THE Corrimal coke works has closed, ending the long tradition of the mineral’s production in the Wollongong area.
The Illawarra Coke Company, the world’s oldest continuous producer of coke, has now closed both its Corrimal and Coalcliff operations.
Operations ceased at the Coalcliff site in June 2013 with the loss of about 20 jobs. The closure of the Corrimal plant earlier this month has seen the loss of about the same number of jobs.
The closure has been blamed cheaper overseas producers.
Company managing director Rex Wright said workers at Corrimal are great grandsons of the people who worked there since the plant opened early last century. He said it was a sad day.
John Davies, who is a fourth generation coke worker at Corrimal, said the feeling at the plant was emotional.
The Corrimal coke works opened in 1912.
Coke workers at the Coalcliff plant in 1914.
About Mick Roberts
A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.
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