April 29, 2005
Miners gather to remember fallen comrades
West Coast miners will tomorrow hold a special memorial service for fallen comrades.
The service, at the Spring Creek mine, will see miners unveil a plaque in memory of four men who died in industrial accidents.
“Sunday is May Day, and last Wednesday was International Workers’ Memorial Day, and we felt that this was a good time to mark the deaths of these men,” said EPMU Spring Creek delegate Harold Gibbens.
Thirty-one-year-old Quentin May died in a rib fall at the now-closed Mt Davy mine on November 10, 1997. Six months later, Royden Stewart, 22, and Shaun Jennings, died when they were overcome by gas in a coal outburst on June 4, 1998, in the same mine.
The fourth man to be remembered will be Tim Hix, a coal miner who was working as an organiser for the EPMU when his car ran off the road on May 13, 2003. He had been leading a strike at Spring Creek mine, and was on his way to talks with the employer. He died later that day.
Mr Gibbens said that the miners wanted to stress to younger colleagues the deadly nature of mining.
“The work we do is extremely dangerous,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt to remind people of that, especially some of the young guys we’ve got working with us now.”
The plaque will be unveiled at 4pm in the Spring Creek bathhouse, which was formerly the Mt Davy bathhouse. EPMU officials, including National Secretary Andrew Little will attend the service.