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(James Cram story below)
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By MICK ROBERTS ©
Coal dust was said to be in James Cram’s blood.
The larger than life pioneer was more than qualified to hold the title of Father of Balgownie – a village established on coal.
From a humble immigrant coal miner, Cram became one of the Illawarra’s most powerful men – a civic leader, businessman, colliery under manager, property developer and landlord.
Born in Newcastle-on-Tyne, Northumberland, England in 1826, Cram entered the coal mines at the tender age of 10. He worked in the coal mines of Cramlington, Northumberland through his 20s until he decided to immigrate to the colony of NSW with his wife Sarah and three young boys in the late 1850s.
Cram first made his way to the northern coalfields in Newcastle – he was 34 – and by the…
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