Ivan Fredericks (Russian Jack)Print Page
Headstone and plaque commemorate Ivan Fredericks who was known as Russian Jack. Ivan Fredericks arrived in the Kimberley in 1886 to make his fortune in the gold strike. In spite of his noble deeds he never struck it rich. He was about 40 when he died in Fremantle victim of a hard life and hard drinking his last years spent in prison and a shelter for the homeless.
On the 50th anniversary of the Perth Russian church, the Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in Australia, consecrated a Fremantle Cemetery memorial to Ivan Fredericks, (1864-1904) better known as the handmade wheelbarrow-pushing Kimberley prospector Russian Jack, who wheeled an injured mate from their bush camp, the 300 kilometres to remote Hall`s Creek in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
A recent published work by Peter J. Bridge titled "Russian Jack" aims to correct the many misconceptions and myths surrounding this man and contains a wealth of researched information on Ivan Fredericks. One of the many myths is that "Russian Jack" pushed his sick mate 300 kilometers in his wheelbarrow to Hall's Creek . In reality it was about 30 miles (50 kilometres) . By this action of helping a sick miner , his legend grew and ensured his fame and immortality.
|Address:||Carrington Street, Cemetery, Fremantle, 6160|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -32.051667|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Tuesday 18th July, 2000|
(Russian Inscription) IVAN
1864 - 1904
known as " Russian Jack "
Ivan Fredericks, a Russian sailor from Archangelsk, migrated to Western Australia in 1886 and decided to go prospecting in the Kimberley Region. He was noted for his enormous height and stamina as well as his friendly nature and concern for others. Within a few years Ivan Fredericks became known to the people of the Outback as “ Russian Jack” and was easily recognised by his homemade wheel barrow loaded with all his worldly possessions which never left his presence.
“Russian Jack “ epitomised the mateship of the early settlers and miners and earned himself a place in Australian history when he walked off his gold claim to assist an injured miner and carried him in his wheel barrow 300 kilometres to the nearest doctor. Many other acts of Christian charity have been attributed to this gentle giant. In Hall’s Creek a monument was erected in tribute to “Russian Jack” by the local community.
“Russian Jack” died in Perth in 1904, a pauper. On his passing, a Fremantle newspaper wrote: “if there are angels in heaven who record the good deeds done on earth, thou wouldst have sufficient to thy credit, to wipe out the many faults that common flesh is hear to “.
This monument was erected by public subscription and a grant from the Diocese from the Russian Orthodox Church (Abroad ) in Australia and New Zealand to celebrate the life of this remarkable Russian migrant and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of a Russian Orthodox Parish in Western Australia.
Blessed by His Grace, The Most Reverend Hilarion Kapral on
Sunday 18 July 2000
In the presence of many official dignitaries and members of the Russian Community.