Community determined not to let Duncan's memory die
A PLAQUE at the site where a moving memorial to Duncan Chapman now takes pride of place, honours not only a war hero, but also the determination of a community to ensure he would never be forgotten.
From the moment former Chronicle editor Nancy Bates put out the call to the people of Maryborough to help build a statue in honour of the first Anzac ashore at Gallipoli, she has been both moved and inspired by their enormous generosity.
It was only eight months ago that Ms Bates went to Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell and Maryborough RSL President Bob Evans and got their support to bring Maryborough's son home in time for the Anzac Centenary.
With government grants out of reach in such a short space of time, the Duncan Chapman Memorial Appeal Committee enlisted 10 generals, Ms Bates, Petrea Bates, Greig Bolderrow, Sharon Brown, Maria Carkagis, Jim Martin, Carmel Murdoch, Anne Nioa and Chronicle staff Jenny Elliott and Boni Holmes, who were all tasked with raising $1000 each, and in fact raised close to $20,000.
Things were on track until the committee learnt in its early stages that a $27,000 deposit was needed to confirm the order for the statue if it was to be built on time.
Ms Bates approached one of Maryborough's most generous benefactors, Warren Pearsal, for a loan and the next day was handed a cheque.
While $10,000 was an outright donation, Ms Bates intended to return $17,000 but, when she went to do so, the funds were immediately donated to stage two of the project on behalf of Mr Pearsal and his wife Raelene.
To date, the appeal has raised in excess of $100,000.
Speaking at the unveiling of the statue yesterday, Ms Bates acknowledged the "great force of pride and passion" that made the campaign a rewardingexperience.
She said the plaque in front of the memorial in Queen's Park recognised the major sponsors and "the community spirit of the people of Maryborough".