The 30th anniversary reunion for Broken Hill North Mine employees is fast approaching, with the weekend of September 23 and 24 marked on the calendar, but there are fears it may be the last.
Buster McLennan, who is helping organise the reunion, told the Truth the event will bring together all those who have not seen each other for a long time to get together to reminisce on their past working days, and talk about how life is treating them.
After around 500 employees were laid off from the North Mine in 1993, reunions were held every two years, but in recent years, they’ve been held annually.
Mr McLennan believes this year may well be the last one.
“After 30 years, many of the blokes who we worked with have either moved away or they are no longer with us, so now our numbers are dwindling, this might be the last reunion,” he said.
The 1993 layoffs had devasting consequences for many former employees and their families, with some of those who were sacked forced into early retirement, often with limited financial backing.
Other employees had to find alternate employment interstate, which meant they and their families lost connection with the Silver City.
“So, a reunion allows us to come together and to reflect on what we have been through as a group,” Mr McLennan said.
The September weekend events begin at 4pm on the Saturday at the GUOOF Hall, and will continue on Sunday from 11am when a bus collects those attending from the GUOFF Hall to transport them to Silverton’s Penrose Park for the day.
A $75-per-head fee has been levied to ensure there are enough drinks for the reunion weekend, and the RSVP date has been set to Monday September 18, for catering purposes.
Those interested in attending the reunion can pay their fee to the Silver City Workingmens Club by the RSVP date, to get set for a weekend of celebration, laughs, stories, and reflection.