Hinkler Memorial Museum Trust spokesperson Ted Lake wants to know where the original commemorative plaques are and if indeed this candlenut tree is the original Hinkler memorial tree planted in 1993.
Hinkler Memorial Museum Trust spokesperson Ted Lake wants to know where the original commemorative plaques are and if indeed this candlenut tree is the original Hinkler memorial tree planted in 1993. Max Fleet BUNHINK

Mystery of the missing plaques

MEMBERS of the Hinkler House Memorial Museum and Research Association are hoping someone in Bundaberg can help them solve an enduring mystery.

The mystery of the missing plaques.

Association spokesman Ted Lake said over the course of time, two plaques commemorating Bert Hinkler had been placed on trees in the park on the corner of Seaview and Bargara Rds, but both were now missing.

"We're asking for any light anyone can throw on this mystery," he said.

"Possibly someone somewhere has got it hanging over their bar or something."

Mr Lake said after Hinkler's record-breaking solo flight from London to Australia, the pilot enjoyed the same adulation then as a rock star did today.

Hinkler paid a visit to the Bargara Primary School, then on the corner of Seaview and Bargara Rds, and was asked to plant a candlenut tree.

A plaque recording the occasion was placed on the tree.

In 1993, members of the school community celebrated its centenary by revisiting its original site, now a park, but no evidence of the Hinkler tree could be found.

So a poinciana tree was planted and another plaque placed on it.

The plaque had an inscription noting it was planted on the weekend of the school's centenary celebrations and commemorated the theories about the fate of the original candlenut tree.

But now that plaque has also gone missing.

"The Bundaberg Regional Council has agreed to a request from the Hinkler House Memorial Museum and Research Association to replace the plaque, but on which tree?" Mr Lake said.

Mr Lake said the plaque might have been taken by someone as a prank.

He said anyone who could help close this chapter on Bundaberg's most famous son and set the record straight was welcome to call him with information on either one of the plaques on 41521214.



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