Sunday, July 15, 2012

Park of Peace

 Dove of Peace by Illawarra artist Michael Keighery
Detail includes tiny heart shaped motif on wing tips, tail and beak
Miners' Federation Peace Grove
Caldwell Avenue & Foothills Road, Tarrawanna, New South Wales
Detail includes top representing a miner's helmet with lamp and base of coal coloured tiles placed in a gradient to represent entrance to mine shaft and tunnels. Background planting includes rainforest pioneer, the Brown Kurrajong, Commersonia frazeri, which bears sweetly scented white flowers in spring.

This morning I went to have a look at a new park which was unveiled in my neighbourhood earlier this month. It was commissioned by the Coal Miners' Federation to pay tribute to the men and women who have served the needs of the Australian Coal Industry in the Illawarra for over 100 years, acknowledging and identifying the historic struggles undertaken by coal miners in pursuit of a safer and more peaceful world.
Included is a wall of pictorial tiles displaying interesting photos from the industry as a reminder to future generation of what has been achieved in the local area.

 Part of the park was once a paddock for the pit ponies which worked in the nearby Corrimal Colliery (1883-1985) and in a section called 'The Travelling Road' which marks the pathway taken by miners and ponies on their way to Corrimal, some terrific and touching photos of them are included in the wall tiles. Over 2000 ponies worked in the mines over the years before mechanisation.

 From paddock to rainforest thanks to the work of bush regeneration specialists makes this park a real asset to the local community.

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