By Ian Dougherty
William James O’Leary was once a guy of humble origins. His lifetime (1865-1947) spanned a interval of latest Zealand background while the rustic was once trying to find homegrown heroes in whose lives the younger country may perhaps realize 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, was once certain to be looked with envy and admiration through townsfolk.
The myth-making strategy was once assisted while the nickname ‘Arawata invoice’ caught, however it is the man’s dazzling feats of patience, tenacity and captivating eccentricity which catch the mind's eye. upload within the secret of a misplaced ruby mine, a seaboot filled with gold sovereigns and the air of secrecy of secrecy surrounding the search for helpful steel, and you've got the stuff of which legends are made.
Generations of latest Zealand schoolchildren are conversant in Denis Glover’s poem ‘Arawata Bill’, but the topic of that paintings was once merely loosely in keeping with William O’Leary. the guy himself, in his solitary and self-effacing means, used to be either smaller and bigger 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 guy from the parable, with a warmly human portrait of a standard guy who lived a unprecedented life.
Ian Dougherty is a Dunedin-based journalist and author. He was once born and expert within the southern urban and has an M.A. in historical past from Otago college. After learning journalism at Canterbury collage, he labored as a print and broadcasting journalist and journalism instruct, and as an historian with the ancient department of the dept of inner Affairs in Wellington. he's the writer of 20 books on New Zealand historical past, biography, tradition and society, together with ‘Heart Of Gold: the folks And locations Of Otago’, and ‘Southern Sting: The staff That encouraged A Region’, either released by way 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 publication. the fee 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 the various extra stress-free legends.' - Pacific Wave
'Dougherty and Exisle have produced a booklet that makes for fantastic narrative and engaging reading.' - Marlborough Express
'Dougherty serves up a desirable portrait of the previous prospector, even if he debunks a number 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 may perhaps infrequently 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