The greater part of my childhood was spent in Captains Flat, a small mining town in the Monaro District of NSW. The prosperity of the town was short-lived and like so many other communities its inhabitants became victims of the Great Depression in 1929. The Lake George Mining Company that had economically sustained our little community ceased production and the clang of the ore buckets, the shrill call of the mine whistle, that had segmented our lives into day, afternoon and dingo shift, fell silent. Machinery rusted and rotted on the mine lease. Notices threatening any trespasser with prosecution were affixed to the heavy padlocked gate leading onto the mine site. Despondency and hopelessness settled into the hearts of the unemployed, and anyone with the means to do so left the town in search of work. Those who remained behind shared a common, soul-destroying poverty that would persist for many years. Lacking the means to leave our family remained waiting for the good times to return.
Recommended CitationBorrow, Doreen, The Wagon of Dreams - Reminiscences, Illawarra Unity - Journal of the Illawarra Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, 7(1), 2007, 26-31.