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Russian Jack
Russian Jack

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Arthur Garland

This memorial statue was jointly erected by the Shire of Halls Creek and the State Government in 1979 to honour all the pioneers of the Kimberley Region.

It is a tribute to gold miner Russian Jack, a famous figure of the 1885 gold rush whose real name was Ivan Fredericks, and his compassion for a fellow digger.  A competition was held in 1977 under the auspices of the Western Australian State Government, the Western Australian Art Gallery and the Hall's Creek Shire Council to provide and erect a statue in Halls Creek to Ivan Fredericks, known as "Russian Jack'. C.P. Somers was the successful artist amongst eleven applicants.

Ivan Fredericks (1864–1904), known as Russian Jack was a goldminer of the Western Australian gold rush in the 1880s. In 1885, while working in the Halls Creek goldmines, he pushed his sick friend in a wheelbarrow 300 km through the Great Sandy Desert to Wyndham, the nearest town with a medical help.  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.

Footnote :-
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:Great Northern Highway, Memorial Park, Halls Creek, 6770
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -18.225033
Long: 127.666928
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Artist:C. P. Summers (sculptor)
Monument Manufacturer:P. C. & Timms & Co P/L (bronze casting)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 11th August, 1979
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au