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Gray, Archibald (1858–1940)

Mr Archibald Gray, who was a West Wallsend business man for a long time and was among the men associated with the sinking of the first shaft for the Richmond Main Colliery, died recently in Wallsend Hospital at the age of 82.

Three sons and three daughters survive Mr Gray, whose wife died some years ago. The sons are Archibald (Kurri), William and Cecil R. (Wallsend) and the daughters Mesdames E. Phelan (Hamilton) and G. Riden (Corrimal) and Miss Nellie Gray (Sydney).

Before opening a general store business at West Wallsend, Mr Gray was employed in the old collieries of Minmi and West Wallsend. Members of the old J. and A. Brown firm, which owned Minmi, sent him with other men to sink the first shaft for what eventually became the Richmond Main Colliery. Mr Gary and another escaped serious injury, or probably death, during the shaft-sinking operations. The rope attached to the bucket in which they were being lowered snapped, and they dropped about 50 feet to the bottom of the shaft into water.

After working in the old pit of the township, the weatherworn surface arrangements of which still stand, Mr Gray opened his West Wallsend store. Before retiring from business Mr Gary acquired an area of about 300 acres of farming and grazing land on the Dorrigo which was worked by a lessee.

Mr Gary was an old member of the West Wallsend Masonic Lodge (Lodge St Andrew).

Mr Gray was a youth when he came to New South Wales, alone, from his birthplace, Waterside, Ayrshire, Scotland. His parents and other members of the family followed. He was the last surviving member of the family.

Rev. S. V. Satehell, of Wallsend, officiated for the interment which was made in the Church of England Cemetery, Sandgate. A Masonic service was conducted.

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'Gray, Archibald (1858–1940)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/gray-archibald-32135/text39709, accessed 8 December 2021.

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