John Duxbury

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HISTORY OF JACK DUXBURY - Open Cut Coal Mine, Yallourn 1924 - 1962

Jack Duxbury arrived at the Latrobe Valley Coal fields in 1924. He and his first
wife Elsie built a hut in the Haunted Hills of samplings and an iron roof, with a dirt floor and
only an open fireplace for cooking and warmth. Construction of homes had only just begun
in the new Yallourn township.
(There is an article referring to Jack, who was one of the first pioneers at the State Electricity
Commission, in a book written by Dorothy Squires-Taylor entitled 'Across The Old Bush Track',
which is a history of the Haunted Hills, later re-named Hernes Oak. Ref. Pg 7-9)

When coal supply from the open cut began he was the first operator in the screen house and
was leading hand plant attendant there in 1925 . In 1926 he transferred as one of the
first three locomotive drivers in the open cut. He was one of the first two operators to
handle the steep haulage plant and the first ditch bunker loader operator.
In 1946 he was appointed foreman on coal transport and later transferred as day foreman
in charge of overburden transport and training of locomotive drivers. Retired in 1962.

In 1925 the family left the Haunted Hills and found more suitable housing in the Morwell
where they remained until around 1930 when a house became available for them in Yallourn.
They moved into a house in the Angles in Yallourn with their two sons John and Keith. Two
years later their daughter Patricia was born.

In those early days dad often had a game of golf with (Dr) Jimmy Andrews and Father Walsh
on the old Yallourn golf course which was near the Hospital then.

After the death of his wife in 1937 Jack and his children were no longer able to occupy the house
in Yallourn as housing was for 'families' only. He moved into the West Camp with his
eldest son, then 16 and the two younger children were taken in by friends.

In 1940 Jack married Winifred James from Hawthorn and they moved into a house at
53 Narracan Ave, Yallourn. They had 2 daughters, Margaret and Susan, both born in the
Yallourn hospital.

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