The name of Sir Edgeworth David, who at the age of 50 partnered Douglas Mawson and Scottish surgeon Alistair Mackay on an epic, 2028 kilometre Antarctic traverse to the magnetic south pole in 1909, means a lot to the people of the small Hunter Valley mining town of Abermain. They remember him not so much for his Antarctic exploits, but as the Sydney University geologist who in 1897 uncovered the rich Greta coal seam on which the town and its miners depended for so many years. His name lives on in Abermain in a park and a monument unveiled to his memory in 2000.
In the best of mining traditions, Abermain boasts a School of Arts and an Eisteddfod Hall. The region was the first in NSW to provide a regular supply of coal for the fledgling colony of Sydney and villages such as Abermain, Adamstown, Carrington, Cardiff, Charlestown, Hamilton, Merewether, New Lambton, Stockton, Wallsend and Waratah, which are now suburbs of greater Newcastle, sprung up at pitheads.