Coolgardie Humour

The first Mayor of Coolgardie was James Shaw, a Belfast man, a veteran of the Maori war and a one-time Mayor of Adelaide. In his capacity of chief Magistrate a case came down before him where a man used insulting language towards another, who promptly knocked him down. A fine of $1 for assault was imposed, but when the man who was knocked down asked for costs, Mr. Shaw promptly replied, “Certainly not, a man who cannot fight should not use insulting language.”


‘One man, charged with being drunk and disorderly, was asked what he had to say to the charge. He calmly replied, “I plead guilty to the charge of drunkenness, but cannot truthfully say anything about being disorderly until I hear the evidence.”


‘A warden friend of mine told me of a blackfellow, Jacky, who was brought before him and asked before he was sworn,  “What will happen to you if you tell a lie?”

‘”If I tell lie I go to hell.” was the prompt answer.

When cross-examined he was asked, “You say you know the meaning of an oath and if you lie you will go to hell. What will happen if you tell the truth?”

‘”Then,” said Jacky, “we’ll lose the bloody case!”‘

John Kirwan