First Duty as Deputy Mayor: Celebrating a Welcome Stranger and the Pendeen connection

Posted on: 18th May 2019

First duty as Deputy Mayor: Celebrating a Welcome Stranger and the Pendeen connection was an absolute pleasure.

After being elected as the new Deputy Mayor for St Just there were some official engagements to sort and I was asked to go to Cornwall Gold, near Redruth. Initially, I thought it was going to be something routine and a general call out to all Parish and Towns but then I discovered this had a Pendeen connection so, I was keen to get along.

Standing by the Welcome Stranger statue at Cornwall Gold with Justin Robinson, historian at the London Mint and Mayor of Redruth, Cllr Deborah Reeve

So, I learnt that 150 years ago, 2 Pendeen men (pretty sure they were miners or associated with mining) living and working in Australia found the largest nugget of gold on record and the record stands today. The men were called John Deason (born in Tresco but came to Pendeen) and Pendeen born Richard Oates. The gold gained the name of welcome stranger because when the men went to get it weighed and valued it was too big. They took it to John Deason’s home and when he announced to his wife she should come to see what he had brought she responded “I hope you haven’t brought another unwelcome stranger!” Seems he was always bringing home unplanned guests for her to entertain. John Deason replied “I think this will be a Welcome Stranger!”

The gold weighed 109.69kg and sold for £10,000 which would be about £1m today so I should think Mrs Deason did very much welcome that stranger!

The full write up of the event is here: Welcome Stranger celebration

I hope very much to work through the Tin Coast partnership to ensure we recognise these local Cornish men in our Parish.