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118th anniversary of the Mt Kembla mining disaster remembered

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A SERVICE of remembrance has been held this evening for the 96 men and boys who lost their lives in the Mount Kembla mine disaster in 1902.

Representatives from South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal and the local community attended the service on Friday evening at Windy Gully Cemetery, Mount Kembla, which marked the 118th anniversary of the disaster.

“The Mount Kembla mine disaster devastated the local community and deeply affected the entire Illawarra region,” South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal Vice President Operations Wayne Bull said.

“This is a time to reflect and remember those who lost their lives and to remember the importance of safety in everything we do.

“The 96 men and boys who died in this tragedy were hardworking fathers, brothers and sons. We honour their memory now by working safely and ensuring our employees return home to their families at the end of each day.”

General Manager of South32’s Dendrobium Mine Neville McAlary addressed Friday’s service, along with the Lord Mayor of Wollongong Gordon Bradbury, State Member for Wollongong Paul Scully MP and Federal MP for Cunningham Sharon Bird.

A candle was lit for each of the victims and author Wendy Richardson read her poem about the disaster, Windy Gully. The service ended with a minute’s silence and a lament by a lone piper from the Illawarra Pipe Band.


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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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