Mount Perry's unique farewell to popular miner
THE funeral of Jack Gerdes, 27, who died in a mining accident at Baralaba North Coal Mine, was his hometown's biggest in anyone's lifespan, according to one long-time resident.
The funeral, at the Mount Perry Cemetery for Jack, or 'Doogs' as he was fondly known, brought 500 people together, and after turned into a pub crawl for the young man.
"Jack amassed a large amount of friends, from both the local community and work colleagues past and present, which was evident from the approximately 500 people in attendance at the funeral,” the Gerdes family said in a statement.
"After the funeral, everyone in attendance was invited to join in the first annual Jack Daniel Perry Pub Crawl for eats and drinks.
"The pub crawl ran between the Federal Inn and Grand Hotel - with both establishments remaining packed until late.
"There was more Jack Daniel's (Jack's drink of choice) consumed on Friday than the holy waters of Lourdes go through in 12 months.”
Arthur Dingle, 77, who has lived in Mount Perry all his life, said it was the largest funeral in the community "in as long as we can remember”.
Councillor John Bowen said it was the biggest funeral Mount Perry has seen in anyone's lifetime.
"It was unbelievable really, huge” Cr Bowen said.
"It was lovely to see.”
Mr Gerdes died on Sunday, July 7, after it was believed he was crushed between the body of an excavator and the safety rails of the stairs as they descended.