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It's Doherty and I'm Free

Augustus 'Gus' Doherty (1867-1936)

Raised in extreme isolation, in a society where money was almost unknown, many people not seeing any form of currency until they were adults, it was not until Gus was a young man that he had worn his first pair of boots. Pine was bartered with visiting ships for various goods and supplies. As part of his barter, Gus had obtained a pair of boots. He sat down on the beach and pulled the stiff leather over his wide feet. He stood up and slowly walked backwards in them, staring fascinated at the strange imprints they left in the sand. After 20 metres he sat down again, took the boots off and hung them by the laces round his neck so as not to wear them out unnecessarily.
- Richard Flanagan, from A Terrible Beauty (1985)

Gus Doherty, the 6th son born to Tom and Agnes Doherty, would have known piners’ camps such as this one near Zeehan, photographed c.1900 by John Watt Beattie (1859–1930).
Gus Doherty, the 6th son born to Tom and Agnes Doherty, would have known piners’ camps such as this one near Zeehan, photographed c.1900 by John Watt Beattie (1859–1930).

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