Briton killed in NZ mine disaster remembered
One of two Britons killed in the New Zealand mining disaster was remembered at a thanksgiving service held on what would have been his 26th birthday Friday.
Malcolm Campbell, from St Andrews, north of Edinburgh, was one of 29 miners entombed in November following a series of blasts at the Pike River coal mine.
Around 600 people gathered for the service at St Leonard's Parish Church in St Andrews, including his fiancee Amanda Shields, whom he was due to marry in December.
New Zealand police said two weeks ago they would be abandoning efforts to recover the miners' bodies, as there was no realistic prospect of retrieving them.
The Very Reverend Alan McDonald, who led the service, said: "Hand in hand with our sense of loss, sorrow and bewilderment today, goes an awareness of great gain, for it is people like Malcolm who bring friendship, fun, human warmth and good humour into a world that is all too short."
The ceremony featured a traditional New Zealand Haka dance.
Doug White, the mine's general manager, travelled from New Zealand to speak at the service.
He called Campbell a "model employee" who was always smiling, always laughing and always keen to get the job done."
He told the congregation: "I hope that we can find the root cause of this tragedy so that we can make sure it never, ever happens again anywhere in the world."
© 2011 AFP