Emil Pohl

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Bendigo Goldfields Petition Cover, August 1853. State Library of Victoria (MS 12440)
Red Ribbon Movement Monument in Rosalind Park, Bendigo [detail], 2013. Ballarat Heritage Services Picture Collection


Emil Pohl was born in Germany. He was Chairman of the Ballarat German Association in 1857.[1] In 1854 Emil Pohl was licensee of the Victoria Hotel in Castlemaine. He was involved with the Monster Meeting of 09 May 1854 at Agitation Hill, Castlemaine.

Goldfields Involvement, 1853-1854

Signed the 1853 Bendigo Goldfields Petition. Agitation of the Victorian goldfields started with the Forest Creek Monster Meeting in 1851, but what became known as the Red Ribbon Movement was centred around the Bendigo goldfields in 1853. The Anti-Gold License Association was formed at Bendigo in June 1853, led by George Thomson, Dr D.G. Jones and 'Captain' Edward Browne. The association focused its attention on the 30 shillings monthly licence fee miners were required to pay to the government. They drew up a petition outlining digger grievances and called for a reduced licence fee, improved law and order, the right to vote and the right to buy land. The petition was signed by diggers at Bendigo, Ballarat, Castlemaine, McIvor (Heathcote), Mount Alexander (Harcourt) and other diggings. The 13 metre long petition was presented to Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe in Melbourne on the 01 August 1853, but their call for a reduction in monthly licence fees and land reform for diggers was rejected. The diggers dissatisfaction erupted into the Red Ribbon Rebellion where agitators wore red ribbons on their hats symbolising their defiance of the law and prohibitive licence fees.

Post 1854 Experiences

Emil Pohl was naturalised in 1856.[2]

A meeting was held yesterday, Sunday, 28th June, at the Prince Albert Hotel, for the purpose of erecting a German Lutheran Church and school. Mr Emil Pohl in the chair.
The particulars with regard to the former meeting having been read by the Secretary. Mr Ahrens stated that they had been promised the support of the Municipal Council, Ballarat East, for obtaining lite grant of a piece of land suitable for the erection of a German Church and school.
The report of the treasurer was read, stating the amount of moneys collected up to this day, to be £90 14s.
Mr John Ahrens proposed special subscription lists to be laid open by the members of the committee, with a view of securing weekly instalments of one shilling per subscriber.
Seconded by Mr A. Pohl. Carried unanimously.
Mr Carl Wiesenhavern moved, " That the gentlemen to whom the subscription lists arc entrusted, should render an account to the Treasurer every fortnight for moneys received."
Seconded by Mr Ernst Booth. Carried. ' Mr A. Pohl proposed, "That a public meeting for the furtherance of this great object be held every fortnight."
Seconded by Mr Charles Wiesenhavern.

The concert for the benefit of Professor Neuermeyer's magnetic observatory went off with great eclaim on Wednesday evening. The stars of the evening were Herren Siede and Iverson, the former on the flute and the latter on the violin. Herr Julius Siede has been too long known as a first class performer to need any praise. Suffice it to say that on Tarrangower he proved that his reputation was well deserved. Herr Iverson, though an amateur, performed solos on the violin in a manner to he equalled, but not excelled, only by Miska Hauser, with whom he was a fellow pupil. Indeed many persons preferred his playing to that of his more celebrated confrere. Several English songs were excellently sung by Herr Emil Pohl, who arrived here from Ballarat expressly for the purpose of assisting (as an amateur) in this entertainment. Several first-rate songs were sung by Dr. Kupferbarg, among them the Marsellaise [sic], which was sung in a most spirited style. The full choruses were excellent. The entertainment, by far the most perfect we have yet had, terminated with "Rule Britannia," in full chorus. The room was then cleared for dancing, which continued till past 5 next morning, when the company separated, well pleased with the bill of fare presented to them.[4]

The following paragraph is from the Times of Germany, a paper published at Frankfort on the Maine: “Mr Emil Pohl, the London partner of the well known champagne firm of Wachter and Go., Epernay, has received from H.R.H. the Grand-Duke of Hesse Darmstadt, the Golden Cross (Sanitiita-Kreuz) for services rendered to the sick and wounded during the Franco-German war. Mr Pohl is well-known in this colony. He was formerly a stock and share broker both in Melbourne and Ballarat.[5]

Pohl eventually worked as a stockbroker at 34 Collins street, Melbourne.[6]


See also

Bendigo Goldfields Petition

Ballarat Reform League Inc. Monuments Project

Further Reading


  1. Ballarat Star, 15 July 1857.
  2. https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/DetailsReports/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=1809920&isAv=N, accessed 13 March 2021.
  3. Ballarat Star, 29 June 1857.
  4. Mount Alexander Mail, 24 May 1858.
  5. Ballarat Star, 05 November 1873.
  6. The Age, 07 September 1859.

External links


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