Proposed Mount Isa Miners Memorial
I recently visited Mount Isa with Steve Trevor to meet city leaders and prominent citizens to discuss a permanent Memorial for all those who lost their lives in industrial accidents while working at the great Mount Isa Mines over the past 98 years.
How fitting it would be if this was to occur during the City`s Centenary of its existence in the year 2023.
The response from many residents was positive and the publicity has been overwhelming by all ex-residents. Almost every person agrees it is time for a fitting tribute to all those who went to work but never made it home to their loved ones.
This proposal requires Queensland government funding to mark the Centenary of the City in recognition of the enormous contribution Mount Isa and Mount Isa Mines have made to Queensland and Australia over the past century. Traeger MP Rob Katter has indicated his support.
Secondly, we would need a suitable site for a Memorial which needs to be in a position to be a tourist attraction as well as a significant and meaningful memorial to remember those who lost their lives.
The most suitable site would be on the top of the hill which contains the Frank Aston Museum tunnels and an unused water storage tank. This hill overlooks the City and is adjacent to Mount Isa`s major tourist attraction, Outback at Isa.
Mount Isa historian Roger Hancock recently displayed photos taken from the top of this hill and endorsed this site as the logical position for a Memorial. Steve and I ascended the two main hills and agreed the old Museum Hill needed developing and could be the perfect site.
The Hill is Crown Land leased to Council for tourism projects. It is an eyesore and a blight on the City skyline and warrants a major project such as the proposed Memorial if it proceeds. It would also allow for a light on the hill to illuminate every night and become a tourism attraction.
Thirdly, if the Memorial does proceed, and if it can be located on the central hillsite, then I envisage a Memorial consisting of an architect-designed semi-circular Wall containing the names of the deceased workers on plaques. This Wall requires thought on its final shape and layout. I envisage two massive bronze statues located behind the centre of the Memorial Wall.
The main statue would depict an Underground Worker with a Miner`s helmet and Cap Lamp. The second statue would depict a deceased surface worker and be slightly shorter than the main statue and positioned to the left. Both statues would be floodlit at night to be seen from any angle.
I would also like to see the Cap Lamp capable of emitting a beam of light to reach the Urquhart Shaft Headframe..
This light would be "Mount Isa`s Light on the Hill" dedicated to all the fallen workers who lost their lives over the century.
Some people may not agree fully with all my thoughts and I am putting my ideas forward to at least get the ball rolling. My dedication to this proposal goes back many years to when I was at the Isa Mine State School in 1950. I spent my entire working life working at Mount Isa Mines and could not have wished for a better working environment. The Company, irrespective of ownership, always made safety a priority during my 40 years service.Accidents do occur but for every fatality which occurs in the Mining and Smelting operations, there is always an extension or addition to the Government Mining Act as well as the Health and Safety Regulations so that there is never a repeat of a previous fatality.
I thank Mayor Danielle Slade and the councillors we met during our recent visit. I hope Council take the next steps to formulate this proposed Project and that it becomes a reality in the near future and a highlight of the City`s Centenary in 2023.
I would like to see Cr Mick Tully chair a Community Committee if it can be arranged.
John Moran, Karumba