Map Kernow: Map the Miner
If you've ever visited Kapunda before, you would remember passing the giant Cornish miner Statue at the southern end of town.
“The Big Miner” as he is known to some, was constructed in 1988 and opened officially on June 5th, 1988, built by Ben Van Zetten who agreed to design and build him when it was suggested by local John Davidson that a memorial be built to commemorate the influence the Cornish Miners had on the town.
The local Rotary club of Kapunda organised a funding campaign and successfully raised the money needed. Over the year’s other local volunteer community groups and the local council have helped to assist in beautifying the grounds around the Statue making it a focal point for tourists entering the region
The plaque on the miner reads;
"This statue is a monument to the profound, role and contribution of the Cornish miner in the Kapunda and in due course in other mines in South Australia. The Kapunda mine, established in 1844, was the first successful metal mine in Australia and contributed greatly to the economic development of South Australia. Up to its closure in 1878 ore to the value of more than £1 million was produced and up to 340 men and boys, mainly from Cornwall were employed."
In June 2006, local teenager Aaron Ashton was arrested after setting a fire as a “prank” at the base of the statue. Ashton claimed in court proceedings that he did not think the statue would be made from flammable materials and that he did not intend to destroy the statue.
He pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ to the damage caused, estimated to be around $95,000, but was found guilty by Judge Muecke in 2007, and sentenced to several years in gaol for his crime.
Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2017
Fewster S, 2008, Teen vandal's idiocy destroyed tourist icon Map the Miner, The Advertiser, viewed 24 March 2017, http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/teen-vandals-statue-of-idiocy/news-story/115c070b8bc98d9dd38515c8b116e168
Monument Australia. 2010. Map the Miner | Monument Australia. Monument Australia, viewed 1 March 2013, http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/technology/industry/display/50956-map-the-miner.