WHO ARE THE MC IVORS?
It is rare that a book by two private Australian citizens is the catalyst for an allocation of $10 million of Government funds. Such was the case following publication of Salute the Brave: Pictorial Record of Queensland War Memorials, USQ Press: Toowoomba. ISBN 0 949414 54 9. The Hon Con Sciacca, then Minister for Veterans' Affairs, announced during the launch at New Farm RSL, Brisbane, on Remembrance Day 1994, that because of the interest in war memorials Shirley and Trevor McIvor had aroused in him during their research, the Government had decided on Operation Restoration to ensure war memorials were restored and maintained. This was followed by Australia Remembers 1945-1995, and many tributes saluting the brave were added across Australia.
Behind the preparation of Salute the Brave is an interesting story as a near tragedy finally resulted in a unique record of tributes to young men and women who enlisted, trained or served in Queensland in times of conflict. At the end of 1983 Trevor McIvor, then working as an electrical fitter in Toowoomba, received a severe electric shock and suffered lasting consequences. He was advised that he could be in a wheelchair by the end of 1985 so he and wife Shirley toured the Darling Downs and Sunshine Coast to check the availability of wheelchair access should this eventuate. Thankfully he is still mobile, but it led to voluntary publication of two booklets on wheelchair access in these regions, and three waterfalls and many other attractions and facilities were made wheelchair accessible as a result. In the process it was noted that every population centre has a war memorial usually easily visible from a car, offering a thread of interest for "wheelies" when travelling. An approach was made to USQ Press regarding preparation of a book on war memorials in the Darling Downs/Sunshine Coast regions, but the Board decided that a book was only feasible if war memorials across the whole of Queensland were included. This was an entirely different, daunting, and very expensive undertaking, involving 50,000km travel criss-crossing Queensland. Shirley and Trevor McIvor decided to go ahead as a tribute to Shirley's late father and other veterans.
Lieutenant George Jamieson, MC, was an original ANZAC, landing on Gallipoli at dawn on 25 April 1915, and remaining until the evacuation on 19/20 December. Then aged 22, he was one of only 94 men of Queensland's 9th Battalion awarded the rare Butler Medal for continuous service on Gallipoli for six months from 25 April to 25 October 1915. This was his most treasured possession until his death in 1987. In 1976 Shirley and Trevor McIvor commenced an Anzac Memorial Room at their home, and this has since grown considerably in memorabilia, although all guns were surrendered in 1997. Salute the Brave and the CD-ROM are both dedicated to Lieutenant George Jamieson, MC, Butler Medal, whose name appears on no war memorial. He was wounded 11 times during World War I and received the Military Cross at Buckingham Palace. His diary entry reads: "Royalty. Home late."
The McIvors have supplied colour photographs, slides, articles and historical details to the Australian Heritage Commission, ICOMOS Conference at the Australian War Memorial, National Trust, Queensland Anzac Day Commemoration Committee website, 1997 booklet and 1998 poster; RSL, ABC Radio Southern Queensland, New Zealand ex Merchant Navy, researchers, returned service groups, lodges and retirement homes, and have had numerous illustrated newspaper and magazine articles published. Prior to marriage Shirley was Assistant Private Secretary to Hon Sir Charles Davidson, Postmaster-General and Minister for the Navy, a distinguished soldier in World War II, and she was Queensland State Chief Ray of the Methodist Girls' Comradeship. Trevor retired in 1988 due to ill health and Shirley was Administrative Assistant in the Psychology Department at the University of Southern Queensland from 1979 to 1994. She retired to use her long service leave payment to purchase a computer for Salute the Brave data word processing.
In 1965 the McIvors formed the Space Pilots' Club at the Rangeville Methodist Church (now Uniting) in Toowoomba and remained as Commander and Secretary until 1992 when they resigned to travel Queensland researching Salute the Brave. In 38 years thousands of Space Pilots have been trained in crafts, modelling, model rocketry, optics, microscopes, astronomy, chemistry, physics, radio controlled cars (road safety); conditioning, resuscitation, gymnastics, photography, electronics, computers, and Christian citizenship due to the services of 40 voluntary leaders who attend each week to impart their faith and their skills to an average of 120 boys. Annual father/son weekend camps and four model rocket launch days each year have been unique Space Club features.
Anzac Memorial Room, Space Pilots, model rocketry, father/son camps, wheelchair access, Salute the Brave and a CD-ROM mark the McIvors as pioneers in many areas of voluntary community service. In addition to 55 years' photography experience, Trevor has regained his interest in fretwork, and has an extensive military library in addition to his collection of 30,000 war memorial photos. Shirley took thousands of colour slides. Trevor holds the British Empire Medal, Australian Medal of Merit (Legion of Frontiersmen), and is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. Both hold Australia Day medals for community service and are National Seniors. Shirley holds Diplomas in Freelance Journalism, Freelance Travel Writing and Photography, and Computer Personal Business Management. The couple have two sons and a daughter, four grandsons, three granddaughters, and five great-granddaughters. It has been their sincere personal desire to ensure a pictorial record of hundreds of tributes to ex service personnel is available for veterans and their families, school children, reference libraries, researchers, museums, historical research and study groups so that Australia's precious freedom is never taken for granted.