William Henry KEAST (1840-?)

Ballarat School of Mines

William Henry Keast was born at St Agnes, Cornwall. He emigrated to Australia with his brother, Samson. William married Ellen Jane James at Ballarat in 1863. Early Ballarat directories list William Keast as an Engineer, Iron Merchant and Machinery Broker.

In December 1872 William Henry Keast became the first candidate of Ballarat School of Mines (SMB) to qualify. Fourteen years was to pass until this certificate was issued again, to William George Manners. William Keast's qualifications certified him as a First Class Engineer. Keast felt grateful to SMB for the qualification, and he did what he could, as a Mining Engineer, to promote the school's interest. This action included the collection of money donations on the goldfields from time to time to assist the school financially and this form of assistance was a continuous and pressing need by SMB in the early days.

Williams's brother, Samson Keast, lectured at SMB in Mechanical Engineering. He died on 22 October 1875, the School closing as a mark of respect, and members invited to attend the funeral.

By 1874 William Keast was examining for the Certificate of Engineering and the Certificate of Engine-driving at SMB.

This biography is currently being researched by Clare Gervasoni. If you are able to assist with information please email c.gervasoni@federation.edu.au