Mr Scerri, 57, said he was emotional about the demolition and happy to be distracted by work today.
‘‘I’m not going to watch it come down,’’ he said.
‘‘I think it’ll hit me somewhere, emotionally, when it’s down.
‘‘I’ll walk out of my front door and not see it any more.
‘‘Port Kembla will lose its identity,’’ Mr Scerri said.
Although his wife also felt a sentimental attachment to the structure, she was more concerned about debris and coming back to an intact home.
Their house is located within the exclusion zone and the family were instructed to evacuate ahead of the demolition.
‘‘As long as it doesn’t fall this way, we’ll be fine,’’ Mrs Scerri said.
The Port Kembla couple, who have lived under the landmark for nearly 30 years, said it was a sad day.
Neighbour Gary Gracie said although he will miss the 198-metre chimney standing next to his house, it was better that the stack was demolished than to deteriorate and fall on its own accord.
‘‘It’s a landmark, it’s where I tell people I live, it’s where I find my way home, it’s where I look when I’m at the golf course and know where home is,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ll miss it in that way but what’s going to happen to it in 20 years time?’’ he asked
‘‘It’s going to fall down anyway.’’