Parents of man onboard missing plane fly from CQ to family
WEDNESDAY 9.45AM: THE parents of a man on the missing Malaysian Airline flight have flown from Central Queensland to Brisbane to be with family.
Irene and George Burrows arrived in Brisbane this morning to be with other family members as the search continues for the missing aircraft that had their son, Rodney, and daughter-in-law, Mary, onboard.
TUESDAY: RODNEY and Mary Burrows were eagerly awaiting the arrival of their first grandchild in early April.
They were expecting to meet the new addition to the family on arriving home in Brisbane from a three-week holiday in China.
Tragically, the soon-to-be grandparents were among six Australians onboard the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which vanished from radars over the ocean south of Vietnam early on Saturday.
The disappearance of the commercial flight, which was carrying 239 people, has baffled authorities and rocked the tight-knit community of Biloela in Central Queensland.
Rodney was born and raised in the township of Thangool, 12km south of Biloela.
Members of his immediate family still live in Central Queensland, including his parents Irene and George who retired to Biloela about 20 years ago.
Irene yesterday spoke to The Morning Bulletin about the family's anguish, which is compounded by the mystery surrounding the plane's disappearance.
The one comfort for the family is that the loving couple was together when fate dealt its bitter hand.
Irene can remember the excitement in her son's voice when she spoke to him only days before he set off from Brisbane. And he wound up the call with his signature sign-off: "Love you, mum."
The Burrows just can't comprehend what has happened.
"It is just amazing that a plane could disappear off the face of the Earth," Irene said, trying to remain stoic in the face of heartbreak.
"If we could just find the plane... we would have some satisfaction. There is always hope - but it is fading very fast," the 84-year-old admitted reluctantly.
Irene said that the couple's Chinese holiday had been 12 months in the planning. They were travelling with long-time friends Bob and Cathy Lawton, also from Brisbane.
"We didn't know a lot about the itinerary. Our main concern was that they might be going into some danger zones. They kept reassuring us they were not," Irene said.
The couple planned to do a lot of travelling after Rodney retired in September last year.
They had previously done a cruise to New Zealand and following their Chinese adventure, they were booked to visit the United Kingdom in late May.
Rodney and Mary were married in 1985. They have three adult children - Jayden, Karla and Melia.
Karla and her husband were expecting their first baby in early April.
"Rodney was really looking forward to that... his first grandchild," Irene said.
Irene said that her grandchildren had been in regular contact with the Foreign Affairs Department and Malaysian Airlines.
Rodney was the eldest of Irene and George's four children. He went to school in Thangool before he spent five years at boarding school at St Brendan's in Yeppoon.
He completed an electrical apprenticeship at the Callide Power Station. He then worked for a short time at the Moura mine and in Victoria before settling in Brisbane.