Mining & Industry

June 1881 – Sir George Wigram Allan buys coal land from Messrs Hicks north from Bulli Mountain and is part of the mountain

In July 1889, several employees appeared before the Police Magistrate and Henry Thomas Hicks JP for breaching Bulli Colliery Safety Rules ie including carrying matches in the mine following the mine disaster of several years earlier

In 1900 Henry Hicks, miner and son of Captain Henry Hicks broke his leg at work at the Bulli mine

In the Illawarra there is an overlap of those who are active in both the union movement and local government issues as well. So it is not a surprise that Alexander Henry Hicks, of Corrimal (Mine or Branch) was also for a time President of the Illawarra Miners Employees Association in 190319041905 and 1906.  He spoke at the unveiling of the Memorial of the Mt Kembla Disaster – reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 14 Aug 1905 : “Mr. A. H. Hicks, president of the Illawarra Miners Association and Mayor of North Illawarra, said that with the aid of the memorial unveiled that day the deeds of Major MacCabe and W. M’Murray would be enshrined in the  memory of the miners of Illawarra for alltime. As Mayor, Alexander Hicks mentioned the names of Sub-inspector Banks, Messrs J. A. Beatson andF. Bevan as standing out most prominently  in the work of raising relief for the unfortunate relatives of the miners who had met such untimely and awful deaths.”

Alexander Henry Hicks seems to have followed in the footsteps of his father Henry Thomas Hicks – very involved in local politics of North Illawarra Council and in the community. However, whilst Henry had been a farmer, Alex had become a Coal Miner, and would rise from being Corrimal Miners Lodge Delegate to become the Miners Federation President in the Southern Districts. Henry Thomas Hicks was an Alderman for North Ward of the North Illawarra Council (1887-1891), and Alexander Hicks was later elected as an Alderman for the Central Ward, and then Mayor, of the same Council in 1899. Prominent Illawarra Colliery Mining Manager Jacob Carlos Jones was also elected in 1899, representing the Corrimal Progress Assocation.

Alexander was reported in the media in relation to a number of union matters in the mining industry :

  • January1900 – Sydney Coal Conference between Mine Owners and Miners Delegates – A Hicks attended as Corrimal Delegate
  • February 1900 – Hewing Rates meeting – A Hicks attended as representative
  • March 1900 – A Hicks elected as  Illawarra District Miners Auditor from Corrimal
  • April 1900
  • October 1900 – Hewing Rates – A Hicks attended as Corrimal Delegate
  • November 1900 – more on Hewing Rates – A Hicks attended as Delegate
  • Coledale Mine issue 1904 with Coledale Mine Manager Thomas Cater – retrenchments – last on & first off
  • March 1904 – Illawarra Colliery Employees  Gala Day – A Hicks president
  • Jan 1905 – A Hicks re-elected as PresidentIllawarra Coal Employees Association
  • 1905 – 15 April Sydney Morning Herald reported  Quarterly Meeting of the Illawarra Collieries Employee Association – more – covering Metropolitan Helensburgh, North Bulli, Woonona
  • June 1906 – A Hicks was then President and resigned his position to seek election as District Secretary
  • October 1906 –  A Hicks as President at meeting to decide if there would be a stoppage at South Bulli mine
  • November 1906 – A Hicks a delegate of Southern Collieries Employees Association at Meeting of Conciliation with mine owners
  • 1907 District President – Coal Trade Industrial Agreement proposal
  • February 1907 – A Hicks elected as Auditor for Corrimal Miners Lodge
  • July 1911 – A Hicks unsuccessful bid to be elected as a Representative to Southern Collieries Wages Board
  • March 1914 – A Hicks elected as President of Mount Pleasant Miners Lodge

1st Child – Henry Thomas Hicks family

Alexander Henry Hicks and brother Henry Thomas Hicks (Jnr) were miners. Alexander was also President of the Illawarra Coal Mines Employees Association (later became the Miners Federation). and Henry Thomas Hicks was union delegate at Bulli Mine and broke his leg there

Henry Thomas Hicks great grandchildren and great great grandchildren & partners worked in mines or industry :

Joe – Kenneth

Kerrie Gary Ken Laurence David Dennis

7th Child – Alice  McEwen nee Hicks family

Charles Henry McEwen – 2nd son of Alice Mc Ewen (nee Hicks). Born in 1879 in Wollongong (1879 NSW BDM  26056/1879) may have been a miner in Coolgardie in 1906, was a miner on enlistment at Geraldton – see Mapping our ANZACS, and then possibly a miner in Kalgoorlie in 1937.

Richard Spowart, born in Newcastle on Tyne, was the husband of Margaret McEwan, eldest child Alice McEwen (nee Hicks), and was a Mine Manager. He and Margaret spent much of their married lives in Tasmania where he had been Mine Manager at Western Silver-lead Mine, Zeehan, the Tasmania Gold Mine, Beaconsfield, and at the Jubilee Gold Mine, Mathinna, and at tho Storeys Creek Tin and Wolfram Mining Co. He had continued working into the late 1930’s when he was in his mid 70’s – dying at Storey’s Creek in 1940.

  1. Margaret and Richard’s son William 1893 – 1940 born in Beaconsfield died in Launceston – was a miner on enlistment from North Lyell in 1915 ? Served in WWI 1915-1919 – military record. Uncertain whether he returned to mining after WWI.

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