“Brethren Army” fight to save Maryborough

Large sandbagging and food supply effort when Maryborough floods higher than expected!

On 26 January 2013 ex-tropical cyclone Oswald came down the east coast of Australia dumping massive amounts of rain on the coastal communities and river catchment areas. It commenced raining in Maryborough, Queensland, on the afternoon of Thursday 27th and continued until mid-day Sunday, during this time delivering over half a metre of water over the complete catchment area of the Mary River.

By 7am on Sunday the 30th the Mary River  was rising fast and reached 5 metres, cutting off one of the main bridges across town. With the river continuing to rise, later that afternoon the Plymouth Brethren started contacting the commercial premises that would be first to be inundated. Most of these were eager to accept the help to move their stock and sandbag windows etc. including relocating 90 vehicles from the local Ford and Hyundai dealer to higher ground.

The council set up a flood levy bank between the centre of town and the lower down business area which was already under water by this time the river having reached around 9 metres. The Rapid Response Team of the Church offered to man the levy bank and to monitor the situation throughout the night; also helping some more shop owners to clear out their stock.

Monday morning saw the river at 9.5 metres and still rising so more support teams were called in with eventually up to 50 members hard at work sandbagging, helping clear out shops and distributing food and drink to those working or being affected. A food tent was set up on the town hall green by the Plymouth Rapid Response Team and it became the central point for constant drink distribution and 3 meals a day for the next couple of days. Largely the food and drink was donated by locals including Supa IGA, Coles, BIG W, Channel 7, mix FM and Apex.

By this time the water had reached the end of the existing levy bank, so an extension was built by the Rapid Response Team using sandbags, which later proved to have held back the flood from the centre of town for an extra 12 hrs only being breached during Monday night when the river cracked over the 10 metre mark. This allowed all day Monday for the commercial centre of town to clear stock and install sandbags in preparation for the water. The river eventually peaked at 10.7m at around 8am Tuesday morning (the largest flood since 1974, which was 11m) inundating up to 50 commercial businesses and 150 residential dwellings.

The water began to recede quickly after this and the clean-up was able to begin by Tuesday afternoon. The food tent continued to churn out meals and drinks and the ‘Brethren army’ and other volunteers turned to de-sandbagging and assisting the shop owners with the heart breaking task of cleaning out the thick sludge of mud and oil and work continued throughout the next couple of days as the water receded back to its normal level by Friday.

The Brethren support teams were scaled back on Friday and the food tent became a water supply point only on Saturday.

The clean-up of residential areas will continue for weeks yet and rebuilding will be an on-going effort for many months to come.

Timber City Testimonial


Daniel Sanderson – Testimonial

Russell Bates Testimonial

EMQ Letter of Appreciation

EMQ Letter of Appreciation

Thank you – Heather Locks

PBCC - Alan & Barbara Thanks

Alan & Barbara

30 thoughts on ““Brethren Army” fight to save Maryborough”

  1. wazzoo says:

    Keep up the good work – glad for all you guys do!

  2. Chris says:

    The RRT demonstrated Christianity in action. True Cristianity is a way of life not just a creed or religion. Its great to see it in operation and great to be part of it. May it continue for the public benefit.

  3. Rick says:

    Hey i wonder if they’re responding to the latest flooding there? Does anyone know?

    1. Jay says:

      Yep Rick, if the floods are there still and theres work to be done-we are there to lend a helping hand!!
      I know that there is plenty of PB helping in Gympie and other local areas up in QLD where the flood has affected communities as well….food & drink, moving stock, cleaning affected properties-there is enough work to last a long time (and plenty of chances to show Gods love and spread the Gospel!!! 🙂

    2. Anonymous says:

      Hello Rick…
      Yes i’m pretty sure they are!!! poor things.. seems unending doesn’t it!!! 🙁
      i know many of them personally as i am a PBCC member further down south and they NEVER seem to complain about it! it makes me pretty ashamed as i know if i lived in a place where it flooded almost constantly, i would complain!

      all i can say is keep going, never give up and finish strong! you’ll be blessed!

    3. your best friend says:

      Hello Mr. O. I guess they would be doing something…hopefully someone involed will post a blog!

