History of West Australia/Thomas Frederick Brimage

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THE world is growing alive to the fact that industry alone is the fort for national safety and security. The great powers, dynasties, and republics have spent their best energies in devising destructive tools for the speedy slaughtering of rebellious foes, and have spent millions in reaching their infernal results. Let us hope that a reaction may soon set in against these enormous expenditures, and that a stimulus may thus be given to constructive salutary policies.

Mineral resources are important factors in the growth of the British Empire, and among these the gold mining industry takes its place in the front rank. In Western Australia we can proudly boast of retaining in our midst mining men of singular activity and intelligence, who cannot be surpassed for their enthusiastic, progressive mining endeavours. That radiant skill is diffused over the many fields of the colony; Hannan's is fortunate in its goodly number, and in that number we note the conspicuous part played by the subject of this biographical sketch, Mr. Thomas Frederick Brimage.

Mr. Brimage was born in London in 1866, and proceeded to South Australia with his parents in 1873. His father was a man of some prominence in that colony, and was a master mariner in the Civil Service. On leaving school Master Thomas entered the mechanical and civil engineering departments of the Civil Service of South Australia, and remained for ten years in the Government employ. His aptitude for engineering science raised him to a good position among his compeers. His skill and mathematical gifts were soon recognised.

After these ten years of wealthy experience he left for Western Australia in 1893 to make his mental acquisitions subserve some individual enterprise in this fast rising colony. He practised his profession in Coolgardie, and amassed to himself a wide clièntele. When Hannan's became the favourite theatre for debutants and actors, many people migrated from Coolgardie, and among them was Mr. Brimage. After paying a visit to the surrounding fields, and having examined several claims, he, knowing their value, proceeded to buy. Several good claims were purchased in quick succession, and syndicates, hearing of his speculative successes, determined to have him as their representative. In this latter capacity he acquired several wealthy leases for his companies.

Mr. Brimage is general manager of the Hannan's Great Northern—a valuable property, belonging to a large English company, known as the Prospecting and General Development Company of Western Australia Limited. The property, which had been extensively developed, was floated in London as the Kalgoorlie and Mount Sir Samuel Proprietary. Its yield of gold since then has been the creditable average of one and a half ounces to the ton. Mr. Brimage was appointed some time ago consulting engineer to the Ballarat and Prince Oscar gold mines at White Feather and the Outridge Boulder, Mount Sylvia, and Hannan's Pride of the Valley, at Kalgoorlie.

These many important trusts have been ably discharged by him. Careful and vigilant attention to disinterested duties, and a consummate exercise of cautious judgment on matters of investment and speculation, have rendered him a most capable and fortunate representative. He has been instrumental in swelling the dividends of his syndicate by his discretionary powers. Yet, though so engrossed in his companies' business, he has found time for a few enterprises which have been singularly happy. Around Kalgoorlie he pegged out 228 acres of good auriferous country, the largest contiguous block of leases pegged out and taken up by anyone man, the cost of application money alone amounting to £311. Among others that he pegged out and purchased are the Boulder North Extended, Boulder Nor' West, Hannan's East, two of the leases of the Hesperus Gold Mining Company, the Pirie Gold Mining Company, and the Outridge Boulder. His personal interests in mining are extensive.

This string of enterprising results betokens the energy and activity of the agent. His work has been onerous, but with the felicity attached to it the hard and rough edge is forgotten. His duties of manager, mining and consulting engineer and legal adviser to all his companies keep him in endless employment. In the more extended field of public life he takes a lively interest. He is chairman of the East Coolgardie Roads Board, and associates himself with schemes whose motto is progress. He is a member of the Kalgoorlie, Perth, and White Feather stock exchanges, and a vice-president of the Mine Managers' Institute of Western Australia. He has been and still is a director of the Kalgoorlie Prospecting Gold Mining Company. In the exercise of his multiple duties Mr. Brimage is assisted by his brother, Mr. J. Sale Brimage, an able and skilful business man, who superintends the office work for his brother.

Mr. Brimage is a man of a truly courteous disposition, with a kind and friendly spirit. He is respected by all those who have the pleasure of his acquaintance, and is admired for his commercial instincts. His zealous desire to see Hannan's progress with rapid strides, and his enthusiastic endeavour to forward that end, has conciliated for him the good wishes of every citizen in Kalgoorlie.