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Eric McIlree

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Dunk Island Map


On the Official Web Site of the Australian Olympic Committee, an article from their sponsors AVIS states the following:

Dunk Island

"Avis Rent a Car began in 1946 when Warren E. Avis opened the first ever airport car rental counter in Detroit U.S.A. and just a few years later in 1955, Avis Australia was established when Eric E. McIlree opened a small office in Sydney’s Kings Cross. McIlree then negotiated with the government to allow the first car rental facility at airports and soon after had a fleet of 100 FJ Holden’s stationed at nine major airports. Now Avis has over 240 locations throughout Australia and a fleet of over 10,000 vehicles and is part of a global company in 140 countries with over 4800 locations and a fleet in excess of 400,000 vehicles."

Reference is also made of Eric McIlree in a document entitled 'Dunk Island - a historical perspective' which, states:

"In 1956, Eric McIlree of the Avis Rent-A-Car company purchased the island and upgraded its facilities. Dunk Island became a popular destination for celebrities including Sean Connery, Henry Ford II and former Australian prime ministers Harold Holt and Gough Whitlam. "

Dunk Island location

A further reference to Eric McIlree comes in Colin Roderick, Foundation for Australian Literary Studies THE FIRST TEN YEARS 1966–1976.

Foundation for Australian Literary Studies Monograph No. 19 1989. ISBN 0 86443 408 1.

Dunk Island Stamp

"The year was notable for the Foundation's acquisition for James Cook University of the half-acre surrounding the burial cairn of E.J. Banfield and his wife on Dunk Island. Until then the land on which the cairn stands had been the property of Avis Rent-a-Car. Mr Eric McIlree, Chairman and Managing Director of the Company, visited Dunk Island on 9 October 1967 with the Chief Commissioner of Lands for Queensland, Mr E.C.J. Muir; the Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr A. Trist; Sir Raphael Cilento, of the National Trust; Professor Colin Roderick, Executive Director of the Foundation; and Mr Keith Brazier, a Townsville surveyor. The purpose of the visit was to select and mark out a reserve for a proposed Banfield Memorial Centre.

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