The grievance was the lack of water in the miners' showers.
The dispute was over miners' working conditions.
The shut out was the result of mass sackings of the whole productive workforce.
The strike was a term used by national media and the Company to undermine sacked miners who stood fast in their belief they were never were on strike.
Be it grievance, dispute, shut out or strike, the period of May 1964 through to 7 April 1965 has been dissected, bisected, analysed, and argued among those involved on both sides.
There are many authors with books, essays and theses in their quest to mine the 'real' story of the unrest which lead to the closure of Australia's largest mine.
A question mark hangs over several authors for not disclosing their connection to the subject of their writings.
Gordon Sheldon omitted to tell readers he was a Public Relations Officer for Mount Isa Mines during the timeframe his book 'Industrial Siege' was written.
Pete Thomas advocated for Mount Isa Mines to be nationalised in his pamphlets but omitted he was a journalist for the Communist Party of Australia.
Most readers would have been aware of Edgar Williams' (Yellow, Green and Red) involvement with the Australian Workers Union.
But there was no subterfuge of involvement when Pat Mackie wrote 'Mount Isa: The Story of a Dispute' in 1989.
John Reynolds in his thesis 'The Rank and File of Militancy in Mount Isa in 1964/65' identified the good local leadership and organisation which allowed miners' rights to be expressed and sustained.
He identified the 'Mackie factor' as both a cause and an expression of the workers' militancy.
Mackie, a New Zealander, wrote in his book 'Many Ships to Mt Isa' he had a deep thirst to change the world and to observe and understand, and live at peace with it.
There is no doubt he changed Mount Isa.
Apart from his theatrical, some would say dramatic character, Pat Mackie had a voice; a voice that on the afternoon of 15 December 1964 launched blistering attacks on the Company, the Industrial Commission, the State Government and the Australian Worker's Union.
The Mt Isa Mail reported that the meeting at the Star Theatre was 'one of the biggest meetings ever held in Mount Isa'.
What started out on the 14 May 1964 as an industrial award claim, by the AWU for a general minimum rise of £4 a week for the 3800 employees at the mine, escalated into a dispute when in August 1964 the State Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Commission rejected the proposal in lieu of an increase to the bonuses.
Therein followed lengthy days, weeks and months of industrial arbitrations and union negotiations with the Company which led to an exasperated mine General Manager, Jim Foots, ordering the mine gates 'shut' on workers at 3pm on Tuesday 15 December 1964.
By 5pm that day, Mackie writes ... the Company had sacked its whole productive workforce.
He went on to write ... manager, Foots openly boasted to the press: 'The ore won't deteriorate underground, even if it lies there for the next twenty years.'
With the mine gates 'shut', word spread fast as the multitudes gathered at an ad hoc meeting at the Star Theatre.
The town was tense.
Gordon Sheldon described the atmosphere within that meeting as running too high for any single concession to bring things back to normal.
For the single miners, they could and did leave town in droves.
But for married men and especially those with families the decision whether to leave town or stay was largely dependent on their financial position at that time.
Christmas 1964 was only nine days out from the 'shut out' and everyone was understandably worried about the effect of not receiving a pay packet would have on their families.
The confliction of the words 'shutout' and 'strike' had become a sword by the Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Sir Hugh Robertson when he declared ... the miners' shutdown had been caused by a 'strike' ... thereby miners were not entitled to unemployment benefits.
No sooner had word arrived that 'shutout' had been struck out by a 'strike' in Menzies Liberal Government than the Mount Isa Trades and Labor Council quickly established a relief committee to distribute funds to all workers who had been locked out by the Company.
Monetary donations were received from unions and supporters from around the nation not only to sustain workers' militant stand against the Company, but also to aid workers as John Reynolds noted in his thesis ... experiencing financial difficulty.
Single men received £6 each while married men were given £8 ten shillings with an extra £1 one shilling for each child.
The impact of the 'shutout' quickly invaded the lives and livelihood of everyone, be they miner, townie or business.
But the Mount Isa community knew the word 'unity' was their prime objective as local stores took a more relaxed view to any outstanding accounts owed by miners and their families.
Peter Thomas, a southern journalist wrote ... the strength of feeling among the women is astounding ... the women are right behind the men!
By the time the dispute, shutout, strike was purported to be resolved on 7 April 1965, more than 1,500 miners had left town and many businesses had closed.
However, the shadow of defeat and forlorn within the community began to lift with the promise of a more stable workforce at Mount Isa Mines.
And just as the hot water in the miners' showers heated up, the greatest dispute in Australia's history cooled down when all Unions voted to return to work the next day, Thursday April 8 1965.
Pat Mackie left the last words to academic lawyer Raymond O'Dea... The Mount Isa dispute had not been settled. It had merely jolted to a sullen stop.
Researched and written by Kim-Maree Burton
Information sought from the Mt Isa Mail, Brisbane Courier Mail, The Australian, Pat Mackie's 'Mount Isa: The Story of a Dispute', Gordon Sheldon's 'Industrial Siege', John Reynolds thesis 'The Rank and File Militancy in Mount Isa in 1964-65'.
Photographs on general files across many data bases and Pat Mackie's book.