Centaur victims have been honoured at sea in a memorial service held above the ship’s wreck site.
More than 300 people gathered to remember those who perished in Queensland’s worst wartime disaster.
Dani Luck reports.
[flashvideo file=https://www.qutnews.com/uploads/tv-2010-2/20100924-Centaur-Memorial.flv /]
For one of only two remaining survivors it was another chance for Martin Pash to say goodbye to his fallen mates.
Martin Pash: “To remember my mates who went down with the ship including the captain.”
Priest: “…and to Australian sons and daughter who were tragically lost in a sudden…”
Wreaths floated two and a half kilometres above the hospital ship’s final resting place off Moreton Island, the closest these friends and family have been to their lost loved ones in sixty seven years.
They carried old photographs, flowers, prayers,memories and ashes to lay at rest.
Vox 1: “I didn’t know how I would handle it because this is his grave and no one can ever touch it.”
Vox 2: “I’ve come from WA to be here today and it was worth every kilometre.”
Today a more friendly encounter than last time. During World War Two the AHS Centaur was en-route to Port Moresby when it was torpedoed by the Japanese.
There were three hundred and thirty-two doctors, nurses and service personnel onboard. Only sixty-four survived.
The wreck site remained a mystery until ten months ago, when it was officially identified.
The Centaur war grave is now protected by a two hundred hectare exclusion zone which was waived today to allow relatives to grieve.
Dani Luck, QUT News.