Thursday, December 2, 2010


They came from near and far away
The men of Pike to work that day
The afternoon shift way down deep
Beneath the mountains oh so steep
A long way in but further out
The afternoon shift sets about
A job not flash but hard and trying
A job that holds the risk of dying
From seventeen to sixty two
They start their shift to see it through
For one his first, for all their last
How could they know there’d be a blast?
For all at once no siren whining
Suddenly the worst in mining
Dust and rubble fill the air
A loader driver thrown clear
Just one other finds the light
The rest are hidden from our sight
And so we learn as news is spread
The news that mining families dread
It’s up at Pike there’s an explosion
Faces drop and hearts are frozen
Who, how many, where and why ----
Will they make it ---- will they die
Fathers, husbands, brothers, sons
Coasters, Kiwis, Aussies, Poms
Mates and friends who we are seeking
Methane gas from coal seams leaking
Vents exploded, phones unheeded
Level heads and strength are needed
The world above unites as one
To bring the missing to the sun
Rescue teams are standing by
As holes are drilled and experts try
To find a way that’s safe and sound
To rescue those beneath the ground
Could robots work where men are mortal
To pierce the dangers of that portal
But alas all effort fails
The darkness of the mine prevails
A second blast of rock and thunder
Hope and prayers are rent asunder
A nation weeps and Coasters mourn
Pike falls silent, dark, forlorn
A hole remains within the ground
Devoid of joy, of life, of sound
Another hole within the heart
Of those forever set apart
From those they loved who went to toil
Digging coal beneath the soil
Those who gave their lives that day
To work a shift for honest pay
They wait at rest within their mine
The men of Pike, the Twenty Nine

Sean Plunket

I observed the 2 minutes silence at work today. While we were standing there in silence photos of the 29 miners rolled over the screen. A work mate said it best after the 2minutes were up - You dont realise how many 29 people are till you see it like that - you dont indeed. I walked back down to my desk and burst into tears as the whole thing is just so darn heartbreaking. I havent got a clue who any of those men are or their families but they are all fellow New Zealanders and it feels all the more closer to home becuase it is our home. The world has experienced a few incidents lately where people have been trapped in mines. A few years back the two guys in Australia. Both came out alive and although they are still tormented by their time in the mine today, they are living & breathing. Recently the world was captivated when we found out there were 33 miners trapped in a mine in Chillie. Even though they were in the mine for a good 64days they all came out alive. Alive and breathing and ours are not. Actually I eat my words, sorry people a disaster just as heartbreaking as our own has occured in China this year: 

So I say to the miners in Greymouth my thoughts are with you and my most sincere condolences

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