From the land to the sky: Inverpine veterans brought together by service

From the land to the sky: Inverpine veterans brought together by service

They may not have trained together, nor did they serve together, but in retirement their service has allowed them to form an unwavering bond.

More than 60 years’ post service, veterans David Cummings, 82, and Harry Belcher, 93, are neighbours in Bolton Clarke’s Inverpine retirement community.

Dave was part of the Australian Army where he joined in 1961, completing his training at Kapooka, South-west of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales before being sent to Sydney for infantry training.

He was posted to Enoggera, Brisbane for two short years before being sent to Borneo in Southeast Asia.

Harry took a different path, joining the Royal Australian Air Force at just 18.

He served for four years during World War II before being discharged and joining a Dutch airline where he worked in Java for six months.

While they both share a different set of circumstances and are more than a decade a part in age, as they stood side by side to lay a wreath on Anzac Day the spirit of mateship was clear.

As it does every year, the service brought many memories to the surface for these veterans.

“Indonesia was trying to take over Malaysia,” Dave said. We lost quite a few men over there. I came through it all right.”

Dave Cummings during his service in Borneo.

Dave Cummings during his service in Borneo.

But as life moved forward after these years, both Dave and Harry went on to achieve remarkable feats.

“After Java, I got a job in Australia and settled down to a normal life,” Harry said.

“I started off with Ford motor company and worked there for a while, I got tired of that and went in to automatic spare parts.”

Today Harry continues to live with his wife in his home of 21 years at the Inverpine Retirement Village.

Dave also followed his dreams to further his education in order to become a manual arts teacher.

Having also lived at Inverpine for close to 20 years, Dave continues to enjoy an active life as president of the social club.

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