Anniversary Event Keeps Stinson Story Alive

Beaudesert Historical Society President, Mark Plunkett with the thermos which was instrumental in keeping the Stinson crash survivors alive.

The iconic story of the Stinson crash and rescue will be kept alive via a Beaudesert Historical Society 85-year remembrance event at Stinson Park on Christmas Creek Road, Lamington.

The BYO morning tea event will start at 10am on Saturday 19 February, 85 years to the day since the Stinson Airliner VH-UHH crashed in Lamington National Park.

All are welcome to come learn more about the Stinson story of survival, heroism and community spirit handed down for generations.

It will be an opportunity to reflect on how Bernard O’Reilly located the crashed plane after nine days then went down the mountainside to raise the alarm and arrange the rescue.

Tales will be told of the rescue of the two survivors, Jo Binstead and John Proud, a monumental community effort involving many local farmers as well as their wives and families holding down the fort at home as rescuers set out into the bush.

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There will be question opportunities with people close to the story, and items for viewing.

Among those items will be a thermos flask which was instrumental in keeping the survivors alive for nine days in the wilds of Lamington National Park before they were rescued.

Mr Binstead managed to crawl to a nearby stream and bring water back in the thermos to Mr Proud, who had a compound fracture of the leg that had gone gangrene.

Mr Proud later gifted the flask to the museum, and it is one of the most prized items in their collection.

Historical Society president Mark Plunkett said it was important to keep the Stinson story alive.

“The whole thing is a bit like a folk story. It’s almost unbelievable that it could happen but it’s a true account,” he said.

“I think ‘Miracle of the Mountains’ – the title of the documentary narrated by John Schindler – sums it up, because it is a miracle that those fellows were able to survive and that the rescue was a success in such steep and treacherous terrain.” 

Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs, and masks and physical distancing will be required under Covid regulations.

There is no admission fee to the event, however gold coin donations will be welcomed. 

Christmas Creek Café next to Stinson Park will have refreshments available for purchase as an alternative to BYO morning tea.

For more information follow Beaudesert Historical Museum on Facebook or phone the museum on 5541 3740.

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