in St Andrews Parish Church Hall, Avon Street, Hamilton is on Friday, 19th October at 7:30pm when Mr C, Harman, FRPSL, will be displaying 'Revenues'. Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc will be very welcome to attend.