February 21, 2013
Murgon war hero Patrick Tiernan will be remembered in 2014 at a 70th anniversary ceremony in the Netherlands, and the South Burnett will be represented at the event.
Mayor Wayne Kratzmann told the South Burnett Regional Council’s monthly meeting on Wednesday he’d been in contact with the Mayor of Neder-Betuwe, a municipality which includes the small Dutch town of Dodewaard where Tiernan and fellow Australian airman Alfred Burns died after their Halifax bomber was shot down by Axis forces in 1944.
The town has invited members of the Tiernan family and representatives from the South Burnett to attend the unveiling of a new memorial to both men.
Late last year Burgemeester Kees Veerhoek wrote to the South Burnett Regional Council trying to find out more about Patrick Tiernan so a memorial to the airmen could be built.
This led to a search which involved the Tiernan family, the Australian War Archives and the personal recollections of people who knew him, such as former Murgon Shire Mayor Bill Roberts.
The materials unearthed in the search were forwarded to the Burgemeester, which led to ongoing contacts between the two Mayors.
Mayor Kratzmann told Council on Wednesday that while the fine details were still to be worked out, Dodewaard planned to unveil its monument in 2014 and would like to have South Burnett representatives there.
The project has received enthusiastic support from the Tiernan family as well as the Murgon and Kingaroy RSL branches, and the Mayor hopes that student leaders from Murgon will also be able to attend, along with representatives from the South Burnett Regional Council.
“The town will pick up all the costs while we’re there – the South Burnett only has to pay for airfares and incidentals,” he said.