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The Shroud of Wittenoom

Noel Gardner
Language: English



In 1917 in the north west cape of Australia
A prospector pegged a claim to one of the world’s rarest minerals
This eventually led to the establishment of the town of Wittenoom
From where blue asbestos was exported to all parts of the world

Although the mining company were well aware of the dangers
They did little to protect or warn their workers
From what is becoming one of the world’s largest industrial disasters

They came across the oceans, they came from near and wide
To the dust and heat from the city streets, across the border lines
To build their stocks and fortune, in that deadly blue dust loom
Lethal haze of mining days, the shroud of Wittenoom

Children played in the tailing dumps that littered the landscape
As the desert winds scattered the dust to all corners of the town
Miners worked in conditions with dust up to their knees
As the blue haze above the town was used as a navigational aid for passing aircraft

Trucks dumped loads of tailings to be used for
Lawn top dressings and road construction
As children inhaled the dust from their father’s overalls

They came across the oceans, they came from near and wide
To the dust and heat from the city streets, across the border lines
To build their stocks and fortune, in that deadly blue dust loom
Lethal haze of mining days, the shroud of Wittenoom

They came across the oceans, they came from near and wide
To the dust and heat from the city streets, across the border lines
To build their stocks and fortune, in that deadly blue dust loom
Lethal haze of mining days, the shroud of Wittenoom


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