Born in 1903 to a pioneering Irish-Catholic family, Bernard O'Reilly spent his first twelve years in the secluded Kanimbla Valley of the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. The family then moved to the wild and largely unexplored McPherson Ranges in southern Queensland. Here the innate O'Reilly pioneering spirit eventually succeeded in establishing a haven for guests in theBorn in 1903 to a pioneering Irish-Catholic family, Bernard O'Reilly spent his first twelve years in the secluded Kanimbla Valley of the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. The family then moved to the wild and largely unexplored McPherson Ranges in southern Queensland. Here the innate O'Reilly pioneering spirit eventually succeeded in establishing a haven for guests in the midst of a rainforest paradise. Bernard O'Reilly died in 1975.Green Mountains recreates the events surrounding Bernard O'Reilly's heroic search for and discovery of the survivors of the Stinson wreck. In the second part of the book, O'Reilly tells of the family's move to Queensland from the Blue Mountains of New South Wales and their work in establishing the Guest House at Green Mountains.Cullenbenbong covers the childhood of Bernard O'Reilly. Boyhood adventures, family joys and sadnesses are all told in his own inimitable style together with mountain legends heard around the firesides of the Blue Mountains' pioneer...
|Title||:||Green Mountains / Cullenbenbong|
|Number of Pages||:||324 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Green Mountains / Cullenbenbong Reviews
This is two books in one. Both biographical and writen by Bernard O'Reilly.Cullenbenbong I don't really remember much of the details. But Bernard talks about the early days of the family living in New South Wales (around the Blue Mountain region - the town, area or property was called Cullenbenbong)Green Mountains covers a period of two weeks or so in 1937.In mid February 1937, a Stinson aircraft took off from Amberley Aerodrome (the main airport for Brisbane back then). It was due to fly "inland" (over the Gold Coast hinterlands including the Lamington National Park) down to Lismore where it would stop to pick up passangers before flying onto Sydney. Amberley had no abnormal weather conditions and the flight took off as normal. Around the Gold Coast and hinterlands there was cyclonic weather.The flight never reached Lismore, however this was not unusual. In bad weather it would often take the coastal route and go straight to Sydney. However when the flight failed to showed up in Sydney there were concerns and any eyewitnesses were called for. There were reports of wreckage being sighted in the water nearer Sydney and reports elsewhere were ignored or judged to be false.Bernard lived at what is now entirely O'Reilly's Guesthouse with his wife and daughter. It was a guesthouse back then too but no where as big as it is today... I think they had some other stuff (some dairy cattle). A week after the bad weather, Bernard finally made it down off the mountain and visited with his brother (and possibly others). It was here he cought up with a weeks worth of newspaper which included large amounts of news on the missing Stinson aircraft. He spoke to Herb and found out that he - and others in the district - had heard / seen the plane go over.When Bernard got home, he pulled out a local map and drew a line between where it had been seen and heard and Lismore right over the McPherson Ranges.The next day Bernard set off to walk that line through largely unchartered and certainly un-tracked rainforest.Night one he camped as far as anyone had gone (a campsite he and his brother had got to some time previously). The next day he set off again. Climbing a tree to gain his bearings he saw a dying (brown) tree on one of the ranges which was unusual. That afternoon he stood on the ridge line (the top) of that range with the dead tree on it. He let out a cooee (a bush call to help people locate each other.) and received one back from not far away. Using the cooee's he located the brown tree. And the burnt out wreckage of the plane.Below the wreckage, sat two men (Binstead and Proud), both skeletal looking and one (Proud) with a maggot ridden broken leg. Bernard later found out the maggots saved Proud's life by eating away the dead flesh and not allowing infection to take hold. He got them water and made tea and left the last of his food. They chatted about cricket. And Bernard found out about a third survivor who had gone for help.Then he set off down the range to farms he could make out in the far valley. On his trek down the mountain he found the third survivor, Jim Westray. He had fallen down a cliff on route from the crash site to the civilisation of the farms and broken his ankle. He made it some distance - miles. But it became too much and Bernard found him by a creek. Bernard continued onto the farm land below and found the Buchanan boys out shooting. Here he set about organising a rescue party.In the early hours of the next morning, the foreparty (Bernard, a doctor and a few others) went fourteen miles up the harder rockier way (with cliffs and creeks) whilst a larger group cut a track up the ridge. The fore party arrive in the mid morning the next day. On the way they buried Westray, not far from where he was found in a grove of trees. They built shelter, gave them medical aid and food. Late that day the cutting party arrived, and being so late in the day, they went the next day not long after daybreak. Each taking turns to carry the two men down, keeping the two men precisely level. Eleven hours later the two men were bundled into ambulances and taken to hospital. And the rescuers would make their way home.
This book means a lot to me. In September 2012 my wife and I spent a few days at O’Reillys Guest House and it was one of the best things we have ever done. As part of our stay we attended a talk given by one of the O’Reilly family which we found very interesting and we were keen to know more. Later in our visit to Queensland a member of the family offered to lend this book to us. The writing is clearly of its time, although to us, now, it seems slightly old fashioned; the book is an easy read. Just the names: Cullenbenbong, Booyong, Genbenang, Kanibla, Katoomba, Bethongable are evocative of and exciting and interesting places with stupendous birdlife and fascinating sub-tropical rainforest.The story of the Stinson rescue is epic and could not have been made-up and the hardiness of the pioneers is impressive. The difficulties they worked under are difficult to imagine now. These are great stories of a way of life long gone. Bernard O’Reilly describes the wonderful flora & fauna of the area perfectly. I feel privileged to have visited O’Reilly’s and reading this book months later was just the icing on the cake.
This book is a wonderful retelling of pioneer life in Australia. It's incredible to think that only a couple of generations ago, there were children growing up in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia for whom a city was a distant and mysterious place.In Cullenbenbong, Bernard O'Reilly recounts his childhood in the Blue Mountains. In Green Mountains, he tells the tale of how he rescued two survivors from a plane crash in the MacPherson Ranges of South East Queensland, and how his family established themselves in the midst of what was to become Lamington National Park.
I really enjoyed this book. I've hiked to the Stinson wreck a number of times and so it was really interesting to hear Bernard O'Reilly's account of the discovery and rescue. It gives it a whole new context for me and now I'm planning a trip back there. I also enjoyed reading his description of life as a pioneer. For a person who was largely self-taught O'Reilly can pen a story extremely well and I felt like I got such a good insight into life at that time. It is well worth a read, especially for history buffs.