I've recently been to Wedderburn where my grandmother grew up, saw the house they lived in, saw the school she went to, the church the family attended. Myrtle's father, Gabriel Duckett, was a gold miner. I had previously thought that was his major occupation but now I'm not so sure because of several newspaper reports reporting that Gabriel was successful in applying to his local council for contracts.
In 1880 he won two contracts: to grub about 3 miles in the parish of Yeungroon for 10 pounds 5 shillings and to grub one and a half miles at Spring Hill for 5 pounds. This refers to roads and involves clearing tree stumps and timber.
|Bendigo Advertiser 24 Sep 1880
|Bendigo Advertiser 17 Dec 1884
|Bendigo Advertiser 16 Dec 1887
|A reproduction gas lamp, Uralla, NSW
In 1890 he was paid 17 pounds 17 shillings to paint the shire weighbridges. Presumably that was gross - he would have had to supply the paint himself.
And it wasn't only the shire that Gabriel sought contracts with. In 1888 he (with his father-in-law Zachary Perryman) was successful in gaining a contact with the Railway Department to supply 200 tons of firewood (cut into 2 ft lengths) to the Korong Vale railway station.
|The Argus 26 Sep 1888