John Paul College students and staff were among thousands involved in the St Barbara’s Festival, hosted by the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder from 2 to 5 December from 11 am to 7 pm.
The St Barbara’s Festival consists of the Miners Memorial Service and the St Barbara’s Parade.
This year, over 200 people honoured the lives lost in the mining industry and up to 10 000 people came and experienced the Parade for all its glory and an amazing display of the vibrant Kalgoorlie-Boulder community.
Starting with the Miners Memorial Service, family members, mine management, mine rescue personnel, and the broader community gathered in reflection and remembrance of those who have lost their lives in the mining industry.
The John Paul College choir sang two hymns, and their Head Boy Fynn Moulds and Head Girl Wilmarie Smith laid a wreath in respect of the lives lost.
The festival concluded with the St Barbara’s Parade. This extravaganza showcased the diversity and cultures that make up the community. John Paul College staff and students were joined by various companies, not for profits, schools, prospectors, animals, and community groups as they marched down the historical Hannan Street, celebrating and embracing the year that was, in their respective floats.
Media representative from the College Liz Parker commented that the theme of this year’s parade ‘Resilience’ perfectly tied in with the college’s 125 Years of Catholic Education in Kalgoorlie-Boulder this year.
“For the parade this year, our float featured scenes of the schoolroom in the 1880’s, 1960’s to modern-day and for the first time, the College Concert Band marched in front of the College’s float. It was a magnificent display, and our students are commended for their community spirit and thoroughly enjoyed themselves,” she said.
The first festival commenced in 1999. It was the initiative of the then chairman, of the Chamber of Minerals & Energy Eastern Regional Council, Dick Scallan who was generally considered a very caring person. The intent of the festival was to bring mining to the community.
Dick was of the view the wider community, friends and relatives did not understand, nor could they see, what people did on mining operations. He was committed to putting the industry on display. He established a Heads of Agreement with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the next year the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc.
The agreement continues today. The festival consists of reverent service known as the St Barbara’s Miners Memorial Service and the parade featuring mining equipment and personnel, and floats from the wider community.