Son Scott to be honoured in Moura Miners Memorial
LORNA and Maurice McPherson will be standing proudly among the crowd at the grand opening of the Moura Miner's Memorial on Saturday.
Their son, Scott, was killed in the 1986 explosion - the second of the three disasters.
The first disaster was on September 20, 1975 at the Kianga no.1 mine from an explosion in the underground.
Thirteen miners died in the accident.
The second incident was on July 16, 1986 when an explosion claimed 12 miners lives, including Scott McPherson.
The final disaster was an explosion in Moura no.2 underground coal mine on August 7, 1994.
Eighteen hours later, a second explosion took place and rescue attempts had to be abandoned.
Eleven miners lost their lives leading to the sealing of the mine at the surface.
Moura Miners Memorial official opening:
Service starts at 9am followed by morning tea and BBQ lunch at Moura RSL
Scott followed in the footsteps of his father.
Maurice was a miner from the age of 13, adjusting his birthday on the paperwork to say he was 14.
He worked at the Moura mine from 1961 to 1994.
On the day his son died, Maurice was working the afternoon shift at the mine while Scott was working in the morning.
Around 11am, the explosion hit with the miners extracting pillars in the Main Dips section killed.
The couple heard the news from their neighbour and later learnt the unthinkable that their son had been killed.
It was something you never forget, they both said.
"It was such a shock for the whole community,” Maurice said.
His wife was equally stunned.
"Even after Kianga you never got over that... we didn't really know anyone from there,” Lorna said.
The miner's bodies were recovered a week later, on July 23, after an extensive recovery operation.
Scott was married at the time of his death and had a six month old daughter called Prue, who is now 32 and married.
Dying in the mine was not something the McPherson's ever expected to happen.
Despite the first explosion, they didn't think it would happen again.
Working in the mines had just as much risk as any other job, they said.
"You can be run over going out here...you have no control over such things,” Maurice said.