This is the story of the local gold “strike”.
There were three brothers, George, Bill and Charlie, well known local wits.
The story deals with George, who was considered an unmatchable wag and prince of wit.
On one of his strolls around Murray Bridge, George stopped to inspect the digging of a large cellar, and that as a barman he would soon be called on to serve the pick-and-shovellers with cool beer.
During a “smoke-o”, one of the diggers casually said, picking up a handful of dirt, “be funny if we struck gold in this hole”, quite an innocent and simple statement, but it triggered off a devilish idea.
The following night George prepared a parcel of brass filings which he planted at the bottom of the pit and went home to await for the obvious development.
Next morning George appeared at the scene and it wasn’t long before a shovel turned up some of George’s improvised fool’s gold.
With a sacrilegious oath the digger concerned said “I’ve struck some b… gold!”
Within a split second every digger was turning up more gleaming particles resembling gold.
George, without a flicker of an eye looked on.
There was soon a rush for panning dishes, and slush flying everywhere.
In those days, men in the latest fashion wore what were known as “chokers” – stiff linen collars that ranged in height from one to five inches.
The refreshment room manager and the postmaster, being the height of fashion, stretched their necks with five-inch ones.
In a matter of a few minutes, these were reduced to a starchless state, and acted as a run off for the ever increasing flow of perspiration.
There was some talk of forming a syndicate and George who was still gloating over the “strike” was asked if he’d care to “be in on it” and rising to the occasion with an exhibition of enthusiasm said “too right I will” and what about getting that stuff assayed.
The postmaster rushed a sample off to the post office to put to an acid test which revealed the awful truth that a very successful hoax had been played and no one suspected George.
Murray Bridge and District Historical Society
“A community saving our past”