News

Ceremony farewells lost uncle

Ross Tucker of Palmwoods is travelling to Canberra on Monday to take part in next weekend's memorial for the more than 1000 Australians who died on the Japanese prisioner of war ship the Montevideo Maru.
Ross Tucker of Palmwoods is travelling to Canberra on Monday to take part in next weekend's memorial for the more than 1000 Australians who died on the Japanese prisioner of war ship the Montevideo Maru. Cade Mooney

ROSS TUCKER will finally get the chance to farewell his uncle next weekend, exactly 70 years after the war that claimed his life.

Roy McPherson, the son of a former Caboolture shire clerk, was one of more than 1000 Australian soldiers and civilians killed when the unmarked Japanese prison ship Montevideo Maru was sunk by an American submarine off the Philippines on July 1, 1942.

The until now little heralded historical footnote remains Australia's worst maritime disaster.

McPherson, who first became a teacher working at Ascot State School, travelled to Papua New Guinea to pursue his profession at a European school in Kaviang before going on to work as accountant for businessman Frank Saunders.

Mr Tucker, of Palmwoods, still has the pearl shell featuring a painting of a ship, his sole reminder of an uncle trapped in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Five years ago he joined the Montevideo Maru Foundation, a group that with the assistance of some of this country's foremost business leaders and both the Australian and PNG governments, raised $400,000 for the memorial that will be unveiled next Sunday in Canberra.

Ross says his uncle's fate was sealed when one of five schooners his boss Saunders had organised to evacuate his staff broke down.

Before it could be repaired McPherson was captured and assigned to the Montevideo Maru for transport to Japan.

"The worst part for my grand mother was she did not know what happened to him," Ross says.

The Montevido Maru had left Rabaul for Japan when it was spotted by the submarine USS Sturgeon.

The 845 Australian soldiers on board had been made POWs in the aftermath of the Japanese invasion of Rabaul and the New Guinea Islands on January 23, 1942.

They were members of the 2/22nd Infantry Battalion, the 1st Independent Company, and the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles along with small associated units.

The civilian internees numbered 208 and included officers of the then Australian Administration, businessmen, bankers, planters, missionaries and merchant seaman.

Women and children had earlier been evacuated to Australia. Many would not learn of the fate of their loved ones until war's end.

Topics:  canberra, maritime, memorial, ship, war



Bluesfest royalty to drop by

GUITAR LEGEND: Santana at Byron Bay Blues Festival 2013.

Legends to grace Bluesfest' stage in 2017.

On Wright track to crown

TOP LEAD: With four wins on the board, Tyler Wright  will be hard to stop and is a sure bet to claim this year's WSL World Women's title.

HAS Tyler Wright already stitched up this year's world title?

Call for more Tweed special ed places

SUPPORT: Jacob Lorenzo, 18, from Tweed Heads South struggled to find a special education position when he moved up to the Tweed.

More special ed places needed in Tweed.

Local Partners

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

The Dixie Chicks to headline 2017 CMC Rocks festival

US country music group The Dixie Chicks.

ORGANISERS move festival dates to lock in US country music stars.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E3 - Which picnic date is better?

The Bachelorette Georgia Love, centre, with her top 11 bachelors.

Lee and Matt get some one-on-one time with Georgia.

Callea channels legend for Glitter

WHAM: Anthony Callea plays the Glitter Festival on October 8 at The Arts Centre Gold Coast.

Anthony Callea brings the songs of a star to the glitter strip.

Penthouse in beach paradise

Take in the beach front views from the balcony of 701/ 4-10 Douglas Street, Kirra.

This beachfront penthouse is the perfect place to enjoy the views.

Casuarina sets the benchmark in Tweed market

Our property market is as strong as it's been since the crisis

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction