What’s in The Name
The Company was named in tribute to Ray Cornelius’ origins.
Ray Cornelius was born in South Boulder in 1915, the sixth child of third generation Australians. In 1928, at the age of thirteen, Ray left school and went to work as a grocery boy. By the time he was 17 he had his own grocery cart.
At 18 Ray decided on a career change, and went to work a tribute at Lake View and Star’s Chaffers Mine, which had been sunk by a contracting team headed by his father. While working one day he stumbled across an outcrop and asked if he could work a tribute on it with his brother John. At the time gold was worth £5 an ounce. It took the brothers roughly one week to mine an ounce of gold and earn their £5.
In 1935 the first mechanical boggers were introduced to the Golden Mile, and Ray and a workmate were given the task of learning to operate these “modern machines”. Six months later, not fully realising the excavating power of the new machines, Ray was caught off guard after removing a section of the roof at Lakeview & Star’s Chaffers Mine. The roof caved-in, and Ray was trapped under 40 tons of rock, 2,400 feet below the surface.
It was three hours before Ray was found, and when his workmates tried to free him it became apparent that his head was stuck fast between a large section of the roof and the steel frame of the bogger. After much pulling and shoving, it was decided that the best way to dislodge Rays head would be to wrap a block of wood in cloth, place it against Rays head and knock it out with a hammer. Crude but effective.
Five years later, cataracts, a common side effect of a serious blow to the head, resulted in Ray going blind in his right eye. No longer able to work on the mines, Ray was offered a trustee position in the Lakeview & Star’s gold room, where he remained until retiring at the age of 57.Over the years Ray’s eyesight continued to deteriorate, and he was eventually forced to leave his home in South Boulder and move to a retirement home in Perth.
The founders of South Boulder Mines Ltd are the grandchildren of Ray Cornelius.