As I live in Greymouth and I know men who work at Pike my family attended the memorial service for the men lost at Pike. I was praying that rain wouldn't come and I think that would go for everyone here on the Coast, thankfully the weather was perfect. The thing that impressed me most was how obviously and publicly Christian the service was. Jesus Christ was talked about with no apologetic embarrassment. The service was led by Anglican minister Rev. Tim Mora, who did my husband's grandmother's funeral in his little church in Cobden a few years ago. Our parish priest Fr. John Morrison said a prayer and our church choir sang.
I'm not a Coaster by birth (my husband is), but I know many of the people personally including Peter Whittal. He is a man I trust and I know how hard he is working and the toll it is taking on him and his family. Seeing thousands coming together to pray and mourn was a special experience and I truly believe that the West Coast is a slice of Eden.
But it isn't Eden from before the Fall. There is danger and pain here. My husband's family worked at Strongman Mine during the disaster in 1967 and Pike has brought back memories and grief for his family. In the end suffering can bring about good if we let it turn us back to hope and faith in God. Rev. Tim spoke about the deaths at Pike being a tragic accident and not willed by God. It wasn't those men's time, it was just a terrible, horrible accident. He also said that Jesus understands our loss, he too wept for his dead friend.
Greymouth will keep on keeping on and we won't forget the men who lost their lives deep in Pike River Mine and we will hold them in our prayers.