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Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

The monument was erected by the Coober Pedy Historical Society to commemorate the life of Will Hutchison who drowned in the Georgina River near this site in 1920.  Will Hutchison discovered the first opal in Stuarts Range Opal Field in South Australia in 1915 and is recognised as the founder of Coober Pedy. 

A drover for Sir Sidney Kidman at the time, Hutchison was droving cattle from Clifton Hills Station in South Australia to Glengyle when, along the way, he went for a swim in Eyre Creek. Although he was a confident swimmer, Hutchison drowned  and the reason for his death remains a mystery.  His body was recovered three days later and was buried nearby.


Address:Eyre Development Road , Glengyle Station, About 60 kilometres south of Bedourie, Bedourie, 4829
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -24.807261
Long: 139.607498
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 28th June, 2008
Front Inscription

Coober Pedy 
Society Inc.

This plaque has been erected by the Coober Pedy Historical Society to commemorate the life W.J.S. (Will) Hutchison, who drowned near this site in the Georgina River, Glengyle Station on the 9th July 1920. 
Will was droving cattle for Sir Sidney Kidman from Clifton Hills Station when he went for a swim. The reason for his death is unknown, as he was a strong swimmer, but was alone at the time. His body was recovered from the river three days later and was buried nearby. 
Five years earlier, as a lad of 14, Will had discovered the first opal specimen near Carryingallama Creek, South Australia at what was to become Stuarts Range Opal Field, later to be renamed as the now world renowned opal field of Coober Pedy. 
Little did the lad know that his chance find of opal whilst on a gold exploration party with his father would lead to the development of a thriving mining and tourist industry, an industry supporting a town of 3,000 people and responsible for the export of untold millions of dollars worth of beautiful Coober Pedy opal.
Will Hutchison is recognised as Coober Pedy`s founder. 

In Memory Of 
DROWNED 9-7-1920


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au