HISTORY of Saint Barbara
St Barbara, princess from Nicomedia, the capital of the Roman province of Bithynia (Asia Minor, now modern-day Turkey) became the patron saint of miners in the year 304 AD when she was cruelly martyred for her Christian Faith and while protecting a community of underground miners who had befriended her by her father, Dioscorus.
Barbara had escaped from the tower where she had been confined by her father enraged by her conversion to the Christian Faith and her refusal to marry a wealthy suitor as she had dedicated her virginity to God. Barbara was betrayed by a shepherd informer and captured by the Romans.
Barbara was interrogated by the Roman Consul, Martianus, who had her cruelly tortured before sentenced her death for not refusing to renounce her Christian Faith. Barbara's bravery and courage impressed the miners no end. Particularly that she refused to betray them even under the most bestial torture and threat of the death sentence. Barbara was adopted by miners as their patron saint and intercessor with God ever since.
HISTORY of the Festival
The first Festival commenced in 1999. It was the initiative of the then chairman, of the Chamber of Minerals & Energy Eastern Regional Council, Dick Scallan who was generally considered a very caring person. The intent of the Festival was to bring mining to the community.
Dick was of the view the wider community, friends and relatives did not understand, nor could they actually see, what people actually did on mining operations. He was committed to putting the industry on display. He established a Heads of Agreement with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the next year the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc.
The Agreement continues today. The Festival consists of reverend service known as the St Barbara’s Miners Memorial Service and the Parade featuring mining equipment and personnel, and floats from the wider community.