Third Australian miner laid to rest

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Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Today, the day that saw the rescue of trapped miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell in Beaconsfield, Tasmania, their colleague Larry Knight, 44 was farewelled at a funeral service in Launceston. Knight was killed when a small earthquake triggered a rockfall killing Knight and trapping Webb and Russell.

Mr. Knight was driving a telehandler which had a small cage attached to its lifting arm that Mr. Webb and Russell were inside when the rockfall occurred. Mr. Knight had been a miner for the past five years.

Mr. Knight's funeral was held at St John's Anglican church in Launceston and was attended by over 700 mourners including Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon, Beaconsfield Mine manager Matthew Gill and Todd Russell. It is unknown whether or not Brant Webb attended the service, but it has been reported that he told doctors he intended to.

Mourners were told that Mr. Knight was a laid-back man and fitted the expression "Happy as Larry Well". One of Knight's friends since high school and member of Christian motorcycle club "The God's squad", Chris Brooks, said that Mr. Knight had become more content with life and focused on his children in recent years. Mr. Brooks said that Mr. Knight will be "missed deeply".

Mr. Knight's daughter, Lauren, who lives in Queensland read a letter she had written to her father for his birthday three years ago.

"You're a wonderful, caring, understanding and forgiving father, a long-standing friend, my solid rock and inspiration," she read.

According to Ms. Knight, her father kept the letter in the back of a clock for "safe keeping".

The God's squad played a major role in the funeral service. On the way to the cemetery, they provided an honour guard for the hearse, led by someone on Knight's own Harley Davidson.

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