Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/124

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completely and intensely Irish was the entire population in appearance, in accent, and in the peculiarly Milesian style in which the shops were set out." And this is still true, not only of the town of Kilmore, but of the whole of the surrounding country, which is mostly in the hands of as fine a body of Irish and Irish- Australian yeomanry as one could wish to see. When the gold discoveries so suddenly and marvellously changed the face and fortunes of the colony, Kilmore was lucky enough to be just in the position to profit exceedingly by the unexpected revolution that was brought about. It became a recognised halting-place for troops of intending and returning diggers, and its farm produce was bought up at fabulous prices to supply the wants of the huge mining population that was congregated at Bendigo and other northern goldfields. In after years the people of Kilmore found to their surprise and delight that there was plenty of gold at their very doors. The mines at Reedy Creek in particular have produced a very large quantity of the precious metal, and have contributed greatly to the progress and prosperity of the Kilmore district. Rich in a double sense is the soil on which this pleasant Hibernian settlement stands—rich in agricultural wealth and in mineral treasure. From what has been said of the history and peculiarities of the place, no one will be surprised at the information that the most prominent building in Kilmore is its Catholic Church—a splendid Gothic pile dedicated to Ireland's patron saint, and built at a cost of £19,000, the voluntary contributions of the Irish exiles around, whose faith and fidelity to the religion of their fathers and the land of their birth, so far from being diminished by time and distance, became intensified by thought and by absence from well-remembered