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Photographs supplied by John Huth

The sculpture "Mountain Rescue" erected on the 60th anniversary of the Stinson crash commemorates the rescue of survivors by local dairyman, Bernard O`Reilly.

On 19th February 1937 Australia was shocked to hear that a Stinson airliner was reported missing on a flight from Brisbane. Bernard O`Reilly of Lamington Plateau decided to search the area where the flight path of the Stinson crossed the McPherson Range. He left the Guesthouse and followed the rugged McPherson Range to the west. He climbed Mt Throakban and sighted a tree 8 kilometres away that appeared to have been burnt. Three hours later a coo-ee startled him and he came upon the crash site to find two men, John Proud and Joe Binstead, still alive after 10 days.

Four men died in the crash but he was told of another man Jim Westrey had survived and gone for help. Bernard left the two men at the wreck to seek assistance and as he walked down Christmas Creek he found Westrey`s body. He had died as a result of a fall over a waterfall. Bernard returned with a party including a doctor while local farmers cut 16 kilometres of tracks through the rainforest of Lamington Plateau to rescue the two survivors.


Address:Lamington National Park Road, O`Reilly`s Rainforest Retreat, Lamington National Park, 4275
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -28.230947
Long: 153.136168
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:19-February-1937
Actual Event End Date:19-February-1937
Artist:Phillip Piperides


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 2nd March, 1997
Front Inscription

Plaque :

19th February 1937 on route from Brisbane to Sydney Stinson Airliner VH-UHH disappears without trace

Plaque :

Commemorating the courage, determination and bushcraft of Bernard O`Reilly, who on February 28th 1937 found and organised the rescue of John Proud and Joe Binstead survivors of the Stinson Airliner disaster in Lamington National Park

Unveiled by Her Excellency the Governor of Queensland, Leneen Forde, A.C. on March 2nd 1997, being the sixtieth anniversary of this remarkable story.

Plaque :

27th February 1937, an extensive search fails to locate the plane. Bernard decides to conduct his own search in Lamington National Park

Left Side Inscription

Plaque :

After 2 days searching the rainforest Bernard sights a burnt tree. Could it be the missing plane?



Back Inscription

"Mountain Rescue" 

Sculptor : Philip Piperides
Date : 2nd March 1997

Right Side Inscription

Plaque :

Bernard discovers the crash with John Proud and Joe Binstead still alive. They survived on water collected in a flask.

Plaque :

Bernard finds crash survivor James Westray, who died after falling down a waterfall while going for help.

Plaque :

Farmers from the surrounding district carry the survivors down the mountain to safety

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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