Miners to be honoured

14th September 2017 10:36 AM
TURNING THE SOD: Charlie Seeney, Mina McGuire, John Walker with builder Shane Howkins and Mayor Nev Ferrier and Councillor Brooke Leo. TURNING THE SOD: Charlie Seeney, Mina McGuire, John Walker with builder Shane Howkins and Mayor Nev Ferrier and Councillor Brooke Leo. Vanessa Jarrett

MOURA man John Walker has taken great pleasure in being the first person to hold the shovel and turn the sod of earth on the grounds where the Moura Miners Memorial will be built.

As President of the Moura Community Progress, John has been a driving force behind the memorial along with the help of the many others on committee and various dignitaries and was proud to turn the sod on Monday.

Gogango company Buildabull was awarded the tender for the building of the site and Shane Howkins said his team couldn't wait to get started.

"It is a one of a kind structure.”

Buildabull is the master builder behind renovations at the Red Lion Hotel in Rockhampton, a home in Yeppoon that looks out along Farnborough Beach and similar to the miners memorial, the Anzac memorial in Emu Park.

"Then some other little renovations as well like properties and sheds,” Shane said.

He said the unique design of the structure was what drew him to the job.

"You don't see many structures that are a sphere and have so much timber and steel, it is a one off project,” he said.

While it is unique, Shane said his team was up to the challenge.

"I don't think any of it will be overly difficult, once we get into it will be alright.”

Buildabull consists of nine men in the team and Shane said three or four would be working on the site.

Shane expects the building to take three months.

"I'm from the country and some of the boys are from around here so they are keen to stay around, it'll be good,” he said.

TURNING THE SOD: Moura Miners Memorial. John Walker, Mina McGuire, Mayor Nev Ferrier, Councillor Brooke Leo and Charlie Seeney.
TURNING THE SOD: Moura Miners Memorial. John Walker, Mina McGuire, Mayor Nev Ferrier, Councillor Brooke Leo and Charlie Seeney. Vanessa Jarrett

Mine disaster survivor Peter Ein is happy to see the memorial go ahead after four years of hard work from the committee and locals.

"It means a lot to me. I lost a brother in-law and a lot of mates,” he said.

"The memorial has been a long time coming, I think it is a good idea.”

Peter was working at the mine when the 1994 disaster happened and was on night shift for the 1986 disaster.

"I was on QLD Mines Rescue Brigade and we retrieved the bodies from the Moura No. 4 disaster,” he said.

"It's something that never leaves you, it is always on your mind.”

Design features:

Domed roof with 49 shafts of light to beam to a central circle surrounded by terraced seating on the 'coal wall'

A mine shaft entrance where names of those who have died will be listed

Explanatory information, sculpture and poetry

In memory of:

49 miners who have been killed since the commencement of the open cut mine in 1961

1975: Kianga No.1 explosion: 13 lives lost

1986: Moura No. 4 explosion: 12 lives lost

1994L Moura No. 2 explosion: 11 lives lost