    4. Unknown says:

      I don’t recall anyone helping out in Maryborough this time, I do know they helped out in Gympie tho…

    5. Anonymous says:

      Hello Rick.
      Yes, i’m pretty sure they are assisting with the latest flooding – in bunderburg as well. don’t you feel extremely sorry for all those living in flood prone areas?! i’m so glad we (the PBCC) are able to help out in some way! i’m not from queensland, but i know the brethren up there very well and all i can say is they are doing an awseome job! keep it up.

      don’t lose faith anyone – God’s hand is over all of this! all we can do is pray for those affected!

  4. Derek says:

    Top effort!! These people are amazing!!! They are so generous, so unselfish, so disciplined, so caring, so supportive, so motivated, so commited, so happy, so …… just GREAT people!! I wonder how and why they operate in the spirit they do?! Its the spirit of Christ! and obvioulsy the spirit of their leaders, parents and so on…..

    Keep up the good work!!

  5. J&M says:

    good support rrt!! Keep up the awesome work 🙂

  6. XYZ says:

    Please can we see a longer recording of the Westminister Music and Speeches! Very inspiring!

    1. Anonymous says:

      I AGREE!!!! 🙂 with you XYZ

    2. ABC says:

      Yep that would be good

    3. K. says:

      Yes – I would love to see more!! A longer recording of this/more info would be great!!! 🙂

    4. Me says:

      Those kids @ the end sound gr8 , better than some bands!

    5. MYSELF says:

      I agree fully, its the best band i’ve heard….it’d be awesome to get a longer recording!!

    6. beachgal says:

      I agree – it is awesome and I would love to see more! Plus keep up the good work RRT’s worldwide – we need more of you and you do a great job!

    7. Stephen Fox says:

      Thanks XYZ – yes; pleeeeeeeeeeeez more of Westminster.

    8. okyeah. says:

      yeah. i agree.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well done all u RRT in maryborough!!! 🙂
    i happen to know a few of you personally – because i am a member of the PBCC further south – and i can understand how hard all of u worked during this whole ordeal! i heard that u walked the streets giving out food and water to cleanup volunteers…. !
    great work guys….. u will all be blessed!!!!!! hope i can help out next time! (even though we hope there WON’T be a next time!!!!!)

    don’t lose courage…. and keep safe.
    praying for all those affected by floods and such!!!!!

  8. Finchmeister says:

    “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it” (Song of Songs 8 verse 7.) Seems as though the floods bring out the best in you people!

  9. ABC123 says:

    I hope we have a RRT in my area – i would feel very safe with you guys around helping. Very trustworthy honest people. Dont have to be afraid of looting – these people wouldnt pinch a mars-bar..!!
    Also – love the singing and music on the Westminster video… Everyone make sure you check it out!! Awesome stuff you guys make me cry!!
    Keep up the good work!!

  10. Rick says:

    Well Done RRT! Keep up the great work – you do really show display that Christianity is everyone for everyone else.

  11. Granny says:

    What a brilliant effort! I well remember seeing the pictures of the Kerang and Nathalia floods a couple years back, and the brethren sandbagging, lending their vehicles etc but the provision of so much food and drink just blows us away!! We were certainly praying you (and Bundaberg) through this! We have experienced a lot of flooding here in the UK recently, and in certain places the brethren jumped to, as usual, and lent a willing hand. My husband and I are pensioners and can’t do a lot to help physically but we are right behind the RRTs wherever they operate, with our prayers.

  12. Audrey Leflaive says:

    Wowww, you guys are great! We could do with some of you living in Mozambique, especially when it floods!

  13. Goov says:


    Just had to say what another fantastic response Guys!
    Keep it up whilst we battle through the snow and rain over here!
    Our Prayers and thoughts our with all the poor people over there who are without houses and running water etc.

    RRT UK Team member.

    1. Prof. D. P. Gumby says:

      Yes I should say so!!

    2. Adjudant says:

      Just give us a yell if you need a hand Goov 🙂

    3. Laura says:

      Goov, do you have any photos of what the RRT have done in UK for those that were stranded in the snow just recently?

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