Are your contact details up to date?

Chapter 5 - Special Occasions

Chapter 5 - Special Occasions

5.1     Field Days

An important innovation was the introduction of visits and field days in 1967, commencing with the inspections of three laboratories:

  • BHP Central Research Laboratories, Shortland on September 28, 1967.
  • ACIRL Ltd’s Main Laboratories, North Ryde on November 2, 1967.
  • ACIRL Ltd’s Coal Preparation Testing Station, Maitland on November 20, 1969.

Some of the Field Days that initially followed included:

  • Visit to Huntley Washery.
  • Underground inspection of Wollondilly Extended Colliery and visit to Glenlee Washery; March 19 1969.
  • Inspection of Balmain Coal Loader, White Bay Container Terminal and Ball’s Head Coal Loader; March 24 1971.
  • Liddell Power Station Complex and Tyrell’s Vineyard, Cessnock; March 4 1972. This was the first field day in the Newcastle District.
  • ICI Australia Ltd, and Catoleum Pty Ltd, Botany Chemical Complex; March 2 1973.

These visits were not only educational, but also gave members the opportunity to meet for discussions on topics of mutual interest in 

relation to coal preparation and utilisation of coal products. This pattern of visits established by the early Committee was considered to be an important annual event of the Society and so was continued until 2000, when its future was discussed and a one-day seminar proposed instead. In that same year, however, the site visits offered prior to the September meeting at Muswellbrook could be construed as making a ‘field day’. Bengalla mine was first visited to see the roller screen that was the subject of the technical presentation that night. This was followed by lunch and inspection at the Commercial Minerals Tallawang magnetite mine.

Field days were subsequently held in 2002, 2003 and 2004 only.

July 1986 Committee Minutes refer to the need to provide a plaque for hosting the field trip visits. At the 1988 AGM plaques were presented to Bill McKee from Mount Thorley, Peter Schilling from Ravensworth and Les Liesfield from Ulan. Stu Nicol accepted a plaque on behalf of Saxonvale.

For the 1983 field day members forsook the usual bus travel, instead visiting the Saxonvale and Ulan mines in the comfort of the XPT train. It was an unusual sight to see this train parked under the coal load out bin at Saxonvale. A decade later, members were treated to another train journey to and from their field trip destinations.

See Table 2 for a list of all field days.