Brian McNamara's father John 'Jim' McNamara died at Box Flat.
Brian McNamara's father John 'Jim' McNamara died at Box Flat. Claudia Baxter

COMMENT: Coal miners built this great city

TO KNOW where we are headed in life we have to know where we are from.

And that's because those who forget the past are only destined to make a mess of the future.

So when the completed Ipswich-Rosewood Coalminers Memorial was opened officially yesterday, it was a recognition of one of the great foundation stones of our city, coal mining, and also a reason to reflect on what makes Ipswich what it is today.

Coal Loader at Box Flat Extended No. 5 Colliery, Swanbank in 1958
Coal Loader at Box Flat Extended No. 5 Colliery, Swanbank in 1958 Whitehead Studios collection, Pi

Coal mining is all about hard work, ingenuity, comradeship and sacrifice.

What wonderful qualities they are and they will all be essential in defining Ipswich and making it great in the future.

The QT has written a lot about the memorial trust's chairman Beres Evans and his hard-working committee.

What Trojans they have been. They have campaigned and planned. They have fund-raised. They have believed.

The memory of the 186 men and boys who tragically lost their lives in local mines from 1858 to 1997 has been ever-present in their minds.

They have also encouraged present and future generations to never forget.

Thanks to the memorial, the youth of today will gain an understanding of their roots...their heritage.

Those who walk on this earth after us will also come to know exactly what created this city.

To all Ipswich coalminers, those departed and those still with us, we salute you.



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