Living With Mesothelioma -My Diary – The Story of A Asbestos Mine in Australia. The first of 12 Stories Of our Mesowarriors Charity Calender

Another extremely cold day here in East Kent. The heating is on all day every day at the moment.

Its been a case of catching up of my emails and messages as well as the washing

A film on Melbourne telly will show the story of Lang Hancock. He made so much money out of Asbestos Mining that when he was confronted with the amount of deaths Asbestos was causing he replied ..You have to crack a few eggs to make an omlette!!!!

Lang Hancock started mining blue asbestos with Aboriginal labour in the Hamersley Ranges in the 1930s. In 1943 he started the Wttenoom Asbestos Mine in Wittenoom Gorge. He did not go to the war because asbestos was essential for the war effort. He sold the mine to the Australian Blue Asbestos company in

What an eye opener. We didnt have mines but we imported the problem here and used Asbestos in so many thing s

Frank was sociable and charming, a ”raconteur”, according to Gina’s cousin Rosemary Mero, while Lang was more of a rough diamond who dressed in safari suits, was dogmatic, ate Vegemite sandwiches and, according to his friend John Singleton, had a party trick of spreading asbestos on his Weet-Bix to prove the point that asbestos wasn’t deadly.

Extracts from the book appear in The Age today and tomorrow.
Extracts from the book appear in The Age today and tomorrow.

Lang had discovered asbestos in the Pilbara in the 1950s and went to his grave swearing that asbestos wasn’t dangerous.

I have found all this fascinating reading and wish we could see the film here in the UK. Greed it is always down to greed.


Wittenoom Facts

  1. Existence of Crocidolite in Hamersley Ranges has been known since 1915.
  2. In 1923 a Ton of Blue Asbestos could fetch 80 Pounds Stirling in England.
  3. About 1925 Asbestos rush occurred in the Pilbara, however tyranny of distance and the terrain difficulties forced the prospectors to sell their claims to speculators.
  4. In 1939 the Late Mr Hancock and his associates constructed primitive Asbestos Crushing Plant on the site which became known as the Wittenoom Mill.
  5. In 1943 CSR purchased the Leases and primitive Mill structure from Hancock Syndicate (Messers Lang Hancock, Wright & Warren).
  6. Mr Lang Hancock became Superintendent of the Blue Asbestos Mining and Milling operations.
  7. The company was incorporated on the 17th April 1943 and continued its operations of Asbestos Mining and Milling at Wittenoom and Colonial Gorges until 30th December 1966.117

Here now is the first of the 12 stories of the story behind each month of our Calender we mesowarriors made and sold and raised money for thr June Hancock Charity.


In December, we brought you information about the group of UK women who created the Mesowarriors Calendar to raise money for the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund. Today we highlight the January mesothelioma advocate, Mandy Reynolds of Shepton Mallet, England, who lost her partner to the disease.

Why did you do this calendar?
I woke up one morning and had been volunteered! It’s something outside my comfort zone, but I thought that it was a great idea to try and raise awareness of mesothelioma so I agreed to do it. It was fun to connect with the others and I’m so proud we all did it.

Was there a point where you wanted to back out from fear or nervousness?
Most definitely! But strangely enough it didn’t feel real until it had gone to print and then my nerves really kicked in. Thinking about myself hanging on the wall in peoples’ homes made me very nervous!

What does the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund mean to you?
To be honest I hadn’t heard of it before, so again, it’s great that it’s opened up my awareness as it has to other people who may not of heard of it. The rest of the girls thought it was a worthwhile Mesothelioma charity so I was happy to trust their judgment.

Mandy Reynolds, Mesothelioma Advocate

“Having people around that understand this man-made disease really does make a difference.”

What message would you give to patients and families who are battling mesothelioma?
I would say don’t feel alone. Contact our groups on Facebook where you can get emotional and factual support and to listen to the stories of the warriors who have lived with Mesothelioma for years. Everyone’s different and responds to treatments in different ways, but at least it takes the feeling of isolation away. I didn’t find the groups until after Pete had died, and although the journey was lonely I’m just so very glad I found them when I did.

About The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund

The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund of Sheffield, England, was established in 1997 for June Hancock and her mother who lost their lives to mesothelioma. The funds raised by the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund go toward sponsoring vital epidemiological research into the causes of mesothelioma, raising awareness of the disease amongst healthcare professionals and the public at large, and to provide good quality up to date information and advice for mesothelioma sufferers and their carers, according to the organization’s website.



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