Inspired design honours miners
Memorial site to be lasting legacy to 50 men who paid the ultimate price
ENVISAGED and created as a place to bring people together in remembrance of the past and in honour of a town’s men, and designed as a site for travellers to visit, the Moura Miners’ Memorial structure resembles mining tunnels and miners’ hats.
Locals and tourists will be able to take a walk through the tunnels, read the stories of the 50 men who died in mining disasters and individual accidents in the area, and pay tribute to the lives and families of those men who never returned home from work.
Secretary of the Moura Community Progress Inc, Mina McGuire, said the group of 10 had formed in November, 2010, in a bid to encourage more mine workers and their families to move to town through the Move to Moura Campaign.
“Then we did our brochure and website, and in 2012 and 2013 we got an outdoor gym installed at the recreation grounds with money from Anglo American.”
She said that from 2013 the group, with an executive committee of four, focused on designing the memorial to honour the miners and attract people to Moura who were travelling in the remote region.
“And that also helps the local businesses, so it had to be something unique that would make people come and stop.
“It has been full-on and a lot of people have done a lot of work. We’ve also had to project manage it ourselves because we couldn’t afford a project manager.
“We’ve been lucky – it’s been a very good committee.”
Next, she said the group would be looking ahead to a new museum.
“The little old building the museum is in is getting very dilapidated, so we’d love to have a new museum and cultural centre … so that will be the next thing.”
The memorial honours the 50 men who lost their lives in disasters on September 20, 1975 at the Kianga No.1 explosion – 13 lives lost; June 16, 1986, in the Moura No. 4 explosion – 12 lives lost; August 7, 1994, in the Moura No. 2 mine explosion –11 lives lost; and in memory of the 14 miners who have died in separate single accidents since 1961.
After the 1994 disaster all underground mining operations ceased at the Moura Coal Fields.
Moura Mine, known as Dawson Mine since 2006, has been operating just short of 60 years and production at the mine is around 8 to 9 million tonnes per year and is a major contributor to the Australian economy.
■ The Moura Miners’ Memorial opening ceremony will be held from 9am today with guest speakers, cutting of the ribbon, and a morning tea at the RSL from 10.30am.
INSPIRED DESIGN: A miner’s helmet provided inspiration for the dome structure that is the centrepoint of the Moura Miners’ Memorial.
The finished tunnel at the memorial.