Moya Hare will turn 100 in two weeks and rates a trek through the Gold Coast Hinterland 77 years ago as one of the highlights of her life.
It was 1938 when Moya and her younger sister Pat were sent to a retreat in the hinterland while their parents went on a trip to Melbourne.
What was expected to be an uneventful holiday suddenly became an adventure when Bernard O’Reilly walked through the doors.
At the time O’Reilly was somewhat of an Australian bush legend. In 1937 he made national headlines for trekking kilometres through the McPherson Ranges to find a missing Stinson plane and two survivors who had been unaccounted for 10 days.
O’Reilly claimed to have found the plane after climbing to the top of a mountain and noticing a burnt tree in the distance.
A year later, O’Reilly returned to the retreat because he wanted to re-visit the plane crash site and asked if any of the guests were keen to tag along.
“Moya and a group of six or seven others volunteered and they spent the next day camping out in the forest and visited the plane crash,” Moya’s son Michael Hare said.
“There was lots of the wreckage there because it was only one year after the plane crash, and mum vividly remembers Bernard being very cross with the amount of rubbish that had been left by other people who’d been to the crash scene.”
The retreat has since been named after O’Reilly, and to mark her upcoming 100th birthday Ms Hare returned to the retreat on Saturday with Pat and Michael.
Their signatures from 1938 remain on the O’Reillys Retreat’s original guestbook – on pages 99 and 100.
“After 77 years her memory has dimmed, but at the time the Stinson plane crash made national news around Australia,” Mr Hare said. “It was quite a famous historical event.”
O’Reilly, who died in 1975, went on to become an author and was portrayed by Jack Thompson in a telemovie named The Riddle of the Stinson.
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.