Thursday, 27 July 2017


Dr Patrick John 'Jack' Carrick was born in 1885, to Herbert Bernard and Grace Carrick, Victoria, Australia. He was a passenger on the Waratah when she disappeared. Dr Carrick, a geologist, was intimately involved with the expansion of gold diggings into the Free State, South Africa.

Gold mining started in earnest in the district west of Vredefort, close to the Vaal River (Schoeman's Drift) during the 1880's. Rich gold bearing banket reefs were discovered running through three farms, the most notable being Lindesquefontein farm. This attracted the attention of what became known as the Philippolis Lindequesfontein Gold Company, the Philippolis Gold Mining Company and a further syndicate from Kroonstad (1886). The Free State Government proclaimed the Lindequesfontein farm a public digging, 1887, which then became known as the Lindequesfontein Gold Fields.

The gold mining slump of the 1890's affected these gold fields as it did the Transvaal, and claims were abandoned, the Lindequesfontein farm de-proclaimed. In december of 1904 the farm was once again proclaimed, swept along by the tide of renewed prospecting operations in the Vredefort district.
New gold mining concerns emerged from the post Boer War aftermath; Orangia Main Reef Limited, Vaal Rand Mines, New Discovery and New Rand Limited.

In this age of 'gold fever', Dr Carrick became involved with A.R. Sawyer  discovering payable gold on the re-proclaimed Lindequesfontein farm. Jack Carrick perished on the Waratah, just 24 years old, in the bloom of his career and riding the wave of exciting new gold discoveries in the Free State.

The following was posted on facebook:

Rocky Road Wwisa I was a teenager when one of my uncles who'd been closely involved in mining all his life told me that the Waratah was carrying some promising mining ore samples to the UK for assaying when she disappeared. The ore samples were allegedly from the Free State area and he was adamant that had fate not intervened, the extremely wealthy goldfields around Welkom would have opened up well in advance of their first yields in the early 1950's.

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