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Tribute to Silver City’s fallen miners

Monday, 13th July, 2015

By Michael Murphy

The anniversary of the death of two men whose bodies are still entombed in the line of lode will mark the start of an annual commemoration day for all those who lost their lives mining in Broken Hill.

On October 8 this year, the CFMEU is organising a small service at the Miners Memorial so families and the general public can pay their respects to those who lost their lives.

On that day 113 years earlier, mullockers Leopold Herbert Campbell (21) and Thomas Jordan (19) were killed when they were buried by a fall of ground while working between the 400ft and the 500ft levels at the Central Mine. The whole of what was known as “A5 Stope” completely collapsed, the ground settling from the surface.

CFMEU vice president Greg Braes said other mining communities in Australia held regular commemoration services, and it was time Broken Hill committed to it. 

“What we don’t do in Broken Hill, is we don’t have any sort of a day to recognise the many fatalities on the mines,” Mr Braes said.

“We have got a great memorial up there, and it has many names on it, I just believe once a year, we should have a day where we recognise those people.

“I believe that in Broken Hill, one of the earliest and greatest mining towns, this is something we need to do every year.”

Mr Braes said he wanted to keep the event small at first, that he welcomed input, and hoped it would grow in time.

The finer details of the commemoration day will be announced in the BDT closer to the event.

The service has the full support of the Barrier Industrial Council.

“The most effective service is the simplest one,” said BIC President Danny O’Connor. “We just have got to go up there and pay our respects.

“We don’t want it to be long speeches or anything like that ... we just want to respect the miners that have made this town great.”

“This town was made great by the work of the mining community ... and that should never be forgotten.” 

TOMORROW: BDT marks the 130th anniversary of the first mining-related death in the region with a special monthly series.

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