Lifestyle

Honour for mine heroes

L-R: Neil McLennan, Andrew Vickers (Mineworkers Trust chairman), Ian Carter and Trevor McLennan at Government House, Sydney.
L-R: Neil McLennan, Andrew Vickers (Mineworkers Trust chairman), Ian Carter and Trevor McLennan at Government House, Sydney. Paddy Gorman

BROTHERS Neil and Trevor McLennan and Ian Carter, along with their late mate Jack Tapp, are formally listed in the annals of state heroes.

On Thursday the trio were in Sydney at Government House where NSW Governor Marie Bashir awarded them the Governor General's Group Bravery Citation.

The award was recognition of their heroic efforts in the aftermath of the Nymboida Mine explosion on January 12, 1976.

Neil McLennan can remember it clearly.

"Jack Tapp and I were the two most senior people there and when we realised there was still a bloke still in the mine we decided we had to go back in," he said.

"Jack, Trevor and I were preparing to go in when this other bloke (Ian Carter) said you're not going without me."

The four made their way into the mine and "after a few tricky experiences" found the missing man sitting where he had died at the coal face.

"It looked like he had died straight away," Neil said.

None of three remaining rescuers view their actions as heroic.

"It was something you had to do at the time," Neil said.

Their actions on that day have bonded the three over the 36 years that have elapsed.

"We're great mates and we catch up as often as we can," Neil said.

"We had a great time down in Sydney, but it was a sad moment to relive."

Their actions that day are the subject of a documentary, Last Man Standing, screened for the first time on television on Friday night on pay TV's History Channel.

Film director Paddy Gorman was in Sydney with the men on Thursday.

He said it was the film that prompted the awards for the men.

The documentary also records the history of the mine from 1975 when the miners revolted and took it over.

"What they achieved changed coal mining in Australia from that time on," Mr Gorman said.

Topics:  government house, grafton, heroes, sydney


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Walt Secord rejects Tony Abbott's call for shark cull

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called for a shark cull on the North Coast.

Tony Abbott called for a shark cull on the North Coast

How can we prevent shark attacks on the North Coast?

Multiple people attended the scene at Lighthouse Beach where a shark attack took place around 9:30 on Monday morning. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

How can further shark attacks on the North Coast be prevented?

Break strings, not hearts

Ukulele player A. J. Leonard and cellist Jenny Rowling.

Master ukulelist visits this week

Local Partners

Theatre lives to thrill another day

BRUNSWICK Picture Theatre looks set to stay open as the owners and Byron council work together to resove outstanding DA issues.

Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce AGM

BYRON CHAMBER: Bjorn Peterson- Woody's Surf Shack, Felicity Davies- Lease Boutique, Dan McGill- Byron Bazaar, Gavin Barber- Ruskin House, Deborah Benhayon- DB Inner Designs, Simon Cook- Birddog Marketing, Gail Fuller (President)- Byron Coastal Real Estate, Fin Murray- Architect Fin. Photo: Clayton Lloyd.

The Byron Chamber of Commerce AGM is on this week.

Walt Secord rejects Tony Abbott's call for shark cull

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called for a shark cull on the North Coast.

Tony Abbott called for a shark cull on the North Coast

How can we prevent shark attacks on the North Coast?

Multiple people attended the scene at Lighthouse Beach where a shark attack took place around 9:30 on Monday morning. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

How can further shark attacks on the North Coast be prevented?

Break strings, not hearts

Ukulele player A. J. Leonard and cellist Jenny Rowling.

Master ukulelist visits this week

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Give Showgirl challenge a go to support Mullumbimby

COMMUNITY COMMITMENT: Mullumbimby Show Girl 2015, Erin Dousling.

Erin urges others to get involved in Mullumbimby show.

De La Soul: The hippies of hip hop in Byron

ICONS: American hip hop band De La Soul are Vincent Mason, Kelvin Mercer, David Jude Jolicoeur.

The American trio is an icon of contemporary urban music.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Theatre lives to thrill another day

LET US STAY: Brunswick Picture House owners Brett Haylock and Chris Chen with supporter Guy Kable want the theatre to stay open.

Local theatre may continue to operate after council discussions.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.

3500 jobs on the way with new $950 million resort

Residential, tourist, community, and open space on Hummock Hill Island.

PROPERTY developers plan to begin construction next year.