Mr Rod Beattie at Buckingham Palace
Mr Rod Beattie at Buckingham Palace Contributed

PoW researcher offers to share his knowledge at St Ursula's

RELATIVES and community members seeking information on former prisoners of war are invited to a free public talk at St Ursula's College on October 8.

Thailand-Burma Railway Centre creator and director of research and Commonwealth War Graves manager Rod Beattie OAM, MBE, OON was inspired to offer the informative evening after meeting relatives of prisoners of war of the Japanese during the Second World War who had no information about their lost family.

With more than 20 years research on the topic, Mr Beattie said he was able to offer the families an insight into their time as prisoners of war they had not been able to discover previously.

"This led me to the idea of giving a public talk in Yeppoon to let people know of the research work that I have been doing for more than 20 years," Mr Beattie said.

"One of the important aspects is that the people of the local area be made aware that I hold records on almost all Australians who were prisoners of the Japanese and should any family make contact prior to my leaving Thailand on September 26, I may be able to extract details from my extensive archives and present that information to the family on the evening of the talk."

Mr Beattie has a wealth of information that he is happy to pass on.

He spent 10 years working for Queensland Main Roads on road design and construction before opening his own gem mining, cutting and wholesale business.

He went on to work as a consultant on gem projects in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos before taking on the role of manager for the Commonwealth war cemeteries in Thailand for 18 years.

During that time Mr Beattie worked part-time as a project manager on the Hellfire Pass project.

Between 2001-03, he designed and built his own internationally recognised museum in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

At the St Ursula's talk, Mr Beattie will offer information about PoWs and the Thai-Burma Railway and will raffle a memento rail spike set into an original railway sleeper from the "Death Railway" to raise funds for a not-for- profit group of the school's choice.

Inquire about relatives before September 26 to

Book for the talk through St Ursula's College.

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