LIVES REMEMBERED: Cr Bill Trevor with British High Commissioner Menna Rawlings at the Childers backpackers memorial.
LIVES REMEMBERED: Cr Bill Trevor with British High Commissioner Menna Rawlings at the Childers backpackers memorial. Mike Knott BUN091018MENNA2

Emotions run high during memorial visit

IT'S a tragic bond that ties our communities together - seven British backpackers killed in a deliberately lit fire that destroyed Childers Palace Backpackers and made headlines around the world.

More than 18 years later the emotion is still raw as the 15 young lives that were lost continue to be remembered.

Today, as part of a two-day tour of the region, British High Commissioner to Australia Menna Rawlings visited the memorial in Childers, to which the British Government contributed $20,000.

Ms Rawlings described it as "incredibly moving".

"Seven young British backpackers lost their lives that day," she said.

Ms Rawlings said the events of June 23, 2000, and the aftermath resonated in UK because so many Brits chose to travel to Australia and the links between both countries were incredibly deep.

"In Wales, where my family is from, and some of the victims were from ... I know events here were followed incredibility closely," she said.

"I can't speak on behalf of the families but I imagine it's very important to have a point for them to come back to if they want where they know the memories of their loved ones have been preserved."

The High Commissioner's tour continues tomorrow with visits to Bundaberg Rum Distillery, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and meetings with representatives from all levels of government, with trade opportunities expected to dominate discussions.



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