BRIAN McNamara still remembers being jolted out of his sleep by the explosion that killed his father 40 years ago.
The lifelong Ipswich resident was 34 years old and living only a few kilometres from the Box Flat Mine - at Cascade St, Raceview - at the time of the disaster.
Not that you had to be so close to hear the sound - Mr McNamara said it was loud enough to wake the entire city.
"It was horrible," he said.
"To be honest, my first reaction was to wonder if my father was out there working at that time."
Mr McNamara's father John - better known as Jim McNamara - was an experienced coalminer, having worked the pick and shovel from the age of 14 in coalmines across the Ipswich region.
He'd worked at Box Flat only a couple of years leading up to that fateful day on July 31, 1972, when his life was cut short aged just 55.
According to his son, Jim had finished his shift and was on the way up, but was still a few minutes from the surface when the mine exploded.
Not knowing what had happened to his father, Mr McNamara joined his mother Elsie and his six siblings to await news from Box Flat.
With so much chaos and confusion surrounding the incident the shocked family was forced to rely on radio broadcasts for most of their information.
"Later that morning they made the decision (to seal off the mine)," Mr McNamara said.
"We were just devastated. My mother, in particular, took it terribly hard.
"She still soldiered on wonderfully afterward though - she became the family rock."
Sadly, Elsie passed away on August 8 last year, aged 97.
Mr McNamara and his brother Bob were left with the daunting task of travelling out to their dad's work to pick up his personal belongings. "I can still remember Dad's old green and white Holden sitting there in the car park," he said.
"Dad was still in the prime of his life at 55.
"He had everything to live for."
The subsequent inquiry - part of which Mr McNamara and his mother attended - brought some closure for the family, despite misgivings about whether Jim and his workmates should have been allowed to go into the mine in the first place.
"There was a fire in the pit that they had been fighting for a few days leading up to the explosion," Mr McNamara said. "It's easy to say now that they should have acted sooner - but hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it?
"A lot of lessons have been learnt and there is no doubt that these lessons are still being used today - so there is some good to come out of it all."
Now 20 years older than Jim was when he passed away, Mr McNamara said time had helped him to accept his father's awful fate.
He said the families of other men who died had been a great source of moral support over the past 40 years.
Mr McNamara was also grateful to the former Box Flat manager Beres Evans, as well as Ipswich City Council and those in charge of the memorial in honour of the deceased miners.
"We never had closure but we do have a memorial," he said.
"The other surviving relatives have been great - we have all gelled as a unit that appreciates each other. We share a common bond."