MINERS who sat underground for 55 days in protest, have been honoured with a monument to cement their actions in history.
In March 1983, rumours of job cuts had travelled along the grapevine at Preston Mine, in Curlewis.
But when 91 coal miners received retrenchment notices from owner RW Miller Group, 16 frustrated men went underground to protest the decision.
They vowed to stay down in the pits of the mine until their jobs had been restored, which saw them stay underground for 55 days - marking the longest industrial action of its kind in Australian mining history.
The movement, or lack off, received national media attention at the time with print, radio and television networks camped at the top of the mine to document the moment in history.
Visiting unionists also took action against RW Miller ships and hoisted a stockade flag over the pit-head.
But tensions were high in the village with some locals critical of the men's action.
With the help of their mothers and wives the 16 miners were kept fed and hydrated until negotiations between the union, coal company and the state government produced a 10-point resolution, which included a commitment from RW Miller to restore as many jobs as possible at Preston.
To commemorate the important piece of Curlewis' history, a monument was unveiled on Thursday to honour the efforts of the miners.
The monument, which features a two-metre tall light tower fixed on top of a brick platform and includes information plaques, was organised by the Curlewis Progress Association.
Progress Association member Robyn West said she hoped the monument would encourage more visitors to appreciate the town's history.
"We've seen caravans come through Curlewis to stay... and we thought if they went for a walk there's nothing to see here," Ms West said.
"We thought we've got to have something that's special to Curlewis."
Ms West said when visitors had stopped off in Curlewis, they had no idea it had been such a prominent mining town.
"We thought this was important," she said.
Seven of the miners who participated in the protest action were at the unveiling, including group leader Toby Morrison, who said at the time of the sit-in "going underground just seemed the logical answer".
The light tower is solar powered so that at night the monument will glow.
"We thought that would be a fitting monument because when they were sitting they turned off their lights when they were down in the pit," Ms West said.
The Preston Mine sit-in monument is located on Goran Street.
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