This blog is about my Grandad and through it I hope to learn more about the amazing man he was, in addition to documenting his life, the Stinson airliner disaster and memories of close and extended family. I hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Friday, 4 April 2014

History is Important...

Good Morning All....

Thanks for dropping by, I hope you enjoy this blog over the coming months and years. 

I felt this was a great time to start this blog, something I have thought about for some time. In a couple of weeks there is a party of Geocachers walking to the Stinson, I am nowhere near fit enough to go but will be spending the weekend as part of the support crew and cooking them dinner. I will get to Westray's grave this trip though, and maybe another time will make it all the way up to the crash site. As I get older I have come to realise what an integral part of my family history this is, and it is my responsibility to keep the history alive.

Here are answers to some things you may be wondering.....

Why this BLOG? 
I have no doubt Grandad was an amazing man and it saddens me that I did not get to know him better. He passed away when I was only 5 and I only have two memories of him. One of him walking past patting me on the head, and the other of his mustard coloured jumper, which I am sure Grammie knitted for him.

The two days of the year I feel closest to him, and often struggle with, are the day the Stinson crashed (19 February 1937) and Anzac Day. Grandad fought in the war, predominantly Borneo but also in Papua New Guinea. Maybe that is where I got my love of PNG from? One day I hope to travel there again...and find the exact spot where he was.

So through this blog, I hope to learn more about Grandad, document all the little details and things I didn't know and get to know the person he was. I also hope to share his story with all of you, and the amazing feat of finding the Stinson in what is very rugged virgin rainforest.

I am also in the process of scanning and filing Grammie's slides and those my mother is passing onto me of the family history. I am sure there will be some beauties in there and this is a forum to share them with all of you.

What will this BLOG be?
Over time I will share historical details, slides and photos, Grandads books and poetry and memories from my Mum and cousins - particularly those of Mum's era. Contributions from anyone and everyone are welcome - so please message me or leave a comment if you would like to contribute. I am also archiving all the physical items, so if you have any and would like to add to this collection please contact me.

I am going to aim for one post a week - however sometimes life gets in the way so it may be more sporadic than that.

There are lots of sites with awesome recounts and details of the Stinson. I will probably link to a lot of them rather than repeat. My goal is to add to what is available with more personal family memories.

Some Common Terminology
Throughout this blog, you will hear me refer to things in names I have used all my life...perhaps some explanation is useful so you can follow along?
Grandad - Alfonso Bernard O'Reilly (1903 - 1975)
Grammie - Viola Gwendoline O'Reilly (?? - 1977)
Mum - Rhelma Kenny (nee O'Reilly) (16 October 1932)
Goblin Wood - the home of Grammie and Grandad at Green Mountains
Green Mountains - The area around and encompassing O'Reilly's in 
Lamington National Park.

I will finish this initial post with some photos that are important to me.....before I do, please subscribe and follow along on what will be an amazing journey for me personally, and I hope you will travel along with me?

Hydrangeas will always be my favourites..these I took these in January when up the mountain, they are Grammie and Grandads in the yard of 'Goblin Wood'. I struggle with going there, I still have nightmares about selling the house - to me it feels like we lost a big part of our family history with it. 

This is one of my favourite pictures of Grandad - taken at the end of the Stinson. Not sure if it was as he was waiting to take the rescue party back up or after the men were out. I will check. The jumper belonged to his sister Rose....and I bet that is the one of the best cups of tea he ever drank!

Grammie and Grandad...

And finally - my poem, written specially for me by Grandad. Hope you can read it as the pic is not the greatest! A pertinent time to post it with my birthday only recently. The line across the bottom says 'To my lovely second grandchild, in honour of her first birthday'.

Bye for Now

Kylie xo


  1. I'm currently reading "Green Mountains", I knew you were related but hadn't realised Rhelma was your mum.
    I've only been up there once, for a wedding at O'reilly's and I stayed at Cainable Chalets, it's a beautiful place.
    Wendy/wombles from geocaching.

  2. It's lovely that you are writing this blog and recording all those precious memories. I look forward to reading more of the story as you go on.

  3. Kylie I came across your grandparents grave at the Kerry cemetery yesterday. The headstone on your grandmother's side listed her date of birth as 31-7-1907. I can send you a photo and GPS co-ordinates if you like, or wait a few moments until I complete my log for the Kerry Resting Cache (GC3A9ZV). Cheers, Susan (aka petan on

    1. Thanks Susan...great to hear you were out there. Some awesome caches up that road.

  4. How many siblings did Bernard have?

  5. He had 10, one was a twin that died at birth, Norb died in the war. Out of those many children there was only three in the next generation.'reilly's-family-tree

  6. Thanks, I couldn't work it out from the book.
    Some Reilly's in the family tree, with no O? My grandma was a Reilly and my son's middle name is Reilly after her. Her brothers were also Francis and Joseph.