St. Barbara in Kalgoorlie. In front of modern day saints, St. Coles and St. K. Mart.
Photo from

By Nick

Not that too many geologists would have noticed, but the 4th of December was the feast day of Saint Barbara, the patron Saint of Geologists.

One of the most popular patron Saints during the Middle Ages, Barbara also happens to be the patron saint of Architects, Builders, Carpenters, Fire-fighters, Masons, Miners, Construction & Electrical Workers, Mathematicians, Artillerymen, Military Engineers, Tilers, Brassworkers , Brewers (hooray) and Syria. Which is quite an impressive haul.

The feast day of St. Barbara is celebrated in Kalgoorlie, like most things, with a giant yellow truck. Its how she would have wanted it. Photo from

History places Barbara around about 3rd Century Lebanon, and her tale involves her being beheaded by her pagan father for refusing an offer of marriage. Unfortunately for the father, he then got struck by lighting. Therefore worship of St. Barbara is thought to bring protection against lightning, and explosions of all kinds. Hence the mining and artillerymen connection.

So it is highly unlikely that Barbara ever did any geology herself, but as patron saint of both brewers and geologists, I for one will be celebrating this week, with a glass of beer. In honour of St. Barbara, of course.



For more reading on St. Barbara, consult wikipedia or your local neighbourhood search engine.