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THE DISCOVERY OF THE YILGAHN

GOLDFIELDS.

To OTB BDITOB. ' ??*;«* ; j

Sra,-Your "issue of to-day contains an ao ooiintof a dinner igiven , by oertain .Northam settlers to Mr. B. N. Colreavy, and among these present to do. honour to the guest of the : evening, I notice there were the leading men ' of the'district. SO representativo a gather- j lng was indeed a compliment to Mr Colreavy,

and it is gratifying to know that the Northam ! settlers ara ready to do honour to those whom ' they consider deserve it. !

No One can dispute that Mr. Colreavy was ; the first to discover gold on that part of Mw1 Yilgarn Goldfield known as Golden Talley, but I for one mast take exception to certain remarks made by the chairman. After re-

marking that the success of the goldfields, seemed beyond doubt, and referring to the probabilities of telegraph and railway lines, he is reported to have said " all this,' when it came about, would be due to tho guest of the evening.' This is tantamount ts saying that Mr,'Colreavy was the discoverer of the gold- field. I say he was not, and, if permitted, will give my reasons. '

Mr. Colreavy was the leader of the party sent bat under the auspices of the Eastern Districts Settlers Association. The party was well equipped, and had the control of J3300 bf publio money.

: At this time there was another party doing prospecting work in other parts of the colony atad notably at Bindoon and Cardup. This party was led by Mr. Anstey,CE., and was fitted out at the expense of a few enterpris- ing persons who believed, and, no doubt, still believe, ia the possibility of developing great mineral resources in the central and eastern districts. They had, long before Mr. Col. reavy set out, contemplated a visit to the thea unknown Yilgarn country, but were un- able to oomplete arrangements until after Mr. Colreavy had started. As a faot Mr. Anstey on his way oat met Mr. Colreavy on his way in, I think near GlasB* but l am not certain ; at any rate they met on the road and were able to discuss matters. Mr. Col- reavy at that time . expressed to Mr. Anstey bis conviction that ño gold existed lu the localities he visited, and farther said that he Was pleasöd :tçj know that Mr. Anstey pro, ;'n§iet$^o ^riË-'we' áánjecountry, as-he (Mrt ' Atast^) wötild he able tb confirm 1¡he Opinion te, îi%d 'arrived at, Mr. Anstey, nothing ^aTomVed by ettoh discouraging news, deter

mined to go on'. His first day's real pros»

P^ótífcg respite's in the discovery of

goldin ! >a ' reef within a short dis tanoe of Mr. G. liukin's homestead at

ÍDnuin. Mr. Anstey lest no time in reporting

the discovery, and brought in with him a few very xioh spécimens of quartz showing gold freely. "No secret was made of the discovery, and , of course it became known to Mr. Colreary, who by that time had returned. ,He lost nb time in Organising another expodi

-^.'tô'IlbnB^^saiiuVQBa' from Mr. anstey« ehdoess t'hat the' opinión he had expressed

was erroneous. This second expedition resulted most fortunately both for himself and the oolony, in the discovery of gold at Golden Valley. My statement of facts ia gathered from information afforded me by Mr. Anstey and other members of his party. At that time the question was generally dis cussed, and the credit of the first discovery given to Mr. Anstey, who you will .perhaps remember was fèted at Newcastle, somewhat in the same way that Mr. Colreavy has now been at Northam. A reference to the report- ed speeches of the Chairman, Mr. Throssell, at Mr. Colreavy's dinner, and of Mr. Colreavy himself, in effeqt, bear« out what I have, stated. Mr. Throssell, after very properly refuting some unkind aspersions which had been cast upon Mr. Colreavy, implying that he bad improperly withheld information from the Association, goes on to say,. " Mr. " Colreavy failed to discover the precióos

j « metal through tbs time at his disposal

" being toe limited, but so satisfied was he of I " its existenoe, that {of his own energy he

" fitted up a party J» make further search, " with the grand result known to all." Mr.

Colreavy thanked the chairman for. jhis re-. marks, and aesoredJtisJhearers that the slur attempted to,be caat upon him was unmerited.

No one I am sure who knows Mr. Colreavy j Would for a moment hesitate' to aay that he acted in any other manner than honestly and properly; But in considering the question of Who was the discoverer of the goldfield the personal merit bf the respective claimants ' to the honor need not bo disoassed. , <

>-. Nobody ! am «ure i«an dany that Mr. Col»

reavy's discovery .'was subsequent to ;Mr.< Ansteys. . Mr.Cûlreavy's has'fortunately for himproved of .greater value. Both.-finds i were within the limits of the Yilgarn -Gold- field. From the îplaoeof-Mr. Ansteys dis

ceverythe Yilgarn Hills, the f goldfield has: taken:itsname. r- .-i.. .

In alltbese «ircutnetances then-surely the oredit of being the. ^discoverers belongs to Mr- Anstey andhis party, not to Mr* Colreavy. - I do. not write with the desire of depreoiat ing/inany degree the-worthy efforts of. Mr. Colreavy. He deserves great -praise for his energy and the ability he has displayed, but I claim for Mr. Anstey and his party the distinction of being the discoverers of the Yilgarn Goldfield, and to them and those who assisted the thanks of the oommunity are dub.

Yours, &o., '

GEORGE LE A.KE.

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