CHERBOURG, QUEENSLAND — A 65-year-old Wakka Wakka tribal elder is dead after believing he was doing the right thing for his community.
Mr. Bevan Costello, known as Uncle Bevan Costello in his community, received his second Pfizer mRNA injection on or around September 9 at a local pop-up event, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). He told ABC that many of his fellow Wakka Wakka tribe members were hesitant to receive the injections due to “misunderstanding of the information, mostly on social media.”
ABC reported that Cherbourg, an aboriginal settlement with about 1,200 residents, was only 4.6% fully-vaccinated as of September 9. Uncle Bevan said in the televised interview below that he’s more confident now that he’s fully vaccinated. He also said he was diabetic and that the vaccine should protect him if he gets COVID-19.
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Details about Uncle Bevan’s death are scant. But the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council Facebook page made two announcements six hours apart about his death on September 14 and 15 Queensland time. The first says it was a “sudden passing.” The second describes it as a “sudden death.” The two posts garnered a total of 339 comments and over 1,500 engagements as of writing, by far the two most popular most on the channel since at least June.
The Council also re-posted several photos and updates from the Darling Downs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Facebook page. The photos show individuals receiving injections at the three-day event that Uncle Bevan received his injection.
None of the posts mention that Uncle Bevan received the Pfizer shots. ABC reported that he died of a heart attack.
Mr. Bevan Costello was a pillar of his community. He represented the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council. Uncle Bevan assisted magistrates at the Murri Court to help them understand aboriginal people and culture. He was also a founding member of the Ration Shed Museum, which tells the history of Cherbourg.
Funeral services are scheduled for October 8.