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Small conversation unearths history of service

Fairways resident Greg and family with Bundaberg RSL Sub Branch Members Graham and Neil

Recently, Bolton Clarke’s Fairways retirement community in Bundaberg held a poignant celebration to honour Veterans. In attendance was Greg Johannesen who was presented with a moving tribute to his late Father.

Volunteer Neil Wex, who also looks after the Bundaberg RSL sub-branch library, was chatting with Fairways resident Greg Johannesen when he discovered Greg did not know much about his father’s World War II service.

“It was mid-2021 when it became clear to me that Greg’s Dad was very dear to him and he wanted to know more about his service.” Neil said.

Neil took this information back to his RSL colleagues, who researched Greg’s father, Mr Eric Johannesen’s, service history. They were able to locate his World War II military service record which the family previously had not seen.

“I was just the little trigger that started this and thankfully, because I’m a member of the RSL, I had the right contacts to facilitate it!

“I’m so grateful that the Bundaberg RSL Sub Branch and Bolton Clarke have such a good relationship, because ultimately it has ended up benefiting the residents!” He said.

Greg, who is also a Vietnam veteran, was joined by his three sisters and his Mother to receive his father’s 75th Anniversary medal, service record and an Australian Flag in honour of his service.

“It was one of those beautiful small ceremonies that really meant a lot to the family. Oftentimes, although, I’m a volunteer and I give my time, I feel energised and like I get more back from being able to talk to these grand people and learn their stories!”

The presentation was made by Bundaberg RSL Subbranch President Mr Graham Crowden and Mr Neil Wex.