GRATEFUL: John Hempsteed and Rohan Webb with the $20,000 check.
GRATEFUL: John Hempsteed and Rohan Webb with the $20,000 check. Matty Holdsworth

A touching tribute as Moura remembers

ONE death is sad, 50 is tragic.

Since the 1960s, 50 miners have lost their lives to workplace accidents in the Moura community alone.

For years, the town has planned to play tribute to those lost and soon they can.

The Moura Township Community Group's has planned a Moura Miners Memorial. It is locally designed, council approved and is just awaiting funds to commence construction.

The design of the Moura Memorial.
The design of the Moura Memorial. Contributed

Organiser and Moura local of 40 years John Hempseed said "his heart was behind making this project happen”.

"For 50 people to have died is a scandal, a national scandal. One death is too many,” John said sadly.

"We want to build a memorial to recognise these lives. Mining is a dangerous game, and safety has improved immensely but accidents still do happen.

"Any disaster in a rural town like Moura touches everyone. In small towns you know everyone. A tight knit community rallies together in these times and the whole community is behind it.”

Yesterday John was presented a check from Australian Manufacturers Workers Union state secretary Rohan Webb for $20,000 to go directly to the project.

The design of the Moura Memorial.
The design of the Moura Memorial. Contributed

John explained that the memorial would incorporate both modern and traditional mining components in the design. Meaning the locally made tribute would educate and pay homage.

"One part represents an underground portal and the other part the open cut method used at the moment,” he said.

"It will have a dome over the top with a skylight hole for each person lost. And lets hope we don't have to put any more holes in it.

"Reality says it might happen but I don't want to see it.”

Moura Mining Disasters

1975: 13 lost to Kianga underground mine explosion

1986: 12 lost in the Moura No 4 underground mine explosion

1994: 11 lost due to explosions in Moura No 2 underground mine

The project in it's entirety will cost $500,000 and the Group still needs another $150,000.

Rohan said for a town like Moura, a permanent reminder was vital.

"The local community and all of us want to get this up and running as soon as possible,” he said.

"We need to show our respects to those who have lost their lives in the industry and the town needs to remember.

"The whole town will be touched by this. It is vital to pay respects and display their sacrifices. One is too many, 50 is vast.”



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