Frederick Harold Pengelly - Uncle Harold (FH Pengelly), the man, the myth, the legend

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Private User
Today at 6:31 AM

I received the following message from a man named John that had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with Uncle Harold in Pachuca.

In 1972 I was a graduate student at the University of Arizona studying the geology of mineral deposits when my two major professors lined up financing from the Consejo de Recursos (Mexican mineral deposit agency) to study the silver-gold deposits in the Pachuca-Real del Monte district. I went to Pachuca with Spanish 1a and 1b under my belt. A few weeks after arriving in Pachuca, I was having a beer in a small bar/restaurant across from my hotel (Hotel Noriega) when I heard two fellows speaking English, a language I hadn’t heard for a long time. Compelled to hear and speak English, I moved to their table, where I found that they were from England and somewhat taken aback at my intrusion. After a few beers, I told them I had seen the sign of the British Consulate in front of a house in town and that we should go and talk with the people inside. After a few more beers, the two guys reluctantly agreed to go, whereupon I hailed a cab and asked the cabby if he knew of the place. At that he said in Spanish - of course its Sr. Pengelly’s house, everyone knows that. So off we went. Harold and Frances then lived in the mine housing compound and on our arrival the guard phoned the house with who we were and what we wanted, whereupon we were lead to Sr. Pengelly’s door. Sometime that evening he told us that the last English people to come through Pachuca had been involved in a car crash, and he was asked by the police to help them. When one of the Englishmen wondered when this occurred Harold said – lets see I think it was in the fall of 1926. After that night, I dropped by Harold’s office in Las Cajas the mine headquarters building from time to time and thus was invited by Harold to lunch at his house with him and Frances. In my four months in Pachuca (September through early January 1973) I saw him often and was told many stories of him by all sorts of miners and people on the street. He was one of those people who knows everyone. He drank pulke with miners in little pulkerias up in Real del Monte, gave gifts to miners and so on. Now, almost 50 years later I still remember many of his stories. He liked to swear, drink whiskey, hunt ducks, tell stories, make people laugh and to enjoy the company of the high, the low, and the in-between. In the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, he was cited as playing a major role in introducing soccer to Mexico. Altogether, he was one of those larger-than-life people who make your life a bigger and brighter place.

I now live in Golden, Colorado and remain involved in mining. The last time I was in Pachuca was 2006, when I lead a group of geologists through the district.

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