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Community & Business

15 September, 2021

Mt Mulligan history captured in display

THE Mareeba Historical Society has dusted off some old books and photographs to put on a special photographic display to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Mount Mulligan Mine disaster.

By Rhys Thomas

Helen Kindt of the Mareeba Historical Society with some of the photographs of the new Mount Mulligan photographic display at the society’s building in Mareeba.

THE Mareeba Historical Society has dusted off some old books and photographs to put on a special photographic display to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Mount Mulligan Mine disaster.

While Mount Mulligan is most widely known for its mining disaster, member of the Mareeba Historical Society Helen Kindt said that the town was much bigger and closer than people realise.

Some of the photos and information on display was already held by the society, however the remainder was sourced through the mining warden annual report to Parliament, ranging from 1880 to the 1960s.

“This is a photographic display of Mount Mulligan, of the mountain, the town and we’ve included the disaster of course,” Helen said. 

“The display is about the whole area rather than just the mine, we have a section just on the disaster. 

“The rest of the photographs is basically the families that lived there, before and after the disaster and the infrastructure which is quite surprisingly huge.” 

Coal was discovered within the mountain in 1907 but hadn’t started to be mined until about six years later in 1913, the tragic gas explosion took place in 1921, taking the lives of 75 miners.

This mining disaster is still regarded as one of the largest and most severe of its kind in both Queensland and Australia.

“The families that were at Mount Mulligan at the time were absolutely devasted, they were a close-knit community,” Helen said. 

“Families lost husbands, sons, brothers, uncles, nephews, it was absolutely horrendous.” 

The mine continued operating until around 1957 where it was closed completely and many of the mining buildings removed.

This special photographic display will be available for the whole of September, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s from 8am till 3.30pm and every other day from 10am to 2pm. 

The get the chance to see more about the town and learn about its history head to the Mareeba Historical Society building in Mareeba’s Centenary Park during the above hours during September.

You can even organise another time to view the display by emailing sec@mbahistsoc.org.au


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