HANNAN, Patrick (c. 1843-1925)


HANNAN, Patrick (c. 1843-1925)
discoverer of Kalgoorlie goldfield
was born in County Clare, Ireland, about the year 1843. He emigrated to Australia and arrived in Melbourne in 1863. He worked in the mines at Ballarat for some years, and in 1874 went to New Zealand. Returning to Australia in 1880 he was one of the first in the rush at Temora, New South Wales, was afterwards prospecting in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia, and in 1886 was in the Teetulpa rush. In 1889 he went to Western Australia and was one of the pioneers in the Parker's Range district. His fortunes varied for three or four years until in June 1893, with two associates named Flannagan and Shea, Hannan left a party they were with to search for a horse that had been lost. They were then about 50 miles north-east of Coolgardie and during the search accidentally came upon some nuggets. Hannan returned to Coolgardie to apply for a reward claim and the find at once became public property. A large part of the population of Coolgardie immediately left for the new field, which was to become the site of Kalgoorlie and the most important gold-bearing area in Western Australia. Hannan continued to prospect for some years, but eventually retired on a pension from the Western Australia government, and spent his last years in comfort with relations at Brunswick, a suburb of Melbourne. He died on 4 November 1925. A friend who met him not long before his death found him still a striking figure in his old age, with a flowing beard and the keen alert bright eyes of the prospector. He was an exceedingly temperate man, simple in his ways and modest about his powers as a prospector. When he was reminded that his find had probably added £100,000,000 to the wealth of Australia, he at once pointed out that large numbers of other prospectors had been just as capable and worked as hard, only he had had the good fortune to strike a permanent field.
The West Australian, 5 November 1925; J. S. Battye, Western Australia, a History.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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