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History Society Report

29th April 2018 @ 6:06am – by Valerie Mackin
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Ernie's Gold

Audlem and District History Society, met on the 19th April in the Scout hall. We were entertained by a talk given by local man Ian Jones – Ernie's Gold!
This story was about Ian's relatives the Martins who were local millers. Ernie's father was miller at Great Bridgeford, as Ernie was the sixth child there wasn't much for him at the mill, so him and his brother Sidney decided to emigrate to Ontario, Canada. They worked on a farm but then Sidney came back to England, working his passage on a cattle boat. Ernie decided to go to the gold fields, so made his way to Swastika, a northern Ontario town with a railway station! He joined up with Mary, a seasoned prospector.

Sidney joined the church and came back to Canada to do his training. Ernie teamed up with Harry Oaks who already had a claim. He didn't get paid but Harry gave him 100,000 shares. Ernie struck gold, he found a seam 80ft wide. A town was built to get the ore out. Ernie's shares went from 20c to $9.60, he was now a rich man. He married Mary, but on a trip back the England and a world cruise in 1913, his wandering eye got the better of him – not a good idea to take your mistress on the ship with you. Mary divorced Ernie on their return to Canada and he married Vera. Ernie brought Vera a ranch and Sidney a house, plus buying other houses and even having one built.
Vera divorced Ernie and he took up with a waitress, to whom he willed his favourite house. Vera missed him and came back hoping he would change his will. In the end Ernie lived above his means as the gold had run out and the money had stopped coming in.

After Ernie's death all the women in his life met at the will reading, each hoping for....!!!

Ernie left $13.000.

A story of ups and down told with enthusiasm by Ian. Thank you for the trip into history.

The next history talk will be on Thursday 15th May. It's always interesting.


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