News & Events 2014
ANZAC DAY in MURGON 2014
South Burnett Heroes Honoured in Dodewaard, Holland......written & presented by Leo Geraghty
My name for those who do not know me is Leo Geraghty, President of the Murgon Business and Development Assoc. We have worked very closely with your local Councils and now the South Burnett Regional Council over many years.
Over many months now we have been meeting and discussing the Patrick Tiernan Project! On behalf of the Mayor of the South Burnett Regional Council, Wayne Kratzman, who couldn’t be here tonight, I would like to share this amazing story with you.
The municipality of Neder-Betuwe is situated in the area of the same name and it has 22,463 inhabitants. The municipality consists of six villages. Dodewaard, Echteld, Ijzendoorn, Kesteren, Ochten and Opheusden. The River Rhine makes up the northern border and the southern border is the river Waal. Dodewaard is 1 hour from Amsterdam which is famous for it’s beautiful gardens, lovely towns, and fabulous buildings,
In July 2012, the South Burnett Regional Council Mayor Wayne Kratzman, received a letter from the Mayor of the Council of Neder-Betuwe in Holland advising the South Burnett Regional Council of the plan to install a plaque at the graves of Australian crewman Patrick Tiernan (from Murgon) and Alfred Burns (from Lidcombe, Sydney, New South Wales) who have been buried in the cemetery in the village of Dodewaard since 1944. These men died in 1944 when their Halifax 715 was shot down over Betuwe in Holland.
On the 4th May each year (the day of remembrance) there, the town Council, the children of 2 elementary schools, veterans of Dodewaard and the local Memorial Committee World War 2, visit the graves to lay flowers and hold 2 minutes silence to pay their respects in order to honour and thank these soldiers for all they have done, far from home, for the liberation of their country.
The Mayor advised our Council in the letter, in order to keep the memory of these 2 crew members alive, they would like to erect a plaque with a story of their last flight with pictures next to their grave so people who visit, can become acquainted with their story.
On behalf of the Murgon community and to respectfully thank the Dodewaard community for tending Patrick’s grave, the South Burnett Regional Council is sending a small delegation including the Mayor and his wife and some of Our Returned Services RSL Club members, and Glenda and myself who gratefully accepted the invitation to represent the community of Murgon to Neder-Betuwe to attend the ceremony on the 4th May, 2014.The Council in conjunction with Liz Caffrey, who is also coming, is planning to produce a commemorative book of stories, photo’s and dialogue of Patrick Tiernan, and the history of Murgon and the delegation trip.
Patrick Tiernan known as Flight Sergeant Patrick Edward Thomas Tiernan
Son of James and Mary Tiernan of Murgon, Qld Australia.
Crashed and died on 17th June 1944 – aged 29 years.
The people of Dodewaard have now found parts of the plane and Jillian Tiernan, the former Hotel licensee, of the Tiernan’s Australian Hotel, has visited the area and is, with one of her sons, accompanying a small group of 10 people from the South Burnett to join in their celebrations in May next year, the 70th anniversary of their flight.
This celebration next year will cement an everlasting relationship between Dodewaard and Murgon and we have a page out of their local magazine, like the Murgon Moments, showing what the people of Dodewaard thought of Jillian Tiernan’s visit earlier this year. The people of Dodewaard and their ancestors are so grateful for the help and sacrifice that these soldiers and airmen gave to their country and villages and can’t wait to see us..
By this time you probably are wondering where I’m going with this
It is with great pleasure that on behalf of the Patrick Tiernan Committee that we would like to, with your parents consent, extend an invitation to you
Kirsten Upton and Geoffrey Kinsella (Murgon State High School Captains for 2014)
to join with us on this most memorable occasion and travel to Dodewaard, Holland in May 2014 to represent your school and be a part of their Annual Celebration.
We are to fly out of Australia on Monday 28th April at 9 pm, 3 days after our own 2014 ANZAC Day celebrations and return back to Amsterdam on Tuesday May 6th for our flight home.
Jeffrey, this will be a birthday to remember as we fly out to Holland that night, it nearly sounds like you will party all day and all night long.
NOTE: You can read the follow-up story as written by Leo on his return by clicking the photo on top-right. (The story begins on Page 30 in the Murgon Moments)