Thursday, November 25, 2010


I realise that this has nothing to do with infertility but I have been following this story for the last few days and my heart breaks for the families and loved ones of the 29 miners who have been lost. I just felt the need to acknowledge this very sad day in NZ history. The news site Stuff summed it up the best and I have copied and pasted an extract from todays article below:

(Copied direct from here)

We said a prayer. We shed a tear. Last night hearts ached.

It will be the same today. Tomorrow . Next week. Next month ...

We will pray for 29 men who went to work and did not come home. Mates – sons, fathers, uncles, grandads – Coasters who lay together inside that foreboding chamber in the Paparoas. Pike River mine.

Men who we had not kissed, cuddled, argued or laughed with for almost a week.

Men who fate shut the door on when they merely went to work to earn a living.

They traipsed in on Friday not knowing there would be no Saturday, no Sunday, no Monday.

Now, because of the cruel hand dealt on a Wednesday, there will be no tomorrow.

One mine explosion – most likely unsurvivable. But we clung to hope. Double up – two explosions – a greater power holds the ace hand.

Twice within a week, nature's response has been devastating. Toxic gases, concussion, life-sapping forces, probably flame – certainly extreme temperatures were visited on the workforce of Pike River. At first, certainly in the first few days, for many right up until yesterday, there was hope that at least some would survive. That they would emerge to mourn with us the fate that had befallen workmates.

Then, yesterday afternoon, six days on, no time to wonder any more. Another explosion. Maybe bigger than the first. That was the end.

So we prayed, we cried for 29 men, most we didn't know. Some we had not seen for too long. No chance of righting that now.

For families who have gone through another kind of hell over the past week. Who have clung to each other and that innate trait we all need now – hope.

Families who were caught up in the web of some macabre pantomime – twice a day gathering to learn more about coalmining than they need to, who learnt nothing really from officialdom and who each day saw the sun sink lower. These are heartbroken people. And they are angry. Some may not even be sure who they are angry with, but they have just experienced disaster management by committee. No-one deserves that.

When the sun shone five days in a row on the Coast this week it was casting light on a slice of New Zealand which has suffered too many days like this: Brunner, Strongman, Cave Creek. Too many.

Stoic. Strong. Fighters. Friendly. That's what they say about Coasters. They don't know the half of it. But now they need all this and more.

We prayed for a man New Zealand has only known for a few days – Peter Whittall, a cuddly bear who has spent most of his life below ground. A man who has quietly led men and managed mines. A big man with a broken heart. Peter hired most of them, inspired all of them it seems. How did he cope with the weight of the past week on his shoulders? He stood in front of those families – and note that he stood alone – and heavy of heart told them that all those dreams that the impossible might happen, were gone.
My thoughts and those of so many others are with the families and loved ones at this devastating time.


  1. I'm glad you put this post in.. It will make everyone that reads it stop and have a little moment for those hardworking men and their families. From your sister country Australia, across the sea, god bless and huge Hugs xoxo

    Unfortunately it takes tragedies like this for us to realize how lucky we are...

  2. This is a subject that touches my heart dearly. Because my husband is a coal miner. Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless.

  3. We've been following it all closely - in Tassie we of course know what it's like to have miners trapped beneath our seemingly harmless soil. So sorry at the result - but I wish the media would now get out of everyone's faces and let them cope rather than filming their raw gried. :-(

  4. That is a beautiful article. Thank you for posting this Haidee. From your sister country Australia and the 2 Aussie men who also perished in this devastation, my prayers to all the men and their families. RIP.

  5. Agreed Haidee. its been a rough week here in NZ. The media have not been the most helpful or gracious of all people either :(