Colin F. Jones

EUREKA: DECEMBER 3, 1854

~ 1 ~

Gold!! And they flocked from their houses,
From their shops, their industry and toil,
Even policemen ran away from their spouses,
Headed off to the gold fields and spoil.
But Governor La Trobe wanted his share,
Setting the licensing fee too high;
Miners were accumulating from everywhere,
And were forcibly asking why.
There were few policemen to manage the law,
And drunkenness increased over time,
The miners were growing so poor,
From the influx of numbers and crime.
So the Ballarat Reform League was formed,
And a partition by the miners was signed.

~ 2 ~

All the miners combined in a protest,
Most intent on holding it in peace,
But only a thousand caused the unrest,
Out of the many more thousands at least.
There was McGill and his “California Ranges”,
Among the English hating Irishmen there,
American miners of Irish extraction,
Who built a stockade for the protesters to share.
But when the police and troopers came calling,
Most of them ran for their miserable lives,
Leaving a hundred or so there, falling,
Many not experienced enough to survive.
Twenty two miners being killed in the fray,
And five soldiers were killed on that day.

~ 3 ~

Peter Lalor was left as the leader,
An Irishman from the Emerald Isle,
And though wounded he managed to flee,
Though a lost arm, would his body defile.
He was educated at Trinity College;
The reward on his head was repealed,
With this freedom officially acknowledged,
He moved into the political field.
He became a Parliamentary Speaker,
Before that he was a Minster for Mines,
And for the tragic events of Eureka,
The captured were not punished for their crimes.
Lalor became Commissioner of Customs,
And died in America as history defines.