Thomas Lester

From eurekapedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Thomas Lester sailed to Australia with his mother on the Flora Macdonald in 1855.[1]


Than is no more honoured name in the mining history of Queensland than that of Mr. Thomas Lester, who, after a life-time's connection with the industry is living in retirement at Mount Morgan. At 81 years, he looks back to the time when as a boy he sluiced on the Ballarat diggings, to the experience he gained as a young man on the fields of Victoria and New South Wales, and, in later life, to executive appointments at mines the fame of which stirred the imagination of a past generation. The rich strikes of the late eighties drew him, like thousands of others, as a magnet. Charters Towers, the El Dorado of the North, saw him first as a miner, and then, after years of service and progress, as general manager of the Day Dawn P.C. Mine, the first mine in Queensland to win £1,000,000 worth of gold. Under his direction tons of gold have been smelted, and be has handled hundreds of thousands of pounds for the people by whom he has been em ployed. It is said of Mr. Lester that from the age of 13, until he was 75, every position he held was offered to him, and be was never discharged. At 77 years of age he was offered the management of a silver mine in New South Wales at a salary of £8 per week, but this he declined. Mr. Lester was born in London on July 14, 1852, and, as the youngest of four brothers and a sister, journeyed to Australia with his mother in the sailing ship Flora Macdonald in 1855. The trip lasted 110 days. His father, a sea faring man, was in Australia at the time having been stranded with his ship through the crew deserting and joining the gold rush to Ballarat, The skippers of fully a dozen other ships were in the same position. Seeing no hope of manning his ship, and being fired with the tales of miners returning from Ballarat with their 'shammies' of gold, Captain Lester also departed for the field. He took part in the famed Eureka Stockade, and when the rout came, escaped by hiding in a shaft. The Lester family did not stay long at Ballarat, following the rush to Creswick Creek, and there they lived about seven years. Their next move was to Blanket Flat (now known as Egan's Town 1 14 miles from Creswick. ON VICTORIAN FIELD. With his oldest brother, young Lester joined a party of Swiss-Italians. The two brothers, and four others of the party, agreed to drive a tunnel from Deep Creek to an alluvial lead running through Smeaton Plains. Their wages were 25s a week each, from which they had to pay a share of the general expenses. A straight, level tunnel was driven for a distance of 4050 feet before they broke through to the gutter, or lead. This lead was 400 feet deep from the surface of the Plains, and 20 feet lower than Deep Creek from where the tunnelling commenced, After running parallel with the lead the men had to drive at an angle to get under it. ... [2]

Also See


Alfred Lester


  1. Queensland Herald, 10 August 1933.
  2. Queensland Herald, 10 August 1933.