There is a special place in Wallerawang, a small and proud community located near Lithgow, called the Black Gold Motel. With its origins emanating from the heritage listed Wallerawang Public School, former student Rob Cluff and his wife Linda have grown over 20 years, a much sought-after destination.
Aptly named the ‘Black Gold’ Motel, after the coal resource that continues to underpin the areas local economy, it boasts rooms named after mines and is well known for a restaurant called ‘The Crib Room’, the name given to the area where miners have a ‘crib’ break underground.
The Crib Room Restaurant and Bar, decorated with old mining paraphernalia and an over mantle featuring an impressive pit pony and miner emerging from underground, has a spectacular new addition. A life size statue of a coal miner.
What is even more stunning is this life size statue’s facial features were modelled on a highly respected member of the mining community –
Bob Miller. Bob Miller has a career in the mining industry spanning 53 years and still not out. Starting as a mine surveyor in the Illawarra in 1967 Bob has worked in Mudgee, the Lower Hunter, New Zealand and the western coalfields.
A large part of Bob’s career has been in the western coalfields where he is well known for his meticulous and nurturing management style and leadership and his dedication and passion for the industry.
With his family home in the southern highlands Bob Miller’s second home is the Black Gold Motel where he stays during the week when working for Centennial mentoring senior managers and imparting his strategic and problem solving skills across the group.
Taking pride of place in the The Crib Room Restaurant and Bar the statue of Bob Miller is delighting visitors, young and old, and pays homage to every proud member of the mining industry, their families and the local community.