Hervey Bay man speaks about losing brother on MH370

A HERVEY Bay man has spoken publicly for the first time and acknowledged his brother, who was onboard the doomed MH370 is probably in a watery grave.

Paul Burrows, a practicing doctor at Hervey Bay Family Practice spoke to the Chronicle a year on from the plane's disappearances.

His soft voice still bears the tragedy that as haunted his family since March 8 last year.

Dr Burrows was about to tee off on the first hole at the Hervey Bay Golf Course when he heard the plane had gone missing.

However with no passengers mentioned in the media, Dr Burrows had no idea his brother Rodney and wife Mary were on the flight, until his sister rang.

"I got a phone call from my sister and I said, bull***t, you're kidding," he said.

"There was always the hope that they'd missed the flight or whatever-altered at the last moment."

But Rodney and Mary did make the flight, along with six other Australians.

One year on, Dr Burrows still feels the same pain he did last year, and parents Irene and George are struggling.

"We're in the same situation as we were 12 months ago - we know nothing," he said.

"You can see the kids of Rodney and Mary having major difficulties and my parents are getting too old to desire to deal with these sorts of issues as well.

BELOVED PAIR: Rodney and Mary Burrows in December 2013.
BELOVED PAIR: Rodney and Mary Burrows in December 2013. Contributed

When asked what the best outcome could now be, Dr Burrows was optimistic but then realistic.

"The perfect end of course is for them to walk through the door - that won't occur," he said.

"It's very safe to assume that all passengers on that plane are not walking and talking on terra firma and that they have an underwater grave, somewhere."

With weekly updates from the Federal Government and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, the Burrows are buoyed by the fact the search is continuing.

"They're quite confident that they are looking in the right place and they're quite confident that if it's there, they will find it," he said.

Dr Burrows said everybody involved with the search was passionate about finding the plane.

"It's for worldwide aviation as well as for the people that were on the plane - it's important for more than just our family," he said.

He can grasp the knowledge that his older brother won't be walking through the door, but Dr Burrows is now searching for answers.

"I'm not going to use that dreadful word, closure," he said.

"I don't think anybody's been able to put forward as many crazy theories as the rest of us in the family have been able to put forward."

But the disappearance of his brother's plane hasn't stopped the doctor's love of travelling.

He was in Dubai the morning MH17 was shot down, watching his father George talk to a journalist on television.

"You shouldn't be seeing your elderly father on worldwide television," he said.

"There's nothing you can say about that, it's just another tragedy."

His concern doesn't rest with his family, Dr Burrows said the plane should be found for all of the families involved.

"It's not just Rodney and Mary, there's lots of people that lost their lives and lots of families that are grieving just as much as we are," he said.

"It's very, very pleasing that the government has continued the search with the venom that they have.

"I think it's important for aviation to do that - it's important to try and find an answer to what happened to that plane."


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