Tuesday, July 24th 1979, 11pm – methane gas explodes underground at the Appin Coal Mine. 14 miners lost their lives when sparks ignited gas, triggering an explosion in the underground coal mine.
40 years on and the community of Appin (Illawarra region), still feel the effects of that fateful day and so have come together to commemorate the lives lost with a new memorial at the Appin Sports Ground.
The new memorial, designed by artists Paul Johnson and Gail Mason is a commemorative sculpture which will allow visitors a space for contemplation, reflection and remembrance of the past and present.
The sculpture consists of 14 steel arches each representing one of the miners who died, gently curved upwards and inwards to form a tunnel (approx. 3m high), reminiscent of a longwall mine tunnel. The arches were made from local BlueScope Steel and the sculpture's three hardwood seating areas were made by members of the Appin Men's Shed.
Quantum Timber Finishes is proud to have been used on the timber seating of this sculpture. TIMBRE PLUS VERTICAL is an environmentally responsible, non-toxic, low odour, UV resistant coating – containing UV absorbers with outstanding resistance and surface toughness. Once applied there is no need to do a full recoat, only touch up weathered areas as they occur. This minimises the need to close the sculpture for maintenance and allows visitors to attend the memorial for a place of light, reflection and to be able to sit with family members.
The sculpture was unveiled on July 2020, Appin Sports Ground.