Drew Haman, b.sc., ph.d.
Petroleum Geologist
ABGS 1952–60

Drew Haman

Drew Haman

Drew Haman was born in New Tredegar, on 17 September 1941. He spent the whole of his professional career in the U.S.A. working as a petroleum geologist.

He was the son of Mr. Phillip Drew Haman1, M.E., and Mrs Irene Haman, née Goddard. When the family moved to Aberdare from Abertridwr, his father, a Coal Board official, had the choice of living in Maesyffynon House2 or Blaengwawr House3. His mother, thinking about the walk to the town for shopping and then hauling bags back to the house preferred Maesyffynon which was not as far up Maesyffynon Lane as Blaengwawr House - and there they lived for the whole of his childhood. Just prior to Mr Haman’s retirement in 1968, he built another house – with the help of Drew – called High Trees, in Maesyffynon Lane. His father lived there until he died in 1975, aged 65 after 36 years of marriage. Drew’s mother died in 1993.

Drew received his primary education at the Town (Church) School, and transferred from there in 1952 to the Grammar School in Trecynon. Whilst at school he became Dewi House Vice-Captain and played for the school First XI Cricket team in the 1959 season4. A keen examination candidate he took his GCE Ordinary Levels in 1957 & 1958, and his GCE Advanced Levels in 1959 and 1960, when he gained passes in Geology and Geography, having been taught by Messrs Meirion Jenkins and Tom Evans respectively.



Maesyffynon: the house which the Hamans shared with the
Quartermaine family. It was an NCB house and both
Mr Haman & Mr Quartermaine were Coal Board officials.
The house was first occupied by the coalowner
David Davis, jun., (1821–1884).
Davis jun. also had a house in Arthog, Merionethshire.


Blaengwawr House, The house was built by the coalowner
David Davis, sen., (1797–1866), father of David Davis, jun.,
(1821–1884). Davis, sen, opened the Blaengwawr Colliery
in 1843, before turning his attention to the Rhondda Fach.
Both houses were on Maesyffynon Lane,
but on opposite sides of the railway line.


Drew at a graduation
ceremony in Aberystwyth

In 1960 Drew went to university at UCW Aberystwyth where he stayed for six years. He gained his B.Sc. degree in Geology, in 1963, and subsequently was awarded the J.J. Thomas, of Kendal Scholarship5 in Geology and completed his Ph.D. in micropalaeontology in 1966. Whilst at Aberystwyth he became a Fellow of the Geological Society, a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society and a Member of the Challenger Society. He also found time to represent the university in table-tennis and captained the combined Welsh Universities team 1964–66. Futhermore, Drew and his team broke the World Record for Table Tennis endurance in 1961 by playing continuously for 30 hours and 3 minutes! In the summer of 1963, he married Patricia A. George of 15 Alma Street, Trecynon. Later, in the USA, the couple raised two daughters.

The couple left the UK for the USA in 1966 thinking they would stay there for a while. Drew commented as follows: “One reason that I came over here in 1966 was that no one in GB seemed interested in hiring me and the move seemed a good way to get a pay check. I know I decided not to try and get a U.S. work permit or any other type of temporary visa because we thought that if we liked the U.S. we would probably stay there for a while. As a result my wife and I obtained immigrant visas which classed us as Legal Aliens! This is basically the first step to obtain U.S. citizenship after immigration, and this process takes about 5 years or so. The only problem that occurred with all these fine plans was that a few weeks after I arrived in Seattle I was summoned to the Federal Building downtown so that I could register with the Selective Service System. This is the U.S. armed forces conscription! As the U.S. was quite involved in Vietnam at that time I was less than enthusiastic with this development. Luckily my company obtained a deferment for me based on essential industry grounds (oil industry) and that was basically the last I heard of that.” In an email of 2013, Drew reported that he had not still not taken out US citizenship!

Drew commenced his career working as a micropaleontologist specializing in foraminiferology with Standard Oil of America. He subsequently moved companies, to work with Chevron USA, Inc., Eastern Exploration Business Unit and Chevron USA Production Company, Inc. in Houston.

Drew at Work

Drew at Work

Drew was an active member of many Geology and Paleontology organizations and served as President of the Cushman Foundation during 1986-1987. He published over 60 technical publications in national and international scientific journals and was an invited lecturer at Louisiana State University, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Fullerton and Chapman College. He enjoyed a long and successful career in the oil industry and received numerous honours and awards in the advancement of his specialty.

Outside his work, Drew enjoyed gardening, fishing, reading, and spending time with his family and his five pets. He was a very organized and detail-orientated family man who also worked diligently on family genealogy and the preservation of family photographs and historical family documents. Indeed, Drew has been in contact with this website almost since its inception, and has sent many scans of documents and photographs of his school career, notably a very large database of the examination papers that he sat. He kept in contact with the editors of this website for the last fifteen years.

Drew passed away on Friday, November 20th, 2015, at the age of 74, in Katy, Texas, He is survived by his first wife, now Pat Lawrence, and by his second wife Sheila, née Lacroix, whom he married in Katy, Texas on December 31st, 1989; and by his two daughters.


Drew Haman (1941–2015), Geologist


Drew 1957

Drew in 1957
from the school
panoramic photo

  1. Mr Phillip Haman, (1910–1975), was an Assistant Manager, and an Undermanager at Penallta and West Elliott Collieries respectively (1939-41). He then became the Manager of Elliotts Colliery (1941-43), and of Windsor Colliery (1943-47). He transferred to Aberdare as Agent, No. 2 Group (1947-53) and was promoted to Area Mechanisation Agent, No. 4 area (1953-68). Earlier in his mining career Mr Haman obtained a 2nd Class Certificate of Competency as a Mine Manager in 1934, and followed this up with a First Class Certificate in 1936. These certificates were issued by the Board of Trade, London, in accordance with the Coal Mines Act of 1911.
  2. Maesyffynon House was one of the the homes of David Davis jnr. His father and two of his sons were very successful in the coalmining industry. After developing the pits at Blaengwawr and Abercwmboi, Davis snr moved into the unexploited Rhondda Fach valley, leaving the management of his Cynon Valley collieries to Davis jnr, and after considerable geological difficulties, the senior Davis eventually struck coal in Ferndale in 1857 when Ferndale No. 1 (Blaenllechau) Colliery was opened.
  3. Blaengwawr House still stands today.
  4. A photograph of this team, which includes Drew can be found in the Sporting Activities section of this website. There is also a sixth-form group which also includes Drew in the Memories & Memorabilia section, entitled “1959 Group in the playground.”
  5. The J.J. Thomas of Kendal Scholarship is maintained using a large endowment made to UCW Aberystwyth by John John Thomas, who was a successful mining engineer and who became managing director of the Tilberthwaite Green Slate Co. Ltd. in Westmorland. He was well known in the area and became Mayor of Kendal, 1916–1919. Thomas was born at Ty Ucha, Rhostryfan in 1860 and worked in the local quarries as a young boy, but left to go to live with his uncle, Thomas Williams, in Broughton-in-Furness, and continued in the slate quarrying business in the North West of England. He ultimately made good and became a wealthy man and a Fellow of the Geological Society. He returned to his homeland frequently and took part in cultural activities in the Rhostryfan and Rhosgadfan district. When he died in 1942, he left considerable sums of money to the University of Wales and to Rhostryfan.

Acknowledgements: The obituary, which is currently, May 2016, online at this link, provided much of the information that has been presented. It also has a gallery of photographs which shows Drew at various stages in his life.

CR. 27 May 2016