Memories, medals to be shared

PROUD HISTORY: Jean Hunter of Maryborough donates war medals that belonged to her father, a former mayor of the city, to the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum.
PROUD HISTORY: Jean Hunter of Maryborough donates war medals that belonged to her father, a former mayor of the city, to the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum. Jocelyn Watts

MEMORIES of one of Maryborough’s most popular mayors and a Gallipoli hero have taken up temporary residence in the local military museum.

Bob Hunter’s medals and the last of his khaki uniforms have found a place in the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum.

“My father was at Gallipoli in the second wave,” his daughter Jean Hunter, a retired local school teacher, told the Chronicle yesterday.

“He was a sergeant who volunteered in 1914 and later he won the Military Medal for devotion to duty in the Bois de Hangard on August 4, 1918.”

After World War I he joined the permanent army and worked in the Australian Instructional Corps Training Militia, retiring as an honorary major in 1948.

Bob, who won his nickname of Steamboat while playing goalie in a Dorset soccer team, died in 1972.

In 1924 he returned to Maryborough where he married Betty. Politics attracted him and he became Maryborough’s mayor from 1956 to 1964.

Bob also won the Australian Army Meritorious Service medal for “long and distinguished service”.

At Gallipoli he was throwing bombs when an Aussie shell got him and he was on his way to losing a leg in a Malta hospital until a French doctor treated him, saving him from amputation.

“The doctor treated him with some goo and it worked,” Jean said.

“The family decided to loan Dad’s medals to the museum after John Meyers (the director) asked us if we would consider it,” Jean said.

“You can’t run a military museum and be a wallflower,” John said.

“Bob Hunter was a prominent and popular Maryborough man and it’s just terrific to be able to display his well-earned medals from two wars.”

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