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Service to mark West Coast disaster

There’ll be a community service in Greymouth on November 19 to mark the first anniversary of the Pike River Mine disaster.

Taonga News   |  27 Oct 2011  |

There’ll be a community service in Greymouth on November 19 to mark the first anniversary of a defining moment for the West Coast – the Pike River Mine disaster.

The ceremony will be held at Rugby Park in Greymouth, and begin at 2.45pm – so it can end, in silence, at 3.44pm, the time of the first explosion.

The focus of the service will be on helping the families of the lost miners and the West Coast community to keep moving through their pain and grief.

Archdeacon Robin Kingston, who was a prime mover behind last year’s national remembrance service being held on the Coast, and who organised the service for the Cave Creek disaster in 1995, says first anniversaries of tragedies are always difficult.

“Inevitably,” he says, “this one will be a painful reminder for the families and the community that their loved ones, friends and workmates are still entombed in the mine.

“But I believe that our coming together on November 19 will be an important milestone along the journey through grief, towards healing and forgiveness.”

One of the features of this year’s service will be a display put together by all the families of the lost miners.

That joint display will be distinct from the 29 separate tables that were a centrepiece of last year’s service.

More than 2500 people are expected to attend next month’s commemoration.

Planning of the service is continuing, and further details – including the names of those who are taking part – will be announced next week.

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