Miners back for Box Flat reunion

Former Box Flat Colliery workers (clockwise from back) John Strybos, Pat Lenihan, John Lambert and Merv Currie are looking forward to the reunion.
Former Box Flat Colliery workers (clockwise from back) John Strybos, Pat Lenihan, John Lambert and Merv Currie are looking forward to the reunion. Sarah Harvey

MENTION Box Flat Colliery and the devastating mine explosion in 1972 immediately comes to mind.

With 17 miners killed in what was Ipswich's worst mine disaster, Box Flat was fated to forever be a site of mourning and loss.

A permanent memorial stands on the mine site at Swanbank, bearing the names of those killed and entombed underground.

But this overwhelmingly sad event was just one chapter in the history of a mine that was worked for decades.

For the first time since Box Flat coal mine closed in 1987, its hundreds of workers are getting together for a reunion.

Co-organiser John Strybos said all workers were invited to the reunion on October 23, including office staff, management, electricians, miners and surface workers, and their partners.

About 100 former mine workers have died, so their wives will have the opportunity to attend.

The Box Flat workers' reunion starts at 11am on Saturday, October 23, at the Cooneana Heritage Centre, 1041 Redbank Plains Road, New Chum.

People are asked to BYO chairs. Anyone needing transport should call John Baartz on 3281 7755 or John Strybos on 3201 4910.

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