Ora Banda, Western Australia
The Ora Banda Hotel
|Elevation||449 m (1,473 ft)|
|LGA(s)||City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder|
|State electorate(s)||Electoral district of Kalgoorlie|
Gold was discovered in the district in 1893 and in 1909 the Ora Banda Progress Committee requested the Government make additional lots available, but it was 1911 before a decision was made to declare a townsite there The survey of lots was made in 1911, and the townsite gazetted in 1912. By 1910 there were approximately 2,000 miners and their families living in the area. The town had two stores, two butchers, two bakers, a town hall, dining halls, a post office, a police station, churches, boarding houses and billiards saloons.
The once famous Huntington Mills Bank was situated there. Which in its time it was the largest bank in the Southern Hemisphere. In 1911 the Ora Banda Hotel was constructed by Alfred E Garnett using stone and brick.
On 17 June 1913, Eileen Walls (13yrs old) led a procession of school children up the main street, and had the honour of cutting the ribbon and so officially opened the Ora Banda State Battery. The five head battery ran three shifts and in 1936 another five head had to be added.
Water was supplied to the town by dams until the town was connected to the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme from Kalgoorlie in 1933
Today's goldmining companies are still working the same sites discovered nearly a century ago, and on the outskirts of town you will find the Ora Banda State Battery which is still used to crush ore.
Annually in September the population swells for a day for the Ora Banda Race Day. The race track is opposite the historical Ora Banda Inn.
The town hit the headlines in 2000 when Gypsy Joker, Billy Grierson, was fatally shot while sitting at a camp fire on the old town site. Former Criminal Investigation Bureau chief and Ora Banda hotel owner Don Hancock was suspected of the shooting and his properties were later fire-bombed. Hancock was later killed in a car bombing in 2001 in Perth, Western Australia in a revenge attack by a member of the Gypsy Jokers.
- "Sydney Morning Herald - Travel - Ora Banda". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 February 2004. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – O". Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- "Sydney Morning Herald - Gypsy Joker sniper shooting mystery". The Sydney Morning Herald. 21 April 2006. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- "The Age - Gypsy Jokers break silence over mate's murder mystery". Melbourne. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- The ghost town that wouldn't die: Ora Banda. Youtube promotional and historical documentary