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Nelson (Jack) Teerman (1883–1939)

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Nelson (Jack) Teerman (1883-1939) miner, trade union leader 

Birth: 24 June 1883 at Cornish Town, Nymagee, New South Wales, son of Nelson Teerman (1858-1919), a miner born at Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland, and native-born Mary Jane, née Graves (1865-1948). Marriage: 1905 at Cobar, NSW, to Ethel Nelson Bridge. They had four sons and two daughters. Death: 7 July 1939 in Sydney. Religion: Methodist. 

  • Began working life as a copper miner, Cobar. Joined Amalgamated Miners’ Association aged 14.
  • Subsequently went to Broken Hill, working as underground miner for eight years, contracting lead poisoning.
  • In early 1920s, moved with family to Cessnock district, becoming coalminer and was active in Miners’ Federation. 1922-30 engaged in shaft sinking at Elrington and Rothbury.
  • 1925-30 secretary of Elrington Miners Lodge, leading three successful strikes. Secretary of strike committee during successful ten-month strike of sinkers at Elrington, Kalingo, John Darling and Blue Gum pits.
  • 1926-29 Elrington lodge delegate to Northern Board of Reference. Also secretary of Cessnock May Day Committee.
  • During Northern coalfields lockout of 1929-30 was in charge of relief section. Also secretary of Cessnock Citizens’ Relief Committee.
  • Suffered ‘dusted’ lungs from work as shaft sinker and was retrenched in 1930. Almost wholly incapacitated by lung disease in last years of life.
  • Keen supporter of formation of Women’s Auxiliaries of Miners’ Federation in 1930s, providing advice and assistance to his wife and other women.
  • Father of Ethel Lewis.

Common Cause
, 5 August 1939.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Cessnock Eagle (NSW), 17 March 1939, p 2

Citation details

'Teerman, Nelson (Jack) (1883–1939)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


24 June, 1883
Nymagee, New South Wales, Australia


7 July, 1939 (aged 56)
Randwick, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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