A shared interest in geology and its links to Broken Hill brought David Grybowski and Liz Vines together over 20 years ago. After meeting at a house party, the now married couple talked about their professions, which both related in some way to geology.
“She said ‘Have you ever been to Broken Hill?’, and I said ‘Are you kidding me? Every geology student around the world studied Broken Hill. It’s amazing. Nothing like it that big has ever been found again’. And she replied, ‘What a coincidence, I’m the Heritage Advisor for Broken Hill, have been for 10 years!’,” Mr Grybowski said.
“We started coming up here together and we’d be looking at the buildings and she’d go ‘Oh, and that stone is Potosi gneiss’ and I go ‘Well, where did it come from?’. She said ‘I don’t know’ and I said ‘Well, I could probably find that out, wouldn’t that be interesting?’. We had this symbiosis of her, how the stone was used, and me, saying where it came from. We augmented each other’s interests that way.”
Mr Grybowski, a retired petroleum geologist who migrated to Australia over 40 years ago, led a group of 27 members from the Field Geology Club of South Australia (FGCSA) who came to Broken Hill last week for an excursion to see geology in the field.
Formed in 1971, the FGCSA exists to promote and engage in the study of geology through lectures and field excursions, and to encourage the preservation of areas of geological importance through lively discussions and sometimes conflicting interpretations. Many members also have specialised interests in other areas such as plants, birds, animals, water, and soil conservation.
Across four days the group spent in town, Mr Grybowski and his group made sure to fit in a packed schedule. It included attending the GeoCentre, Perilya and Junction Mines, and driving up and stopping at different points along Federation Way up to the Miner’s Memorial. The FGCSA also found time to explore the more touristy aspects of town, including the Art Gallery, Trades Hall, Railway Museum, and a trip to Silverton.
“When I was putting the itinerary together, I thought, ‘Well, how long can I spend in Broken Hill? Two days, three days, four days. It just kept going! I’m going to tire them out,” Mr Grybowski told us, laughing.
“Broken Hill is fascinating because all of the geology and history, is all together in one place. There’s just so much – I wrote a 58-page guidebook for my group of everything I learned. I just had so much to share about it! We just love it so much. And I still want to learn about Broken Hill!”
Mr Grybowski, who also belongs to geology journal organisations, says papers on Broken Hill come in all the time. It’s finding accurate measures about mineral chemistry that relate the Silver City to different geological events and helping better understanding the genetic history that Mr Grybowski admits, “there’s still good stuff left to do at Broken Hill”.
To learn more about the FGCSA, visit https://www.fieldgeologyclubsa.org.au. Professional qualifications are not a pre-requisite for entry for membership either!