When the Ipswich suburb of Booval lost its beloved Mills Cup to a rival mines rescue team from Collinsville, nobody realised it would be the beginning of a new competition that is now in its 45th year.
Years ago a trophy named the Mills Cup was presented to the Booval mines rescue station by the local Mills family.
Local mines rescue teams competed among themselves for the prize and as the competition progressed, competitors from other areas began to join in.
The first inter-district competition was held in Booval in 1970 – which saw the Collinsville Mines Rescue Brigade walk away with the town’s prized cup.
Queensland Mines Rescue chief executive officer Wayne Hartley said locals were left with a sense of horror following the loss.
“There was such a hoo ha about the Mills cup leaving Booval that the minister of the day instructed a new trophy to be established, called the EK Healy Cup, for the interdistrict competition – which is now the State competition,” Mr Hartley said.
“The cup was named after the (under) secretary to the Department of Mines, and so began the E K Healy competition. The first EK Healy cup was won by Collinsville in 1971. Now the best of the best come together to compete in this cup.”