Wednesday, 31 December 2008
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD !
Today would have been Dads' 92nd birthday. He has been gone, but not forgotten for the past 12 years.
Born in Casino NSW, his father Julian died when he was 3 months old and his mother Clara took the family and moved to her fathers hotel at Tabulam. Incidentally, Julian & Clara were first cousins. Sounds unheard of these days, but in 1894 I guess it wasn't considered odd as it would be these days.
When he left school he worked with the 'travelling picture shows' (remember that Australian movie - "The Picture Show Man" ?) That took him to the Lyric Theatre in Tenterfield where he was the projectionist.
He was also an honorary bearer for the Tenterfield Ambulance, and when WWII broke out he joined the RAAF as a Medical Orderley. He served at Darwin during the bombing, a base in west QLD with Special 'Z' forces, Rathmines flying boat squadron at Lake Macquarie, Temora in west NSW to name just a few.
I can remember one night when he came home from his customary beer at the local, with an exciting bit of news. He and the local Beaudesert taxi driver (I think his surname was Radke) had been talking about their service during the war. Dad mentioned that when he was in Darwin, he was the orderley who took delivery of the first Japanese POW to arrive on Australian soil for transport to the RAAF Hospital because he was badly wounded. Imagine his surprise when Mr Radke said that he and his Army mates had loaded that same prisoner onto the Catalina flying boat! I think that probably prompted another round!
Dad left the RAAF after the war and worked in small Ambulance stations in country areas before moving to Beaudesert where he met Mum. They were married in Sep 54. Dad stayed with the Ambulance until his retirement in about 1983.
He passed away on the 23 Dec 96 after an apparent allergic reaction to a changed medication he was taking.
This photo that I have put in here is taken when Dad was about 3 years old, sitting on the steps of the Tabulam Hotel and playing with his favourite toy, an ambulance. It is quite fitting considering his lifetime career was in that field.
Love to all