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North Mine anniversary a time to reminisce

Monday, 10th September, 2018

Buster McLennan (left) and Dean Fletcher are helping to organise this year’s 25th North Mine anniversary. PICTURE: Callum Marshall Buster McLennan (left) and Dean Fletcher are helping to organise this year’s 25th North Mine anniversary. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

The North Mine annual reunion is on next month, with some urging their past workmates to be sure to get a ticket for the special 25th anniversary of the mine’s closure.

Originally a miners-only event, recent catch ups have included many of the women who worked on the mine which was shut down in 1993.

Former employees Buster McLennan and Dean Fletcher are asking all their old mates to get their tickets as soon as possible.

“We’re trying to get them in so we can cater for them,” Mr McLennan said. 

“We’ve put the word of mouth out, and sent word all round Australia.

“It’s just a matter of getting them to pull their finger out and get organised.”

Mr McLennan said the reunions were always a good time and provided former workers at the mine a great opportunity to swap stories and see what others had been doing in the intervening years.

“There’s a lot of stories on the mines and all that,” he said.

“When it finished, they laid 550 of us off in one hit. 

“The younger ones had to leave town because they had kids and houses and all that. The only time they come back is for reunions. 

“You talk about the good things, the bad things, and the sad things.” 

While a lot of the mine’s workers have spread out across the country, for Buster and Dean getting locals to come has occupied their time. 

“A lot of them have been contacting people through Facebook. But it’s more or less mainly to catch the local people,” said Mr McLennan.

“They always come but it’s (only) in the last five minutes. You’ve got to order the catering, get kegs and all that.  

“We just want numbers as soon as possible.” 

This year’s reunion will take place over October 13 and 14 with a Saturday night dinner and drinks in the Supper Room at the Trades Hall.

This will be followed by a bus trip to Penrose Park the next morning for a recovery day. 

The bus will return to the Trades Hall at 5pm the same day. 

“It’s all inclusive,” said Mr McLennan. “Anyone that’s ever worked on the mine. You didn’t have to be there when it shut. 

“If you ever worked on the mine, even for a week, you’re included too.”

Tickets can be purchased at the Silver City Workingmen’s Club.

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