Charles HarperPrint Page
A monument commemorates one of the founders of Helensburgh and a major figure in the establishment of the mining industry.
During the month of October 1884, Mr. Charles Harper, regarded as the founding father of Helensburgh and a crew of mining engineers and labourers, moved into the Helensburgh area to begin drilling for "Black Diamonds", coal. They are believed to have been the earliest Europeans to settle in the area. They found an abundance of water available in Camp Creek and set up a drilling rig close by with which they drilled to a depth of 726 feet, but no coal. They tried again, moving the drilling rig more than a mile to the east, close by the 28 mile peg on the Illawarra Railway line which was being surveyed at the time. This time they were successful, locating a 12ft. 3in. seam at a depth of 1,100 feet.
Tragedy struck on Saturday August 4th. 1888 when Charles Harper, who was now the manager of the mine, was killed while supervising the installation of a winding engine in the air shaft. A wire rope, being used to haul the engine, snapped and hit Mr. Harper. He died a short time later. The Miners Lodges and Clifton Collieries collected donations for a memorial stone over Mr Harper's grave in St Augustines Church Bulli, in 1889.
The stone memorial over the grave was removed and unveiled in the Charles Harper Park on the 7th October 1984 as part of Helensburgh's centenary celebrations.
|Address:||Parkes Street, Charles Harper Park, Helensburgh, 2508|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -34.190397|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Sunday 7th October, 1984|
4th August 1888
At His Post Of Duty
Metropolitan Coal Company's Colliery,
Aged 53 years
Genial, Generous and Just
This Stone Was Erected
As A Mark Of Honour To His Memory
By Miners That Had Been
In His Employment
Who Esteemed Him On Account Of
His Manly Qualities