The Rees - True South

Days of Gold

William Rees did not resist the miners’ rush. He welcomed them, fed them from his farm stock, ferried their gold out and their supplies back.

He would turn out in the dead of night, with a revolver tucked in his belt, to ensure that every hungry miner had a share of flour and food when his ferry boat docked.

When a burly miner shaped up and challenged his honesty WG drew on his boxing skills and he felled his aggressive critic with a single blow. It didn’t happen again.

Rees held a vision for Queenstown that stretched far beyond the here-today-gone-tomorrow rush of the miners. He used his engineering experience to set up a timber mill on Pigeon Island and began constructing the major buildings of the town.

WG converted his woolshed into Queenstown’s first hotel, and went on to build the first government offices, first church, first Masonic lodge, and was instrumental in the development of the first hospital.

Next > Building the community