My fathers fatal work accident. ( Graphic picture warning)


My father was killed in a fatal trench cave-in working as a trencher when I was eight. He was laying sewerage pipe in our small country town Evandale. Evandale is in Tasmania, geographically it’s in the north and central on the island. Consequently, it has plenty of frosts in winter and its build basically on the South Esk river which the longest river in Tasmania. I spent my childhood swimming, camping and kayaking on the Souther Esk. It is my fondest memory as a child and provided so many wonderful adventures. The picture you see below is recent. The local government in recent years decided to clear out all the willow tree. I am no sustainability scientist but apparently, it is more beneficial with fewer trees!? To this day I find peace and happiness near water. I have a deep spiritual connection with water. I was a fisherman back then too and caught many trout, eels and perch in this river. However, playing in the river was the norm and camping on the banks was my outlet away from troubled adults and confusing adolescence

As a fifty-year-old man, I know this was all impermanent and changed for good reason. For many years I wanted the old days back on the river and wanted to move back to the little town! Truthfully though, deep inside I knew it was not the external world that was going to make me feel better.

” Look into your mind. If you fervently believe that all your enjoyment comes from the material objects and dedicate your entire life to their pursuit, you’re under the control of a serious misconception. This attitude is not simply an intellectual thing. When you first hear this, you might think, “Oh, I don’t have that kind of mind; I don’t have complete faith that external objects will bring me happiness.” But check more deeply in the mirror of your mind. You will find that beyond the intellect, such an attitude is indeed there and that your everyday actions indicate that deep within, you really do believe this misconception. Take a moment now to check within yourself to see whether or not you really are under the influence of such an inferior mind. A mind that has such strong faith in the material world is narrow, limited; it has no space. Its nature is sick, unhealthy, or, in Buddhist terminology, dualistic. ” 

by Ven. Lama Thubten Yeshe

Edited by Nicholas Ribush

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I show you my father in his deceased state in the trench for the benefit of highlighting the reality of workplace safety and understand the journey I have been on and the things I have processed internally over the years.  The white cloth is covering his head. You can see the depth he was working at and the absolute risk he embarked on getting in the trench. This happened on our own land. How? Well, he purchased a double block in Evandale. It had a weatherboard three bedroom house on it. The idea of owning a double block was to grow vegetables on one half. He had been trenching all over Evandale doing the new sewerage pipes and ironically it caved in on his own land. Go figure!. I am going to write a series of blogs to tell my whole story and add more photos to give clearer pictures of the era and the cultural settings. How did I get this picture? I requested the full coroner’s report a couple years ago and it was posted to me with no complaints at the cost of $20:00. When I first saw this picture I thought the white sheet he was under was a blemish in the old photo. After a couple of days, I decided to zoom in and realised it was my father up to his neck in the dirt.

I am going to elaborate on the impact of this tragedy and the effects on my life. I was born with a mental illness with no understanding of mental health challenges. I will explain how this presents and unfolds amongst tragedy and loss.  I was a very confused child and grew into a confused adult. Its a story worth sharing and I will endeavour to make the time to share my journey through tragedy and poor mental health.  Why? to help others find hope and come to the understanding that it’s not impossible to manage and have a relatively normal life up against unimaginable circumstances and complex medical conditions.

‘Some people might think,“My basic psychology is sound. I don’t have faith in materials; I’m a student of religion.” Simply having learned some religious philosophy or doctrine doesn’t make you a spiritual person. Many university professors can give clear intellectual explanations of Buddhism, Hinduism or Christianity, but that alone doesn’t make them spiritual people. They’re more like tourist guides for the spiritually curious. If you can’t put your words into an experience, your learning helps neither yourself nor others. There’s a big difference between being able to explain religion intellectually and transforming that knowledge into spiritual experience.’

by Ven. Lama Thubten Yeshe

Edited by Nicholas Ribush

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To be continued ……

3 thoughts on “My fathers fatal work accident. ( Graphic picture warning)

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