Losing Our Heritage

Going, going, gone….

Council wants us to believe that the Jubilee Monument is being restored as part of works brought forward! The truth is...it's in the path of the Supercars track.

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before removal

Jubilee Monument on May 1st.

No damage.

No vandalism.

No need for restoration.

But…in the way of the Supercars race track.

Council announces it will be ‘restoring’ the monument as part of ‘works brought forward’. It will replace the monument ‘5 to 9 metres’ south of the existing position. Why? To carry out roadworks.

Council begins removal of monument. Note the gentle methods used.

removal 1

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And the result?

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The faux coal (black Italian marble, left rough and unpolished) is now broken into three pieces.

The Council was right! It does need to be restored.

Disturbing facts:

  • Council has not appointed a Heritage Officer even though the construction for the race will occur in sensitive heritage areas of state and local significance.
  • Despite being alerted to artefacts being unearthed, smashed or stolen, Council made NO attempt to intervene.
  • Council has NO Plan of Management for the Heritage Conservation Zone.

History: The Newcastle Jubilee Memorial, The Coal Monument, was originally erected in Pacific Park, Newcastle East, and relocated to Parnell Place, Newcastle East, when Hunter Street was extended eastwards, between 1923 and 1929.

It was erected by the citizens of Newcastle to commemorate the Civic Jubilee, 1859-1909.

It is composed of a massive sandstone block, from the Pyrmont Quarries. On the sides are bronze bas-reliefs depicting the changes in industry due to progressive mechanisation. Hewing coal, 1859, depicts the discomfort and difficulties of mining with hand tools. Hewing coal 1909, shows a miner using machinery. A similar progression can be seen in the move from sailing ships in 1859, to steam ships in 1909 to carry coal.

In 1949, a report in the Newcastle Morning Herald, said “Mr. Fullick assured us that the block of coal…is really a block of coal, and not, as people imagine, a resemblance hacked out of slate or marble, or any other substance. It’s definitely coal, he said. It was hewn by my father and Mr. Jack Pollard at Aberdare Extended Pit forty years ago.”

The Coal Monument was restored in 1986 with a grant from the Joint coal Board.

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