DEVASTATING: On November 22, 1968 a tornado hit the Southern Downs town of Killarney destroying homes and businesses.
DEVASTATING: On November 22, 1968 a tornado hit the Southern Downs town of Killarney destroying homes and businesses. Contributed

'It was the spirit of Queensland pulling together.'

FORTY-NINE years ago a tornado hit the Southern Downs town of Killarney, destroying homes and businesses as well as causing the death of one little girl.

Next Wednesday, November 22, will mark the anniversary of the monster storm.

Killarney and District Historical Society treasurer Angela Phillips said the storm approached from the direction of Allora, which was unusual.

"A lot of businesses were destroyed and a lot of old Queenslanders were ruined, you don't really rebuild in that style,” she said.

Society secretary Jeanette Braithwaite said the storm demonstrated the resilience of the people of Killarney, of those who stayed despite their homes or businesses being left in ruins.

"People pulled together, checking on neighbours,” she said.

"It was the spirit of Queensland pulling together.”

A formal commemoration has not been planned to mark the 49th anniversary, however, a dinner will be held next year to mark 50 years since the tragedy.

Ms Phillips said the memorial book issued for the 40th anniversary would also be reissued next year.

As there is currently no official memorial for the tornado, the society are also hoping to install one in time for the half-century anniversary.

"While it's not a celebration, it's a commemoration of the survival of the town,” she said.

"You've got to be aware of what has happened and where we've come from and the character of the people,” she said.

Anyone with stories, pictures or memorabilia to contribute to the commemorative book is encouraged to contact the Killarney and District Historical Society via the Killarney Heritage Centre Facebook page or phone 46641233.



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