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4 WESTRALIANA 4 FAUNA 4 FACTS 4 FLORA
J. F. Connelly concluded his explorations with an expedition to the Kimberleys
LATE in 1900 Connelly, his restlessness of
spirit still unsatisfied, contemplated driving a horse and buggy and spare set of horses over- land from W.A. to Victoria on a prospecting tour and was only dissuaded from this by the W.A. Government deciding to send an expedition to the Kimberleys, under the leadership of Fred S.
Connelly then secured an ap-
pointment as Government pros-j pector attached to the expedi-! tion which set out to explore the westerly falls of the King Leopold Ranges to. the coast, embracing a wide extent of hitherto unknown country.
The party numbered 13-ll whites and two natives under the leadership of Fred S. Brock- man, Chief Inspecting Surveyor, Mr. Gibb Maitland, Govern- ment Geologist, Dr. House,
botanist, and Charles Crossland! as second in command, and others. The first batch left Perth in March and the second batch following in April. They proceeded with supplies and equipment by boat to Wynd- ham, and landing there pur- chased 80 horses for the expedi- tion. And to give an idea of the rough state of the country to go through, half a ton of horse-shoes and such gear was taken to Wyndham, which was made the base.
The expedition was fitted and financed by Government vote of X6,000 and the object was to push into absolutely un- known country. As far back as 1838, Sir George Grey had headed an expedition with ponies in the same quarter, but he only succeeded in getting 60
miles inland, and under the circumstances he did well. The expedition under F. Brockman did about 3,000 of inland travel through unknown country. The trip proved most successful from a pastoral point of view as upwards of 8,000,000 or 9,000,000 acres of good pas- toral land was discovered. But it was disappointing from JU mineralogical aspect as nothing of importance was found. So well was the expedition organ- ised, and so excellent was Brock man's leadership that the ex- pedition was completed in ten months instead of the two years estimated by the Govern- ment. Connelly, for his great help and loyally on the expedi- tion, was honoured by Brock man by having an eminence near Peg F.B.88, south of the Drysdale River Mission, named Mount 'Connelly.
After the completion of this expedition Connelly decided to retire from active exploration and prospecting and spent his time mostly with his family in travelling around the Eastern States and New Zealand, and in cataloguing his extensive collection of aboriginal ¡weapons which he had ac-
quired in his many trips
throughout the length and
KIMBERLEY EXPEDITION: Members oi the Kimberley Ex- pedition in 1901. From left, standing: ' John F. Connelly, prospector to the party; Thomas Wade, John Brooking, son of a former Surveyor-General; Thomas McCann, H. W. Tal- bot,, Geological Surveys Staff; Thomas Hickey, mounted police trooper. Seated, at rear: Charles Crossland, second, in command: Fred S. Brockman, Chief Inspecting Surveyor, leader. Reclining in front. Mr. Gibson, assistant geologist; seated on canister. Dr. House, botanist. Agricultural
breadth of Australia, and in writing articles of mineralogi- cal interest and ethnology.
|£EENLY interested in all
. things scientific, Connelly supplied the museums of Aus- tralia and overseas with fine collections of native weapons and mineral specimens. Parn ticularly is this so in the case of the Australian Museum and the British Museum, London, which, in addition to acquiring the articles, also obtained from him large meteorites that he had found in his journeys. The Field Museum, Chicago, and the Bernice Pehau Museum, Hono- lulu, likewise were the recipi- ents of collections. Harry Stockdale, the Centralian ex- plorer, said to be an authority on aboriginal subjects, was a firm friend of Connelly's for many years and they were able to exchange duplicates of aboriginal items often other- wise unprocurable.
Like ail his brothers Connelly was an excellent amateur pedes- trian runner and took part in many races both here and in the Eastern States, many of which races he was successful in winning. He took part in the Amateur Five Mile Cross Country Championship of WA. and in the Hundred Yards Championship.
After travelling around the Eastern States for a number of years, Connelly decided to return to Western Australia and make it his permanent home, But still his old wanderlust
j clung to him, and he had al-
most completed plans to go or
j yet another prospecting trip tc
peg out some platinum he had discovered in N.S.W. man\ years before, when he was stricken by appendicitis and died on June 22, 1928, and wai buried at Karrakatta. W.A.