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How they celebrated Paddy’s on an Aussie mine site

Brenda Bonner from Portnoo at work.

Brenda Bonner from Portnoo at work.

BY SEÁN P. FEENY
WHILE many of us celebrated St Patrick’s Day in our local towns and villages, ex Pats all around the globe also joined in the festivities celebrating their Irish heritage, reminiscing and longing for home.

One Donegal woman kindly gave us an insight on how she celebrated on a mine site camp in the Pilbara Western Australia Cool.

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Brenda Bonner and her husband Anthony emigrated to Perth, Australia two years ago where Anthony works as a heavy diesel mechanic for Mader Contracting.

The Portnoo woman works for a company called Morris Corporation which provides hospitality services for the mining camps where the workers stay. Brenda said: “I work in Club Hamilton, South Hedland Western Australia, and my FIFO roster (fly in fly out) is a two-week on, one week off swing.

“We work twelve-hour days for them two weeks, then fly back to Perth for our week off. My department is a newly-opened cafe/retail/recreation room called Gecko’s Cafe. Miners go there to chill after work, play pool, drink beer, eat pizza, watch the footie, buy their shop items and of course to have the craic with the only Irish girl in the village,” she laughed.

The Irish cuisine was loved by the miners.

The Irish cuisine was loved by the miners.

The camp itself is owned by the mining company FMG and holds up to 960 workers, Brenda said: “For St Patrick’s Day we had a themed menu of Irish dishes which were a great hit with the workers. There were decorations all around the dining room and at Gecko’s Cafe.”

Brenda said the couple are loving life in and are looking forward to receiving their permanent residency. We thank Brenda for giving us a glimpse of life Down Under.

There are so many ex Pats from Donegal living and working in Australia and New Zealand. Be sure to keep in contact and, don’t forget, the Donegal News brings you FREE daily updates from home, so tell all your friends.

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Brenda with one of the miners at Gecko's Cafe.

Brenda with one of the miners at Gecko’s Cafe.

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