By Ian Dougherty
William James O’Leary was once a guy of humble origins. His lifetime (1865-1947) spanned a interval of latest Zealand historical past whilst the rustic was once looking for homegrown heroes in whose lives the younger kingdom may detect clues to the query of its identity.
The many years O’Leary spent within the unforgiving mountain state of North-West Otago and South Westland, prospecting for gold and different minerals and making new tracks in unexplored components, used to be guaranteed to be looked with envy and admiration by means of townsfolk.
The myth-making procedure was once assisted while the nickname ‘Arawata invoice’ caught, however it is the man’s mind-blowing feats of persistence, tenacity and fascinating eccentricity which catch the mind's eye. upload within the secret of a misplaced ruby mine, a seaboot choked with gold sovereigns and the air of secrecy of secrecy surrounding the search for useful steel, and you've got the stuff of which legends are made.
Generations of latest Zealand schoolchildren are accustomed to Denis Glover’s poem ‘Arawata Bill’, but the topic of that paintings was once simply loosely in keeping with William O’Leary. the guy himself, in his solitary and self-effacing method, used to be either smaller and larger than the legend. He emerged as a type of archetypal New Zealanders who helped to outline a particular nationality.
In this biography, Ian Dougherty has separated the fellow from the parable, with a warmly human portrait of a regular guy who lived a rare life.
Ian Dougherty is a Dunedin-based journalist and author. He used to be born and trained within the southern urban and has an M.A. in heritage from Otago collage. After learning journalism at Canterbury collage, he labored as a print and broadcasting journalist and journalism instruct, and as an historian with the old department of the dept of inner Affairs in Wellington. he's the writer of 20 books on New Zealand heritage, biography, tradition and society, together with ‘Heart Of Gold: the folk And areas Of Otago’, and ‘Southern Sting: The crew That encouraged A Region’, either released through Exisle Publishing.
'If you love the secret of hidden gold and tales of a pioneering hero set amidst the awe-inspiring grandeur of South Westland, you are going to like this ebook. the price will not harm your pocket an excessive amount of, and it will do your center good.' - New Zealand Wilderness
'Witty, concise and admirably researched, Ian Dougherty's short biography moves an ideal stability, not just outlining the veritable proof yet retelling a few of the extra relaxing legends.' - Pacific Wave
'Dougherty and Exisle have produced a publication that makes for marvelous narrative and interesting reading.' - Marlborough Express
'Dougherty serves up a desirable portrait of the outdated prospector, even if he debunks a number of the legends that experience threatened to weigh down O'Leary the man.' - night Post
'Arawata invoice used to be a real personality and merits this tribute. He may well not often have had a extra sympathetic chronicler who has sifted fiction from truth yet has misplaced not one of the romance of his subject.' - Northern Advocate
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Arawata Bill: The Story of Legendary Gold Prospector William James O'Leary by Ian Dougherty