By Ian Dougherty
William James O’Leary was once a guy of humble origins. His lifetime (1865-1947) spanned a interval of recent Zealand heritage while the rustic was once looking for homegrown heroes in whose lives the younger country may perhaps become aware of 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 parts, used to be certain to be looked with envy and admiration through townsfolk.
The myth-making approach was once assisted whilst the nickname ‘Arawata invoice’ caught, however it is the man’s stunning feats of persistence, tenacity and captivating 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 mystery of secrecy surrounding the search for invaluable steel, and you've got the stuff of which legends are made.
Generations of recent Zealand schoolchildren are acquainted with Denis Glover’s poem ‘Arawata Bill’, but the topic of that paintings was once basically loosely in keeping with William O’Leary. the fellow himself, in his solitary and self-effacing method, used to be either smaller and bigger than the legend. He emerged as a kind of archetypal New Zealanders who helped to outline a particular nationality.
In this biography, Ian Dougherty has separated the guy from the parable, with a warmly human portrait of a normal guy who lived a rare life.
Ian Dougherty is a Dunedin-based journalist and author. He was once born and knowledgeable within the southern urban and has an M.A. in heritage from Otago collage. After learning journalism at Canterbury college, he labored as a print and broadcasting journalist and journalism teach, 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 folks And areas Of Otago’, and ‘Southern Sting: The crew That encouraged A Region’, either released by means of Exisle Publishing.
'If you're keen on the secret of hidden gold and tales of a pioneering hero set amidst the awe-inspiring grandeur of South Westland, you will like this booklet. the associated fee will not harm your pocket an excessive amount of, and it will do your middle 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 many of the extra stress-free legends.' - Pacific Wave
'Dougherty and Exisle have produced a publication that makes for remarkable narrative and engaging reading.' - Marlborough Express
'Dougherty serves up a desirable portrait of the previous prospector, even if he debunks a few of the legends that experience threatened to crush O'Leary the man.' - night Post
'Arawata invoice used to be a real personality and merits this tribute. He might 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