After 11 years of planning Kalgoorlie-Boulder finally has a memorial to fallen miners, opened last Saturday, March 1.
The memorial honours those who have died in mining accidents in the Goldfields region since 1892.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder mayor Ron Yuryevich said the process of creating the memorial since conception has taken 11 years.
“It’s extremely pleasing to see the committee has delivered such a magnificent memorial,” he said.
“It’s befitting of the contribution made by these men and women to the mining industry, which is the lifeblood of this town.”
Memorial committee member Doug Daws said the 10 metre-long wall carries more than 1,400 names on the memorial.
“Well we’re still collecting them, that’s the sad thing and I’m not talking about fatalities we might be yet to have,” he said.
“Unfortunately the more this has become known there’s still new names, they’re old names actually but new to us, that have been identified and verified.”
Daws said the memorial is a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives.
“The wall is 10 metres long and two-and-a-half metres high, or it will be, and it’s double-sided,” he said.
“So it’ll be a pretty bleak outlook really to look at so many names of fathers, sons, brothers, and of course two women, that have been killed in these unfortunate events.”
Memorial committee member Moya Sharp lost her son in 2004.
“I think it’s really important and that importance has really become more apparent in the response that we’ve had to the advertising we’ve been doing over the last two years and the response to the public and the number of people coming to the launch and how important it is to them just shows that it’s something that has been needed and has never been there,” she said.
She says there are many tragic stories among the names on the memorial.
“I feel it’s important that not only are these people registered in the mines department and things like that but there needs to be a recognition for them, just to show that they’ve given their lives for this industry,” she said.
“There are other mining memorials in Australia but nothing as big as this and nothing in Western Australia.”
Image: ABC. Memorial committee members John Bowler and Doug Dawes beside the new monument.