In 1904, two years after the Mt Kembla mining disaster, 51 medals were awarded to rescuers by the Royal Shipwreck Relief and Humane Society of NSW. 12 Gold, 16 Silver and 23 Bronze.
Most of the gold and silver medals were awarded to management of Mt Kembla and other mines. Charles Biggers was the only Mt Kembla miner to receive a gold medal. There was much contention over who should receive medals and class bias was a major factor in the decision making process. Some people were unhappy about who had missed out on awards and some miners refused to accept their awards.
The silver medals were awarded to survivor-rescuers A. Paterson, W. Ridley and miners J. Crowder and J. Muir.
The bronze medals were awarded to survivor-rescuers E. Allen, A. Clinton, J. C. Gunser, M. McDonogh and J. Oakes.
These bronze medals were awarded to John Oakes and P T Murphy.
The silver medal was awarded to Clement Yates.
The medals were awarded at a ceremony at Wollongong Town Hall presided over by His Excellency The Governor General, Lord Northcote, and the medals presented by Lady Northcote.
Collection: These medals are on loan to the Mt Kembla Heritage Centre.
300 Cordeaux Road, Mount Kembla, NSW, 2526
02 4271 1452 and leave a message.
2nd Sunday each month 11am to 4pm or by appointment.