Moving tribute as miners’ memorial illuminates Moranbah

Miners' Memorial Unveiling

We gathered as one to remember them, to cherish them and to keep them in our hearts.

Every night as the sun sets, Moranbah, we will light their way home.

We gathered as one to remember them, to cherish them and to keep them in our hearts.

Every night as the sun sets, Moranbah, we will light their way home.

Similar words were echoed by Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker in front of a 1200-strong crowd that gathered to watch the illumination of the sandstone plinth at the Moranbah Miners’ Memorial.

Mayor Baker said the memorial unveiling and service on Friday, 8 November 2019, gave her a huge sense of Isaac pride.

“We remember the human cost to an industry that is in our DNA,” Mayor Baker said.

“We know how much a fatality resonates in each and every member of our community.

“This is thanks to an overwhelming amount of blood, sweat and tears to ensure we have a fitting reminder of those we’ve lost on the job.

“To the families and friends of our miners who have passed, this is your peaceful place for us all to come together and reflect.

“The lives we’ve lost in the Moranbah mines and those we’ve lost on the roads to and from work, in work camps and from coal-related diseases, these men were fathers, sons husbands, brothers, uncles and nephews and as a community we stand with you.”

Mayor Baker said Moranbah now joined the Moura and Collinsville communities in providing a fitting tribute and peaceful place of remembrance for our fallen miners.

“Coal mining is part of who we are. Establishing a memorial in each of our mining communities has been a vision of Council for quite some time,” she said.

“This is part of Isaac’s story. The Moranbah memorial is to tell a legacy story that is far-reaching from the bigger mining picture. But with every story, there’s needs to be a first chapter.

“Thank you to Director of the Barada Barna Corporation Graham Budby, Minister of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham, State Member for Burdekin Dale Last, CFMEU Mineworkers Trust Chair Grahame Kelly, the Australian Mining Cities Alliance mayoral and executive leadership counterparts from Mount Isa, Broken Hill and Kalgoorlie-Boulder city councils for your attendance.

“I’d also like to acknowledge all our mining, resource and business leaders and members of the emergency services in particular the Miners Rescue teams.”

This journey first began with a piece of sandstone with a plaque at the local union office.

Every detail, every bit of material, every word on this memorial has been poured over and discussed at length between Councillors, the Moranbah Miners’ Memorial Committee, Designtek, Hutchinson Builders, Capricorn Stone and Adept Contractors.

Starting with a ball of wire, three steel rods and 10 photographs, Nebo artist Kay Paton created the memorial’s bronze-cast miner.

Mayor Baker said she is very proud on how this memorial was brought to life.

“All the hard work and dedication of the Isaac Regional Council team and the Moranbah Miners’ Memorial Committee is a testament of collaboration of unity and a demonstration of how we stand as one,” Mayor Baker said.

“And I must make special mention to our Councillor-endorsed member of the Moranbah Miners’ Memorial committee – Deputy Mayor Kelly Vea Vea. Kelly, thank you for representing Council in a way that absolutely reflects our team’s dedication, commitment, attention to detail and genuine intent for this memorial.

“Behind the scenes, Mark Davey, Shane Brandenburg, Tricia Hughes, Dianna Smith and Carenda Jenkin – thank you for your amazing contribution to this project.”

The memorial has been a $300,000 community partnership between Isaac Regional Council, Mineworkers Trust, CFMEU Mining & Energy Division Queensland, CFMEU Peak Downs Lodge, CFMEU Moranbah North Lodge, CFMEU Goonyella Riverside Lodge, CFMEU Broadmeadow Lodge, AMWU Goonyella Riverside Branch and ETU Goonyella Riverside Branch.

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