News

Body of dad could be recovered from NZ mine next year

Benjamin Joynson with his mother Kim and brother Jonathon. They lost their father and husband Willie in the Pike River Mine disaster in 2010.
Benjamin Joynson with his mother Kim and brother Jonathon. They lost their father and husband Willie in the Pike River Mine disaster in 2010. Robyne Cuerel

THE body of a Howard man, trapped in the Pike River mine in New Zealand for almost three years, might be coming home next year.

Re-entry work began on Sunday at the mine site where 29 men, including Willie Joynson, were killed.

His wife, Kim Joynson, has spent much of that time waiting for answers about why the tragedy happened and hoping that her husband's body might one day be recovered.

Wille Joynson.
Wille Joynson. File

The New Zealand government agreed to put up $8.87 million for the project so it could go ahead.

Work began on Sunday to seal off the ventilation shaft in the main entry tunnel.

Then nitrogen will be pumped into the tunnel to force out the methane and mine experts will be able to walk down the 2.3km shaft to a rockfall.

Most of the bodies are believed to be in tunnels beyond the rockfall.

Mrs Joynson said that's where she believed Willie's body was resting.

She said after all the years of wondering, it would be a relief to find out what happened and how it happened, but she knows finding out will require patience.

"It will be an ongoing operation," Mrs Joynson said, adding that experts are expecting to be able to enter the mine early next year.

"It is hard to deal with," Kim said. "It's good to know something is being done.

"The hardest part is the uncertainty of not knowing. It plays with your mind, thinking what if?"

She said Willie had harboured safety concerns about the operation of the mine but had loved his job and working in the mining industry, adding that Willie was well-respected by the people he worked with.

Mrs Joynson said her husband had been a very caring person who was always willing to lend a hand.

"He was the kind of person who would get in and help out."

When asked how the family would feel if they were able to finally give Willie a proper burial, Mrs Joynson had to fight back tears.

"I guess that's still hard," she said.

She has completed two gravestones in Willie's memory, one that has been erected in New Zealand and one that is closer to home at Maryborough cemetery - a place for the family to grieve.

Mrs Joynson said her two boys, Benjamin and Jonathon, enjoyed going to school in Maryborough and the family had settled happily there.

They even worked at the Brolga Theatre as ushers, which was something they really enjoyed, she said.

The family also recently returned to New Zealand during the school holidays and Mrs Joynson said the country was still like a second home.

Topics:  editors picks howard pike river mine recovery tragedy



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Hansen says burqa ban discussion "needs to be had”

Maryborough candidate for One Nation James Hansen said a discussion on banning the burqa "needs to be had.”

Mr Hansen said he personally supports the proposal.

Writer's festival part of Cr Lewis' vision for 2017

Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough Chambers - Councillor David Lewis.

It's part of the vision for the arts scene in 2017.

Tattooing impletements, drugs found in Maryborough prison

Maryborough Correctional Centre.

"Charges against a number of prisoners could be laid as a result."

Local Partners

Buderim man strips off for speed dating with a twist

RAW AMBITION: Buderim local Jackson pictured with his blind date Candice in a scene from SBS's new dating show Undressed.

People have done stranger things for love

Sports gods answer your summer prayers with this line-up

The Brisbane Roar are on track for an entertaining season.

SO MUCH live action is happening in Brisbane this summer!

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

First home buyers the "lifeblood” of Fraser Coast market

CoreLogic property statistics reveal the region's median house price of $300,000 did not change in the September quarter.

Median house price of $300,000 remains steady in September quarter

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!