Welcome to the story of Raub Gold

William The “Charmer”


Singapore Straits Times 4 June 1897

The almost indecent interest that people are taking in the health of Mr. W. Bibby, manager of the Raub mines, is a sign of the feverish nature of the present gamble in Raubs. It is a gamble. During 1894, 1895, and 1896, these shares fluctuated for most of the time at prices of from four to five dollars each, but, at the end of 1896, they crept up to about nine dollars each. The explanation for that rise was an increase in the yield of gold per ton, an increase than began in the October crushing. By buying, probably for investment, the shares rose to eleven dollars in March of this year – and, so far, no harm was done. From that date the time of stock-jobbing probably commenced. Keen and astute persons foresaw that the time was favourable for a ‘boom’. Money was cheap. The community – a rapidly changing community – had forgotten its losses in the mining booms of the past. Things, in a word, were ripe for a boom; and the boom was engineered.

It has been astutely engineered. The manipulators of the market built up a vision of ’wealth beyond the dreams of avarice’.  People were told that they should ‘invest for their grandchildren’; and, with that investing phrase in their minds, men rushed to buy in the real hope of a rapid profit to be realised in a few weeks.

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The gamble went on until, this week, the contributory shares were sold at $29.70 for cash and $32 for delivery in July. Then, Mr. Bibby had an attack of fever or indigestion, or both, and ‘the investors for their grandchildren’ rushed to realise their profits.

Now, we say nothing against the Raub mine. Neither do we say anything in its favour. Nothing has happened to the mine of late. The change has been in the market, and the market has been manipulated for a rise. The buyers have behaves as men behave in games they do not understand. In this Office, only two days ago, an industrious and sober citizen related how, having resolved to buy some Raub shares, he was turned from his purpose because of suspicion of what seemed odd conduct in his broker – and, yet, a few days later, he bought the same shares at eight dollars a share higher. The broker, or a broker, had the profit. That sort of thing has been going on. ‘The man with some money to spare’ has been made the sport of the share-jobber; and so he will be always while he gambles. People are talking of Raubs when they should be attending to their business, and are dreaming of shares while they should be restfully slumbering. They would be wiser to present their share to the Queen’s memorial fund and sleep peacefully of nights.


Singapore Straits Times  11 June 1898

To the voice of Mr. Bibby, the charmer, we have listened and, as he played upon our feelings, we all rushed out after conversation with him, to buy Raubs to the utmost extent of our capacity. The result has been an exceedingly smart rise in Raubs, though whether that will be maintained or not is open to doubt. Everything about mining is open to doubt. That is one of the pleasant advantages of the game.

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