Last Sunday, several people in our family had colds, so we had a family worship time together instead of meeting with our normal church group. Then, since we had an afternoon to spend together, we decided to go explore some new part of our local area. We finally settled on Waiuta, a town located north and east of us, what once was a gold mining town from 1905 to 1951, when the mine closed.
The first place we explored was the township area itself, around the first mineshaft to go in, the Blackwater shaft. There was a good-sized vein of gold-bearing quartz in this area, and apparently the operations were quite profitable while they lasted—they produced almost 750,000 ounces of gold altogether!
After exploring around the Blackwater shaft area for a while, we went up through a twisty, narrow, bush-clad gravel track to the top of the hill. The Prohibition shaft had been dug up there, to meet up with the extension of the Blackwater shaft work–both were on the same mine, but eventually the mine had extended almost too far to make it easy to access from the Blackwater end. The Prohibition shaft ran from 1938 until the mine closed in 1951, when the Blackwater shaft collapsed.
After seeing these ruins, and marveling that less than 70 years ago, this was still a living town, it really makes one think about what kind of a legacy we are going to leave? These miners poured years into working here, building a town, having families, making a livelihood—and yet today, only a few bricks, chunks of cement, rusty iron, gangly trees, and holes in the ground are left to mark what had been their life’s work.
What kind of a heritage—physical and spiritual—are you leaving in the lives of the people in your circles of influence?