Wednesday, July 28, 2010

From Dunolly to Dunedin: Julius Vogel in Victoria

Jayne, from Our Great Southern Land blog, sent three photos to me out of the blue, and gave kind permission for them to be republished here (thanks, Jayne).

Dunolly in Victoria plays a part in the background story of one of New Zealand's best known premiers, Sir Julius Vogel. According to the Dunolly Museum, the site above is where he operated a chemist shop  with a partner from out of a tent set up on the site in 1856. His DNZB entry confirms this:

"After a year's study he was off with a young friend, A. S. Grant, on the Beulah , bound for the colony of Victoria where gold had recently been discovered.

"Vogel and Grant arrived in Melbourne in December 1852, and established an assaying and importing business in Flinders Lane. Although they had a moderate success as assayers, as importers they were failures. In mid 1853 they opened gold buying and retailing businesses on the goldfields, first at McIvor, then at Goldsborough, but neither enterprise flourished. In October 1854 they established headquarters at Maryborough, a major gold town, and travelled around the goldfields supplying the miners with patent medicines. By mid 1856 Grant had tired of this rackety life and returned home. Vogel then moved to nearby Dunolly where he set up shop in a tent."
Jayne found some interpretive stuff on this link between a really interesting 19th century building's site, and our once-was premier.

The shop building came later, in 1863, and fortunately has survived ideas of demolition. Perhaps some governmental bodies should have a get-together for a plaque of some kind: "Vogel was here"?

Dunolly seems to have started as something of a nadir for Vogel's career but this early practitioner of the Think Big doctrine was not down-and-out for very long at all. That same year, 1856, he became the Maryborough correspondent for the Melbourne Argus. Then editor of the Dunolly Advertiser, which became the Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser. He established the Inglewood and Sandy Creek Advertiser as well, all before 1861, by when his editorial views ruffled political feathers. He ran unsuccessfully for the Avoca seat in the Victorian General Assembly (calling for protectionist customs duties, the abolition of export duties on gold, rental controls to encourage land squatters to increase theit sheep flocks, reform of the Legislative Council, amending the Land Bill to assist miners, and the extension of local self-gocvernment, amongst other things -- Melbourne Argus, 24 July 1861, p. 7). 

He came third, considered making a run for the Maryborough seat, then decided to pack up his bags and head for another town near another gold strike, and so helped forge New Zealand's history in so doing: in late 1861, he headed for Dunedin.

The rest, as that tired old horse of a cliché goes, is history ...

1 comment:

  1. He was certainly ready to turn his hand to anything and work hard :)