Abstract: In 1881 at the age of 22 William Lawrence Baillieu - later to become pre-eminent in Australian mining circles - transferred to the Maryborough branch of the Bank of Victoria. He probably already knew Benjamin Fink at this time, possibly through Fink's association with Edward Latham of the Carlton Brewery, Baillieu's future father-in- law. Benjamin Fink was active in the Maryborough mining sector in 1881 when he was one of the promoters of the deep lead gold mine known as Chalks Freehold.ii Two of the other promoters of this mine were Edward Morey MLC and William Bailey, both members of the famous Seven Hills Syndicate in the Creswick deep lead district. A number of the syndicate members - especially Morey and Chalk - were active in the Maryborough companies as well, and Benjamin Fink was associated closely with several of their members in a number of mines. In his year at Maryborough Baillieu probably associated with auctioneer Alfred Outtrim, learning the auctioneers trade in his spare time. He also probably began buying and selling shares in the Maryborough mines. In 1885 he set up his auction house at 42 Collins St. Melbourne with Donald Munro, son of James Munro MLA, future Premier of Victoria. Next door were the offices of solicitors Fink and Best, whose principal Theodore Fink was a younger brother of Benjamin who was elected as one of the House of Assembly representatives for the seat of Maryborough in 1883. He rose to prominence in 1885 when he prevented the Duke Gold Mining Co from closing down. Michael Cannon wrote: In 1885 Fink briefly returned to his old stamping ground at Maryborough to save the famous Duke Mine from closure. Armed with thousands of shareholder proxies, and backed by demonstrations of angry miners, he ousted the entire board of directors. Three years later the mine, with Fink as its golden boy and chairman of directors, was still yielding 1,500 oz of gold a week.
To cite this article: Gardner, PD. The duke united mine GMCo. Maryborough; Baillieu's 1897 take-over and outcomes [online]. Journal of Australasian Mining History, Vol. 9, Sep 2011: 156-165.
[cited 30 Mar 17].