An Ipswich miner who died in Ipswich’s worst mining disaster, the Box Flat Mine explosion, has had a park named after him in Redbank Plains.
Brian Randolph was 40 years old when he died after a powerful explosion ripped through the Swanbank mine at 2.47am on 31 July 1972.
Seventeen men were killed and critical injuries sustained from the disaster eventually claimed the life of another man a year later.
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said it was a fitting tribute to one of the men who lost their lives that fateful day, 50 years ago, in the city’s long and proud mining history.
“It is very appropriate that we can name this park after Mr Brian Randolph, who so tragically lost his life in the Box Flat disaster in 1972,” Mayor Harding said.
“It gives me pleasure that council and the community can recognise his ultimate sacrifice and his family can commemorate him in this way.
“A half century on and this devastating event still hangs heavy over our city.
“This Sunday, 31 July, there will be a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Box Flat disaster and it will give many a chance to reflect.”
Brian Randolph Park is located at 75 Harold Reinhardt Drive, Redbank Plains.
Mr Randolph’s daughter Karyn Muller and son Paul Randolph attended the official park naming ceremony today.
“It is nice that it has been finally sorted out and dad gets this park named after him,” Ms Muller said.
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Deputy Chairperson Councillor Paul Tully said events being held to mark the 50th anniversary include a mining display at Cooneana Heritage Centre and special ceremony at the memorial site at 229 Swanbank Road, Swanbank, on Sunday 31 July.
“A commemorative dinner will host the Queensland Minister for Mines Hon Mr Scott Stewart along with Ipswich State and Local Government members and representatives,” Cr Tully said.
“There will be large crowds for this significant 50th anniversary event.”
A memorial service held at the Box Flat Mine on 31 July 1972. Image courtesy of The Courier Mail.
Division 1 Councillor Sheila Ireland said previously unnamed council land located at 75 Harold Reinhardt Drive, Redbank Plains, has now been named Brian Randolph Park.
“This park has an area of just over 8,000 sqm in size (2 acres) and is located in the same vicinity/estate as all of the other roads named after other Box Flat miners,” Cr Ireland said.
Deputy Mayor and Division 1 Councillor Jacob Madsen said the park has been improved with park benches, walking tracks and extensive landscaping.
“Harold Reinhardt Drive was named after one of the Box Flat miners and the park located in nearby McNamara Place, ‘McNamara Place Reserve’, was also named after a Box Flat miner,” Cr Madsen said.
“Many of the streets surrounding the parks are also named for the miners who tragically lost their lives 50 years ago.”