Flynn’s Grave

posted in: Northern Territory

Our last stop during our visit to the MacDonnell Ranges was a quick one.  Close to Alice Springs is John Flynn’s grave.  He’s the man who started the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service.  We’d just visited the RFDS tourist facility, so the name was fresh in our minds.  When John Flynn was 70 he climbed Mt Gillen (see it in the background?) and declared he wanted to be buried here.  This spot is about 15km west of Alice Springs.  (Look at that red dirt on TurboBug’s shorts!  That red dirt is everywhere here, this really is the Red Centre of Australia!) Flynn's Grave | How Many More Minutes? Flynn died just a couple of years after declaring where he wanted to be buried.  He died in Sydney, if he hadn’t chosen this spot himself then I wonder where his grave would have been.  (Why do people feel the need to desecrate signs?) Flynn's Grave | How Many More Minutes? See the map of Australia here?  The red portion is the area which in 1910 had no medical facilities.  That’s a huge, huge area.  The black circles are locations of hospitals and nursing homes established by the Australia Inland Mission from 1911-1938.  Flynn was superintendent of the mission.  The first Flying Doctor Service base was started in 1928 in Cloncurry. Flynn's Grave | How Many More Minutes? Originally the stone resting on top of the grave was taken from the Devil’s Marbles/Karlu Karlu, near Tennant Creek.  They transported it some 400km to the grave, no small undertaking.  But it was taken without consulting the traditional (aboriginal) owners of the land.  Since the location is of spiritual significance to them you can imagine it caused many issues.  The rock was finally returned more than four decades later and a suitable replacement was found from a location closer to Alice Springs and with the approval of all involved. Flynn's Grave | How Many More Minutes? Not a bad location for a final resting place.  I bet when he declared he wanted to be buried here that he meant on the mountain, though.  Up where he could have a good view.  🙂 DSC_6138 ‘He brought gladness and rejoicing to the wilderness and the solitary places.’ Flynn's Grave | How Many More Minutes? At the other end of the carpark at this same stop is the sign for the Red Centre Way, the name given this highway that leads west from Alice Springs through the MacDonnell Ranges. Red Centre Way | How Many More Minutes? The other kids were not getting out of the car again.  It was hot and after several stops that day, they were done.  TurboBug was happy to pose for a picture, though.   Actually he saw me head down there and followed. 🙂 Red Centre Way | How Many More Minutes? Red Centre Way | How Many More Minutes? Nature walks done.  Historic site visited.  Picture of highway sign taken.  Yep, that’s enough for one day! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.