• Advertise with us
Blog entry by peteg posted 11-24-2010 09:44 AM 5599 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last friday I posted that the Pike River Coal mine in New Zealand, had suffered an explosion & that grave fears were held for 29 miners.
These were boys from my old home town where I had worked as an electrical apprentise in the Strongman Mine back in 1959 to 1965.
I had been part of a previous disaster in 1967 with my Dad underground when the strongman Mine “blew” in 19 Jan 1967 & 19 boys were killed. (I had finished my apprentership left before the explosion) A lot of these were school & fottie buddies.
( My Dad was a Scottish miner from a family of 12, who came to NZ as a young man on “assisted immigration” in 1929)
Today, Sadly, despite all rescue attempts there was a secondary explosion at 3.45 this afternoon and all thoughts of families hanging onto some shred of hope were dashed. This secondary explosion was bigger than the first last week and now there is absolutely NO HOPE of any succesful rescue.
These miners are part of my family heritage I , so tonight I AM letting go some uncontrolable tears for a small coal mining community that I was born into and was all I knew as a kid. I grew up accepting that some of my school mates now and then lost there Dad but thats the way it is in a coal town. I am sure a lot of you guys in the States & Aussie will appreciate just what where I am comming from with a comment like this.
I just pray that they passed on painlessly.

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

17 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3697 posts in 4965 days

#1 posted 11-24-2010 03:31 PM

Such heart wrenching sadness to hear of their deaths that one can only hope that the loss of their lives does not go in vain. My deepest sympathy to the families and friends of these miners. Most of us will never know the hardships and hazzards these people undergo on a daily basis.

I understand how an individual needs to work at the job that is available and how the community becomes dependant on this livlihood and also how consumers become dependant on the energy source. But should one honor their sacrifice by promoting a safer and greener technology for our energy resources? This I would hope could be done to keep the families employed but in safer conditions for future generations.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5461 days

#2 posted 11-24-2010 03:35 PM

I’m so sorry for those families, and the pain you are going through as well.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4583 days

#3 posted 11-24-2010 03:48 PM

my prayers for the family’s as well

and to you in this

i do believe
there is a cosmic plan

we just don’t understand
it yet

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 4338 days

#4 posted 11-24-2010 04:32 PM

I wish to echo the thoughts expressed here already. We can not forget those who put themselves in harm’s way everyday so the rest of us can have warm homes, food to eat, and live more comfortable lives.

-- John from Hampstead

View YoungestSon's profile


93 posts in 4298 days

#5 posted 11-24-2010 04:39 PM

It is never easy to lose family, friends, assocates in any manner. Losing so many at once is even harder. My thoughts will be with you and the families of the miners.

-- Don - Rochester, NY

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 4677 days

#6 posted 11-24-2010 04:43 PM

A heart wrenching end to this disaster. The families must be devastated and I, and many LJs send our condolences to them and the people of NZ. We care.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4534 days

#7 posted 11-24-2010 04:58 PM

It must be especially hard considering the miraculous outcome at the mine in Chile recently.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 5328 days

#8 posted 11-24-2010 05:59 PM

I’m so sorry, Pete. There are just no words. Know we are all holding your heart close to our own.


View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 4489 days

#9 posted 11-24-2010 07:19 PM

My condolences on your and your extended families losses. My father worked in coal mines for years and the waiting is never easy.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 4123 days

#10 posted 11-24-2010 08:51 PM

Sad news indeed and right before the holidays. My condolences for the families and any affected.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View sedcokid's profile


2738 posts in 4841 days

#11 posted 11-25-2010 03:56 AM


What a tragedy to have these men die is such a way. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to all the families and extended families involved.

Thanks Pete for keeping us up to date on this,
Chuck aka Sedcokid

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4065 days

#12 posted 11-25-2010 08:39 AM

Thanks everybody for your kind, thoughtful & empathetic comments, the darkest day has passed from my home town, but a brighter day is going to be a wee way away yet.
Today, our Parliment stood to a man as one party and sung a Maori lament, we are a small country of people and this has touched every corner of NZ.
God bless & thank you from us Kiwis.

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5403 days

#13 posted 11-25-2010 12:40 PM

my heart fell when I heard that hope was lost. I cry for the men, for the family and friends, for the community, and for the world as we are suffer this loss :(

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4099 days

#14 posted 11-25-2010 12:59 PM

Long Life

Coal mining Community Scotland

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 4081 days

#15 posted 11-25-2010 02:37 PM

It is a tragedy when something like this happens. Pennsylvania here in the US is a big coal mining state and deep mining is a dirty, dangerous buisness. Though all accidents can never be prevented, many can when safety precautions are a priority. This is true for the shop and it is also true of deep mines. What is perhaps a bigger tragedy is that today as unions decline, mine safety also declines. And it countries like Chile, mine safety is always second fiddle to production. Many spend all day fretting and pontificating about “global warming” and big grandiose notions to “save the planet” when huge numbers of REAL people die every day from conspicuous capitalism, gross overconsumption and lack of common courtesy/basic human rights. I also come from a coal mining family, and let me tell you, for my now exhusband and his dad it was union shop or no shop. Even then every day was a struggle- a fight for basic health and safety for the miners. Working under bad roof- use of cheap roof bolts, inadequate ventilation- and this is America! And the saddest part I think is once this mining disaster goes the way of the other mining disasters the mine owners/ operators will continue doing what they have always done- PRODUCTION FIRST. In the infamous word of old Andrew Carnegie following the great mine disater…. ”How many mules did we lose?” And then there’s that whole Pinkerton thing…... (Pittsburgh girl here… :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics