Support for Nigel Brennan on show
POSTERS have started appearing in windows around Bundaberg to welcome Nigel Brennan home, after he was released from 15 months in captivity in Somalia.
At Sunshine Kebabs on Targo Street, owner Ramazan Dogan said he put up the poster from Saturday’s NewsMail because he was happy that Mr Brennan was free at last.
“We are happy he is safe, he has been through a fair bit,” Mr Dogan said.
Despite not knowing the Brennan family, he felt a connection with them after hearing their story in the news.
“If someone is from Bundaberg, you feel like they are your family,” he said.
Brumby’s owners Judy and Peter Rasmussen showed their support with a poster at their Bourbong Street store, as all their staff had been interested in Mr Brennan’s fate.
“We had followed Nigel’s story the whole time he was kidnapped,” Mrs Rasmussen said.
She was delighted when she heard that Mr Brennan was free at last, but said the Australian Government should have done more to help.
“I’m very proud to be Australian, but I’m disappointed that it came down to Dick Smith and the Brennan family to do the hard yards and get him out,” Mrs Rasmussen said.
“I’m upset to think that the Government did nothing. Kevin Rudd didn’t even know (Mr Brennan’s) name when he came to Bundaberg this year.”
In August on the one-year anniversary of Mr Brennan’s kidnapping, the Brennan family issued a joint statement with the family of Canadian hostage Amanda Lindhout, saying they had “little outside support” during their ordeal.
A month before, Mr Brennan’s mother Heather Brennan spoke to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd when he visited Bundaberg — but later said the PM did not even use her son’s name.
She told Mr Rudd she feared Mr Brennan would never come home if help was not forthcoming.
Mr Brennan and Ms Lindhout were finally released by their Somali captors last Thursday morning AEST, after a ransom was paid by entrepreneur Dick Smith, Greens senator Bob Brown and the families.
The pair is still in Kenya, undergoing medical assessment, and is expected to return home this week.
If you missed the poster, visit the NewsMail at 22 Targo Street to get a copy.