PRESERVED: The latest Maryborough mural is dedicated to veterans of the Battle of Long Tan.
PRESERVED: The latest Maryborough mural is dedicated to veterans of the Battle of Long Tan. Jocelyn Watts

Newest Maryborough mural honours Long Tan veterans

THE story of one of the Vietnam War's most violent conflicts; the Battle of Long Tan, is the subject of the latest public piece of art created by the Maryborough Mural Project.

'The Battle of Long Tan' mural will officially open on Saturday afternoon, with Lieutenant  Colonel Harry Smith officially opening the project's latest creation.

The new mural has been painted onto the side of the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum on Wharf St.

MMP committee member Deb Hannam said the theme was chosen by John Meyers from the military museum, and Maryborough author Lex McAuley.

"When we were designing it, we contacted Lex who has written some books about the Vietnam War," Ms Hannam said.

"He told us this story about how the helicopters dropped the ammunition down to the men, and John Meyers was involved to make sure it was accurate."

The mural was painted by Maryborough's 'silent artist' Patrick Phillips, who was born profoundly deaf.

Mr Meyers told the Chronicle he had suggested the theme of Long Tan because of the battle's connection to the people in the region.

"Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith, who was the commander of delta company in the Battle Of Long Tan, used to live in Hervey Bay and has been very supportive of our museum as far as long tan displays are concerned," Mr Meyers said.

"Through him and his encouragement of his soldiers to help, a lot of stuff [from Long Tan] has been put into the museum, and it got to a stage where our museum presents more about Long Tan than anywhere else.

"So when the ladies on the committee approached me about putting up a mural, we proposed to put one up about Long Tan."

He said he hoped those who saw the mural would "gain a better understanding as to what actually happened in the battle".

"And if they still have any doubts or questions, they can come to any of the 100 volunteers who work here and they can ask them about it."

The opening ceremony will start at 2.45pm at the museum, and will wrap up around 5pm with entertainment from Mansong.

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