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by Maurice (Maurie) Miller



There are times when because of our locations we are a witness to incidents. We were doing a magnetic survey with the Catalina at Charleville and it was our day off. We were staying at an old hotel, I think it may have gone under the name of The Railway but my memory is not that good. The date was September 1959 approximately and the weather was extremely hot. I went up on the roof of the hotel where there was a small shelter and usually cooler. A staff member was also up there. We suddenly saw smoke coming from the roof of the church across the road and heard people shouting. I went and got my camera and managed to take three shots before our roof became too hot. The wooden church and presbytery were destroyed in a few minutes. Years later, my son was working in Charleville and he told a reporter of the local paper (The Western Sun) about the photos, resulting in the reporter wanting a copy of the photograph. I copied one of my slides and it was printed in the local paper on 17 June 1992. There is a new church now and the hotel is gone.


Maurie Miller
December 2003



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