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THE NEW GUINEA GOLDFIELD

Those who under the influence of the auriß<xcra fames are disposed to rush away to the scene of each new gold discovery will do well to eschew New Guinea aC 8 anyrate. There is m that tropical island, at a place called Sud-Est (does this stand for South East we wonder?) a goldfield, upon which it is possible to "make wages," but the drawback is m the climate which is so villainously bad as to be almost fatal to Europeans — quite fajal, indeed, m only too many instances. The " Cooktown Courier " of tbe 15th March, has an article which shows this very plainly. It says : — " Only a week ago, after a boißterous voyage, a batch of 80 diggers and others who some time ago proceeded to Sud-Est, attracted by its gold deposits, returned to Cooktown } the generality of them either fever stricken or on the point of recovery. These once brave and sturdy men— the pioneers of oolonial civilisation — had shaken the dust of Sud-Est from their feet, deter pained £0 retnrn thither no more. Fascinated by the idea of winning gold they left their homes and friepids, and many of them found small nuggets of the precious metal, but they also met with a climate that quickly shattered their constitutions and laid them low with malarial fever, which takes a very strong constitution to withstand. Yesterday another batch of 17 or 18 arrived here on board the schooner Lucy Adelaide — men who have not only suffered the too frequent hardships pf a pioneer digger's life, but sickness \n its most dangerons form. Nearly a month ago these men met at tbe point pf embarkation, some of them if*** weeks of confinement i» their tents or huts, stri? ken . w (* n fever > deter ~ mined to once more seek OdolllWP; tbeir families, or old associates, but out oi the twenty- five that cherished this hope, death emancipated eight of their number,' four whilst they were awaiting the boat, and four after quitting the land. Three of those who perished ashore were named fccanlon, Brown and Noble, the latter a carpenter. Many of those who arrived yesterday were scarcely recognisable by their old acquaintances here, to whom they told some doleful taleß of want, privation and Buffering experienced by them on the Island, and of the deaths of their mates and diggers unknown to them. One veteran 0s he landed on tjhe ftfrarl hsre was so deorepid tfiat it was with difficulty hp could be got on to terra firjfifi. He trembled like an aspen leaf, arid hie appearance imbued one with the idea that unless a miraculous change sets m, his gold seeking days are over. * Thank God,' eaid the old man, ' I'm at Gooktown once moj?e, No more Bud- Fst for me.' " • . . , , AP°ther of this party of returning diggers eaui £!;st he found gold, but the price paid m tho logs of health was more than it was worjtb. He emphatically declared that " any man who risks his life to seek gold at SudEst is a fool," m which view, after reading the foregoing, it is by no means difficult to concur.

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THE NEW GUINEA GOLDFIELD Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2114, 20 April 1889

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