Funeral for miner Daniel Hill
MELANIE Hill will always treasure the memory of dancing in the streets of Paris on Christmas Day 2002 with her husband Dan. About 200 mourners joined Mrs Hill at her husband’s funeral yesterday at Newcastle Crematorium, Beresfield. Daniel Hill, 34, died while working underground at the Integra Coal Mine at Glennies Creek early on Saturday. It was the Hunter’s fifth mining-related death in seven months. Mrs Hill told the congregation she would treasure the memory of spending Christmas Day 2002 in Paris, dancing in the streets and having a picnic lunch under the Eiffel Tower, with Dan. “It was so romantic and a memory I will treasure in my heart,” she said. She said Dan, also known as Hilbo, was a devoted father to their three sons Declan, 5, Vincent, 3, and Ronan, 1. Almost a fortnight ago Dan had watched Declan’s first soccer game and joined him during soccer training. “I don’t know who enjoyed it more, the kids or Dan,” Mrs Hill said. Dan had sold their restaurant, South of the Border in Maitland, three years ago to work in the mines to give their family a better life. “Dan loved the mateship of the guys in the mine and he loved the job,” she said. Best friend Brendan Madigan said Dan had a strong sense of loyalty. “He was a loving son, a devoted husband and father, a loyal brother and a truly, truly great friend,” he said.