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Stores and Supplies

In the early days supplies for the miners were carried in from Alice Springs. In the 1930s townsfolk relied upon the ‘Afghan’ traders. In Tennant, the most famous of these was Fazel Deen, whose name is remembered in a water bore and remains of the battery he set up to crush the ore for the miners.

But Fazel Deen began by transporting goods for sale to the pastoral properties of the Centre. His daughter-in-law Eunice Deen, who came to Tennant Creek in 1935 recalled:

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My father was a fruit hawker and my father-in-law was a general hawker, he carried things out to stations – not food or anything like that, but mainly clothes and tobacco and all shaving gear and all that sort of stuff for the station people that couldn’t get in. He came over on a hawking trip to Tennant Creek, and he was prevailed on by some of the miners there to open a general store. Then he got sort of interested and they asked him to put up a crushing plant, which he did. It was a four stamper battery and he obtained the rights of the government bore – the use of the government bore. It was about 100 yards from where the battery was.

[Northern Territory Archives Service NTRS 226, TS 38 and NTRS 219, TP 57, Eunice Deen]

Camels travelling from Oodnadatta to Alice Springs loaded with the government mail, n.d. c.1920s

Butcher’s Shop, Tennant Creek, 1934


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