'Show us your badge' - you've probably never seen this one
ALWAYS a history buff, Gympie's Les Priddy is becoming something of an archaeologist, just on the strength of the relics he has discovered in his Mr Pleasant yard.
Yesterday he produced a badge from the South Australia Volunteer Artillery, a colonial force charged with helping defend the colony of South Australia.
With no insult meant to the people of South Australia, it seems the original owner of the badge did what many South Australians are doing these days. He or she left and came to Queensland.
Mr Priddy said he accidentally dug the badge up while digging a terrace in the front yard of his Watt St home.
Mr Priddy found it about 10cm below the surface on September 22.
He said his property had been part of a gold mining area in the days when Gympie was young.
"It would have been lost in the gold rush era I think,” he said.
"The first things I found were horseshoes, but there's nothing unusual about that.
”I don't have a metal detector either.
"I was just digging (to make a larger flat area near the front yard carport entrance).
"I knew it was something special, so I put the hose on it and then applied a bit of Brasso,” he said.
South Australia, an Australian colony which was never a penal institution, had a strong collective attitude favouring self-reliance and with a few cannon, estabblished the volunteer militia, including infantry troops and cavalry.
Mr Priddy said he would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has any knowledge of the story behind the badge.
It was not the first time Mr Priddy has found historical treasure in his yard.
In his backyard he found one of our earliest pennies, a shop token issued in Tasmania in 1856, long before Australia came into existence on New Years Day, 1901.
Mr Priddy believes this was also dropped from a miner's pocket more than a Century ago. The coin, made by an unknown mint, is incribed with the words; "Joseph Brickhill, Draper and General Importer, Campbell Town” and, on the other side, "One Penny Token, Advance Tasmania 1856.”