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Miners’ Reunion added to Heritage Festival

Monday, 15th April, 2019

Two local miners from days past, believed to be Bill Watts and Cecil Beard. PICTURE: Supplied Two local miners from days past, believed to be Bill Watts and Cecil Beard. PICTURE: Supplied

A reunion dinner for past and present miners and unionists will be a key addition to the city’s upcoming Heritage Festival.

The Broken Hill Heritage Festival features a different theme each year to celebrate the reasons the city earned the honour of a Heritage Listing.

This year’s theme is “Mining Our Own Business” and focuses on the intrinsic link between mining and unionism, and the impact both have had in shaping our famous city.

In keeping with the theme, a gala dinner will be held at the Civic Centre at 7pm on April 24 to give miners and unionists a chance to reconnect.

“It’s going to be an amazing night, not just for workers and their partners to catch up and have a chat about the old days, but also to reflect on what a big impact miners and unionists have had on Broken Hill and Australia,” said Councillor and Heritage Committee Secretary, Christine Adams.

“Our mines fuelled Australia’s economy, our unionists immensely improved working conditions in this country, and local people have played a massive role in these things and should be extremely proud of their contribution to our current way of life.”

However, Cr Adams said the night wouldn’t just be about the glory days of mining and unionism, with guest speakers to give an insight into the current state of the industry and unions.

Guest speakers will include Fran Burgess (Australia’s first female graduate in metallurgy and underground mine manager), Bruce Byrne (General Manager of Perilya), and Greg Braes (President of the CFMEU South Western District).

“When workers retire they don’t necessarily lose an interest in the industry, and I’m sure the crowd will be very keen to hear from the speakers on the night,” said Cr Adams.

“We’re expecting this to be one of the most popular events on the Heritage Festival calendar, and strongly encourage those interested to get in early for tickets.”

(Those seeking more information on the reunion dinner or wishing to purchase tickets can do so online at https://www.brokenhill.nsw.gov.au/events/festivals/heritage-festival-mining-our-own-business-past-present-future-reunion).

Tickets cost $60 a head and include canapes and a two-course meal, and drinks will be available for sale.

The Heritage Festival begins on April 18, with an official launch to be held behind the Town Hall Facade at 7pm.

The launch will feature a giant projection show of historical images from the city’s Outback Archives, colourful illumination of the Facade itself, and coffee, cake and slushies will be available from Fake’ n Baked.

Vehicle access to the Town Hall Facade carpark will be unavailable from 6am today until 1pm Sunday, April 21. Traffic control measures will also be in place in Argent St from April 15 to 20.


WHAT: ‘Mining Our Own Business’ Reunion Dinner

WHEN: 7pm, Wednesday, April 24

WHERE: Civic Centre

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