Mining town celebrates golden year
The North West mining town of Newman celebrated 50 years of history, with residents past and present flocking to a community reunion.
The Pilbara town was established in 1969 when the Mt Newman Mining Company started to build workers’ accommodation around its Mt Whaleback iron ore mine site.
The five-day event was organised by local historian Lisa Rickert.
“It was huge. We’ve had a massive weekend and a great turnout,” Ms Rickert said.
Some returning Newmanites travelled from as far as Tasmania and Queensland to be there for the celebration, which included a 1969-themed ball, a time capsule opening, and tours of the school and mine, as well as multiple dinners.
Ms Rickert said despite the fact she hadn’t seen some people in 20 or 30 years, they had “picked up where we left off”.
“It was like I’d only seen them yesterday,” she said.
More than 150 people were present for the opening of the time capsule, which was buried behind the Newman Visitor Centre in 1992.
Items unearthed from the capsule included old photographs of the town museum and machinery, a map, and newspapers in pristine condition.
Present at the opening was former president of Newman’s Mining and Pastoralist Museum Greg Woolley, who had been there when the capsule was sealed.
Shire of East Pilbara president Lynne Craigie and BHP general manager of Newman operations Marie Bourgoin were also there for the opening.
Ms Rickert thanked the community of Newman and businesses for helping out — in particular all the volunteers.
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