Yesterday 1pm, history was made. Outback at Isa's Hard Time Mine
hosted its 100,000th person
on the tour.
Planning was difficult, timing was everything and the scene was set.
The entire party of 20 visitors on today's tour, with their guide
Steve, had no idea of the milestone they were about to help
celebrate. Staff, guides, founders of the Hard Times Mine, the
Mount Isa Mayor, State member for QLD, Mining executives, business
owners and local celebrities waited in the crib room, our tour
participants unaware. As the tour approached on foot, lights from the
cap lamps emerged from the darkness into the crib room to be greeted by
applause. Stunned - were they thinking that this happens on every tour?
"Wow, this mob really does put on a show!"
Our special guests lined the walls as the group made their way into the
crib room, decorated top to toe. The tour settled into their seats
… "Welcome - we are all here to celebrate a truly amazing
milestone - one of you is the 100,00th person to participate in this
tour!" Applause erupted and the cheering gave us all goose bumps.
Mayor, Joyce McCulloch, talked about how important tourism is
to our city and the huge impact that Mount Isa Mines has had on making
the Hard Times Mine Tour experience what it is today. Through
teary eyes, she gave credit to all involved, from one man's dream to
what it is today. The guide for the day, Steve Carson, took to the to
the stage (an old pallet). Steve (who volunteers on his days off from
working underground) was not only instrumental in the whole process,
but he also held the very first tour on the 1st March 2004. He
introduced Ron McCullough, the man of the moment, the man who said what
he wanted to create, shared his vision amongst a sea of people and was
told it was impossible … the disbelievers!
What a way to prove them wrong…. 12 years and 100,000 people
later, we are here!
He then announced that very person. "PETE LOCK, you are
the 100,000th person - could you please come forward." …
again applause, again goose bumps. I can't get enough of this!
Pete, visiting from NSW, was presented with a number of special,
exclusive gifts from (or by??) Denis Hemel, Executive General Manager
QLD Zinc Assets, Glencore. State Member for Mount Isa, Robbie Katter,
also thanked the community, and all involved and spoke about his
continuing support for the venture. Thank you to the film crew, the
media, the celebrities - thanks, Shaz, MKR Grand Finalist and to the
Mount Isa Ambassador for supplying the bubbly! Also Totally Workwear
for the personalised underground mining shirt to commemorate the
You know what, at this point, I'm like a proud ole mamma
bear…. what a team, what an event, what a moment!
Heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you. The thousands of hours
of combined voluntary work, the blood, sweat and tears, it is something
that the whole community is proud of. Many thanks to you all.