Maryborough Mural Project celebrates military history

THE Maryborough Mural Project will officially open three murals celebrating the Heritage City’s military history.

Mural of Indigenous soldier Wilfred Walter Reeves in Maryborough. PHOTO: Instagram / @themaryboroughmuralproject

The Maryborough Mural Project, together with the Butchulla community, Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum and TOC H Australia, will host the event at the museum on Thursday, 25 February at 10am.

Co-founder of the mural project, Deborah Hannam said the project, in conjunction with its community partners, have completed its mural program for the museum.

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Murals have been completed for:

  • Indigenous soldier, Wilfred Walter Reeves who completed active service in the 39th Infantry Battalion on the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea in 1942.
  • Army Chaplain Reverend Philip Thomas Byard Clayton, CH, MC, DD who founded the TOC H movement during World War One.
  • Frank Lawrence DFC DFM RAAF – Maryborough’s most decorated World War Two veteran.

The three murals complement the Maryborough Mural Project’s first military mural for the museum – the Long Tan Mural, located on one of the walls within the museum.

Maryborough Mural Project invite. IMAGE: Supplied.

Butchulla community member Glen Miller was thrilled that ‘Uncle Wilfie’ was included in the project.

“Having Uncle Wilfie’s image on the Military Museum wall is something that none of our family, the Wondunnas, believed would ever happen. We thank John Meyers and the mural committee for their support and belief that Uncle Wilfie’s war service and achievements as the author of the first ever book of Aboriginal stories, authored by Aboriginal people, in Australia, should be recognised,” he said.

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Director of TOC H Australia’s Northern Region Ray Geise said the TOC H mural is the only one of its kind in the world.

“It commemorates the life and work of ‘Tubby’ Clayton. He helped thousands of young men of all ranks serving on the Western Front in World War One and people in all corners of the globe in peacetime through the Toc H Movement,” he said.

The mural of Frank Lawrence commemorates his efforts in dropping foodstuffs and other vital supplies to starting residents of Rotterdam in the Netherlands in May 1945.

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The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum’s director John Meyers thanked the Maryborough Mural Project’s co-founders – Deborah Hannam and Elizabeth Lowrie for including it in the project.

“Our compliments to Deb and Liz on their efforts in making this all happen. Many visitors to Maryborough, with the use of the mural map, walk the circuit and view them all,” Mr Meyers said.

“Also, our thanks to the Fraser Coast councillors who contributed towards the cost of the murals from their discretionary funds,” he concluded.

The mural launch is open to the public but attendance is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Meanwhile, the Maryborough Mural Project was recently announced as a finalist in the 2020 Australian Street Art Awards.

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The project was nominated in the Best Street Art Trail award.

Winners will be announced on March 2 on the Sunshine Coast.

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