Saluting the service of Maryborough’s RAAF heroes

A new honour board at the Maryborough Military Aviation Museum will commemorate the region’s Second World War Royal Australian Air Force personnel, after receiving funding through the Australian Government’s Saluting Their Service program.
 
Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said the Military Aviation Museum received $3,900 through the program, which supports projects that honour Australia’s armed forces and preserve military history.
 
The honour board was unveiled by Cyril Barbeler whose older brother Gerard, a Flight Sergeant with the No. 12 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force, was tragically killed aged just 21, when his aircraft was shot down in an air-fight over Germany on 16 March, 1945.
 
“This honour board will ensure the names of our fallen heroes, like Flight Sergeant Gerard Barbeler and many others from the Maryborough region, will never be forgotten,” Mr O’Brien said.
 
“The work of the Maryborough Military Aviation Museum will help ensure younger generations can learn about the role Wide Bay’s men and women have played in our Anzac history..
 
“For local families like the Barbelers, and the loved ones of the 61 other service personnel whose names are engraved on this board, it is a meaningful recognition of what they have lost so that we may enjoy our Australian lifestyle today.

“As proud Australians, we must keep alive the Anzac spirit and ensure future generations are taught about our military history so that they understand the value of our freedom, and the price we have paid to maintain it.”
 
The boards were built by the Maryborough Community and Men’s Shed.
 
Mr O’Brien encouraged any local community organisations interested in applying for funding under the Saluting Their Service grants program to contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Commemorative Grants team on 1800 026 185 or email [email protected]
 
The Saluting Their Service Community Commemorative Grants program provides up to $4,000 for an individual project. It is a rolling grants program, so applications are accepted at any time.