September 17, 2019
Hundreds gathered at our Northern Mining and NSW Energy District’s 24th Annual Memorial Day in Cessnock in September to mourn lives lost in the coalfields and the sad addition of a new name to the memorial wall.
Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese MP delivered a moving address acknowledging the tragic loss of 37-year-old Quinton Moore at Bengalla Mine, ‘a fresh name for this saddest of rolls’. Quinton died in November last year while undertaking tyre maintenance at Bengalla coal mine.
“I know that some wounds are beyond even the healing powers of time, that there are absences that can never be filled,” said Mr Albanese.
“But I hope you can draw some comfort from knowing that you are never alone. You have this community standing right beside you. You have the compassion and love of the union and the greater labour movement.
“And of course you have the mining family, a family that feels every death keenly in its heart.”
Watch Anthony Albanese’s speech
Quinton Moore’s grieving family attended the event and his widow Shannon was presented with a miners’ lamp by District President Peter Jordan as a symbol of the Union’s condolences and support.
Mr Jordan said that while NSW was recognised to have one of the safest coal mining industries in the world, the standards were not good enough as long as new names were being added to the memorial wall.
“Safety cannot be taken for granted, it cannot be misunderstood, it must never be understated and must always be the highest and most important issue in any workplace.
“We must never become complacent and as an industry we must demand compliance. Complacency and non-compliance can kill … we must always be vigilant. It is everybody’s responsibility.”
Mr Jordan said the Union would always honouring the memory of the 1800 names of men, women and boys on the Jim Comerford Memorial Wall.
“The passage of time never truly diminishes the grief of those affected by the loss of a loved one. An inquiry or an inquest may mark the end of proceedings for some, but for the next of kin, it will never be over.”