Francis Ophel was taught by his father at the Mission School at Point Macleay until the age of twelve. He then went to Crafers Public School, South Australia for several years. He worked at a range of jobs including office work, woolpicking and pick and shovel grafting. He spent a year in Broken Hill from 1890-1891 as a mason's labourer and then as a photographer. Following that he worked as a miner, prospector and fossicker initially in South Australia and later in Western Australia.
Ophel published verse in the Kalgoorlie Sun under the name 'Prospect Good' while he was working in Western Australia.
Western Australia's 'goldfields bards' were household names in the 1890s and early 1900s, their poems appearing in newspapers and magazines across the Golden West. The likes of E.G. 'Dryblower' Murphy, John Philip 'Bluebush' Bourke, Andree Hayward, Thomas 'Crosscut' Wilson and Francis Ophel were prodigious in their output. Today, their poems provide a vibrant record of goldfields life 'when hopes were high and hearts were young' '.
Comment for QFest 2004 (QFest website. Accessed 31.08.06)