“Those who forget the past, are condemned to repeat it

John Brady

When you talk about John Brady, where do you bloody start?
The butcher’s boy from Rocky made of blood and guts and heart
Has seen it all, done it all, changed the mining game
And there’s few who’ve worked a pit who wouldn’t know his name

A legend in a business that’s synonymous with death
Just one small mistake and you could breathe your final breath
John has been there at the coalface and it’s rocked him to the core
The Leichhardt outburst, Austar, Moura No. 4

Mine safety is his passion, it’s like he didn’t have a choice
You hear heartache and commitment in the gravel in his voice
Commitment borne of nightmares that would wake him out of fright,
He knew he had to make it better, he knew he had to start the fight
It’s a long way from his childhood when he played the violin
Sometimes punished for his pranks but he copped it on the chin
He let loose fruit bats in the cinema, fireworks as well
The odd bunger in a letterbox, yeah, John raised his share of hell

This sense of misadventure no doubt drew him to the mines
He told Dave Watson all he wanted was Dave’s job in five years’ time
John didn’t ask for favours, when you’re talking balls, he’s got ’em
He grabbed his hat, put on his belt and he started at the bottom

That’s how it all began, a truly great career
That witnessed too much tragedy as it rolled on through the years
So John vowed to stop the carnage, he said this can’t go on
And there are men around today who owe their lives to John

The legacy he’s left from when first he drew his sword
Is reflected in respect and a stack of big awards
The list of what John’s done must be seen to be believed
Yeah, he’d make Merv Harris proud with all that he’s achieved

Inertisation, Chromagraphs, the landscape changed forever
By the butcher’s boy from Rocky – tough as nails and bloody clever –
With a fierce determination to bring safety to the game,
Folks, that man is John Brady and you won’t forget his name.

Murray Hartin
July, 2017

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