Remembering the tragedy of Westray – 25 years later

It has been a busy year full of opportunities to connect through great projects to some amazing communities. Honouring the memory of the 26 miners that lost their lives in the Westray mining disaster was a great privilege. On the 25th anniversary of the Westray mining disaster the Museum of Industry opened its door to a community that continues to remember this tragedy and honour the lives lost.

Twenty-six miners died in that tragic event and they were the focal point of this exhibit. The only collection of photos available to the museum that included all of the miners were a group of small photos from the newspaper in 1992. With only a few weeks to pull this together, looking for other references wasn’t an option. My suggestion to create new illustrations based on these photos was enthusiastically accepted and they became the center piece of the exhibit. Meeting some of the families and friends and seeing the impact of this tragedy makes a lasting impression. Watching visitors approach the wall of portraits and the see the time they took to really look and remember was a moving sight. When the exhibit was taken down the plaques of the miners were offered to family members.

This project is yet another testament to the Museum of Industry’s commitment to telling stories that are relevant to the local community, Nova Scotian’s and people from away. This project would never have happened without Debra McNabb’s leadership, her dedicated staff and the community that supports their museum. Many thanks to everyone that worked so hard to make this a success.