Her ‘down-to-earth’ appeal was reflected in the war-time and post-war baby-boomer generations that loved visiting Binna Burra.
Dame Vera Lynn, who has died at the age of 103, was more than just Britain’s wartime Forces’ Sweetheart, with her heartfelt songs reaching down to generations of people associated with Binna Burra Lodge. While she one of the UK’s most potent symbols of resilience and hope, she also touched the hearts and memories generations of Australians.
‘During WW2 and for decades after the war, many staff, shareholders and guests at Binna Burra sang the songs of Vera Lynn’ , including ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’. She not only inspired the British troops and civilians at home but also past generations of Australian’s who lived through that turbulent period of world history.’ said Steve Noakes, Chairperson of Binna Burra Lodge.
The Second World War started just six years after the 1933 founding of Queensland Holiday Resort (Binna Burra) in 1933, and many Board members, shareholders , staff and guests serviced abroad and at home in the war efforts. They included co-founder of Binna Burra, Romeo Lahey who served in both the first world war as a Lieutenant and as a Major in the second world war, and Dr Ted Marks, an original shareholder of Binna Burra and company Director from 1934 to 1957 who served as an Army Captain in WW1 and a medical consultant as an RAAF Wing Commander in WW2. Basil Roberts, who worked for Romeo Lahey and Arthur Groom ‘… in a new venture to establish a mountain lodge on the border of the Lamington National Park to be called Binna Burra ‘ served in the first of four infantry battalions raised in Queensland for the all-volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF). He served 1,744 days on war duties outside Australia in the Middle East and New Guinea – sustained a serious injury in Tobruk, resulting in multiple lacerations and complete blindness (which eventually healed).
In 2009, at the age of 92, Vera Lynn became the oldest living artist to top the British album chart, outselling both the Arctic Monkeys and the Beatles, with whom she shared the top 10. Her compilation album is titled: We’ll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn.
‘Her down-to-earth’ appeal was reflected in the war-time and post-war baby-boomer generations that loved visiting Binna Burra. There are still many old-timers, as well as younger generations, that will wish to celebrate the 103 years of Vera Lynn’s life with a song or two around a camp-fire when we reopen Binna Burra in September this year after one year of closure because of the bushfires last year’ said Noakes.