I am sure you have all heard no matter where in the world you call home the tragic news yesterday that came out of New Zealand... a second explosion occurred at the Pike River Mine just minutes before a 16 man rescue team were to enter the mine to bring their *boys* out.... What set out to be a rescue has now turned into a mission to recover & bring out their boys so they can be laid to rest....
I have always admired the toughness of the people who live on the rugid West Coast of the South Island of NZ, it takes a special person to get up each morning & walk down into those Coal Mines (which are a lot more dangerous than gold mine due to the toxic gases given off from the coal) knowing the danger, in most cases an occupation that has been passed down through the generations. Take Nellie O'Neill who has lost her son Peter 55, yesterday, her husband worked in the mines as does her other son who is one of the rescue team. Can you imagine your 17 year old child (I can my Taska is 17) who on the day after his 17th birthday went down for the first time...... never to return, stop for a minute & try & feel how Joseph Ray Dunbar's family are feeling right now. How 41 year old Terry David Kitchin's family are feeling..... he decided to do overtime on that fateful day last Friday. Not only has Malcolm Campbell's family lost a son, brother but also a future daughter in law, he was due to marry on December 18th..... 49 year old William John Joynson who with his wife & two kids were to return to Australia last Saturday....... 21 year old Benjamin David Rockhouse who 2 years ago saved his Grandad after he had a heart attack & worked in the mines to pay for his Uni fees, his Grandad died Friday night not long after hearing of the first explosion, can you imagine what it is to loose your Father & your son in a matter of days, his brother Dan was one of two men to escape the first blast, can you imagine just what this man is feeling, both grief & guilt. Today my country has been in mourning for the 24 Kiwi, 2 Aussie, 2 British & 1 South African miners who tragically lost their lives doing what they loved & although I no longer live in my home land the grief is still in my heart for these men & their families in fact for all the people who call Greymouth home.
New Zealand may be a small country but I know us Kiwi's will band together & help the families through this tragic loss, we are tough proud people with huge hearts, we are a nation in mourning.....
Please take a minute out of your busy lives & read the 29 names below & visualise if you can that this time last week they were with their families or their mates having a beer expecting like we all do that in a weeks time we will still be here...
Conrad John Adams, 43, Greymouth, New Zealand
Deputy at the Pike River coal mine.
Malcolm Campbell, 25, Greymouth, Scotland
From Scotland, engaged to Amanda, a Kiwi. Due to marry her on December 18.
Glen Peter Cruse, 35, Cobden, New Zealand
Allan John Dixon, 59, Rununga, New Zealand
Zen Wodin Drew, 21, Greymouth, New Zealand
Christopher Peter Duggan, 31, Greymouth, New Zealand
Joseph Ray Dunbar, 17, Greymouth, New Zealand
His first day on the job.
John Leonard Hale, 45, Ruatapu, New Zealand
Daniel Thomas Herk, 36, Rununga, New Zealand
David Mark Hoggart, 33, Foxton, New Zealand
Richard Bennett Holling, 41, Blackball, New Zealand
Andrew David Hurren, 32, Greymouth, New Zealand
Jacobus (Koos) Albertus Jonker, 47, Cobden, South Africa
William John Joynson, 49, Dunollie, Australia
Married, with two kids aged 13 and 10. Is a mining veteran in Australia.
Riki Steve Keane, 28, Greymouth, New Zealand
Terry David Kitchin, 41, Rununga, New Zealand
Opted to do some overtime on Friday afternoon – his shift finished well before the explosion.
Samuel Peter Mackie, 26, Greymouth, New Zealand
Francis Skiddy Marden, 41, Runnunga, New Zealand
Michael Nolan Hanmer Monk, 23, Greymouth New Zealand
West Coast rugby player. Attended St Bede's College in Christchurch, but returned to the West Coast to work in the mine. Son of West Coast rugby captain Bernie Monk and netball coach Cath Monk.
Stuart Gilbert Mudge, 31, Rununga, New Zealand
Kane Barry Nieper, 33, Greymouth, New Zealand
Married to the daughter of a contractor. Has a young family.
Peter O'Neill, 55, Rununga, New Zealand
His brother is one of the rescue team. He himself was a part of a rescue team at Black Reef in 2008. Several of his family members have worked in the mining industry.
Milton John Osborne, 54, Ngahere, New Zealand
Grey District Councillor, contractor.
Brendan John Palmer, 27, Cobden, New Zealand
Benjamin David Rockhouse, 21, Greymouth, New Zealand
His brother Dan Rockhouse was one of two men to survive the blast and escape. Their father is head of safety at Pike River Coal.
Peter James Rodger, 40, Greymouth, Britain
Blair David Sims, 28, Greymouth, New Zealand
West Coast rugby league player of the year for the last two years, on the wing or at centre.
Joshua Adam Ufer, 25, Australia
Drilling supervisor. His fiancée is three months pregnant.
Keith Thomas Valli, 62, Winton, New Zealand
Rest In Peace.....