The Advocate reports: Queenstown events a tribute to fallen miners

Three lives were honoured at Queenstown's Australia Day celebrations yesterday. The community held its usual festivities at the Lake Burbury picnic ground.

But this year, activities were included in remembrance of Alistair Lucas, Michael "Digger" Welsh and Craig Gleeson, who lost their lives in Mt Lyell Mine accidents a little more than 12 months ago.

Event organiser Margie Dare worked alongside families to create activities that best reflected the personalities of the men.

The result was the Alistair Lucas Memorial Handball Competition, the Michael "Digger" Welsh Memorial Ute Show and the Craig Gleeson Memorial Teen Gift.

While tinged with sadness, the community gathered together and enjoyed Australia Day, Miss Dare said.

"We are a strong community anyway, when times are tough we all look for a way to rally.

"People look forward to this event every year, but we have seen a lot of new faces," Miss Dare said.

"We will make sure they will never be forgotten."

Miss Dare was pleased with the turnout, saying the celebrations were growing every year.

"It's been absolutely massive, it's easily a bigger event than last year," Miss Dare said.

The rain didn't seem to deter many from attending the picnic and it certainly didn't stop children and adults alike from participating in the events.