Fryer receives records of T.B. Sailors, Soldiers & Airmen's Association of Queensland

Last Friday the University of Queensland formally accepted a gift of over $3million from the T.B. Sailors', Soldiers' & Airmen's Association of Queensland. The recently disbanded Association has donated its assets to UQ's Centre for Military and Veterans' Health for ongoing research of tuberculosis, and the Association's historical records are now part of the Fryer Library collection. The records have been catalogued as a lasting legacy of the organisation's contribution to supporting veterans with TB.

In 1919 tubercular ex-servicemen banded together to form the T.B. Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen's Association of Queensland, with the mission to advocate for and support those with TB, and their spouses and children. In addition to providing financial and housing assistance to members, the Association formed a social net for TB sufferers who otherwise faced a life of chronic illness and discrimination from society that feared contracting the 'white plague'.

The Fryer Library's origins stem from this same historical context. John Denis 'Jack' Fryer enlisted with the First Australian Imperial Force in 1916 and returned from service after being wounded by a stick bomb. He resumed study at the University of Queensland but was too ill with tuberculosis to sit his final examinations in 1922. He stayed for a while at the Ardoyne Red Cross Hospital in Corinda and then returned to his family's home in Springsure, where he passed away on 7 February 1923. The Students' Dramatic Society commemorated Fryer, their late Vice-President, with a gift of £10. Dr F W Robinson ('Doc Robbie') used the funds to establish the Fryer Memorial Library of Australian Literature. This library expanded over time to become the Fryer Library today.

Mr John Hoge, President of the Association, spoke at the event   CMVH Director Professor Peter Warfe with Mrs Valerie Matthews, Secretary of the Association and wife of late President Mr Phil Matthew

Last updated:
30 November 2016