This week Defence Housing Australia (DHA) has the privilege and honour to present the 2016 Anzac Lunch for Legacy. The event marks the lead up to Anzac Day and puts the efforts of our diggers at the forefront of mind, as we remember all that they sacrificed to provide what we have today.
At this year’s event we were able to meet two Second World War veterans, Colonel Ron Faulks (retd) and Legatee Dick Payten both 95-years-old. They both experienced active service overseas including in Papua New Guinea and are today both active members in their local communities.
Both men were full of stories that they so generously shared with master of ceremonies Melissa Doyle and the guests at the lunch.
Regaling stories about love, friendship, family and war - both with quick wit and very sharp minds, they told their stories as if they happened only yesterday.
‘I probably should have got in trouble for that because I lied about my age – you were meant to be 18,’ Ronnie said of his enrolment one week after his 17th birthday.
The consistent theme that came through from the interview was how important the love and support they received from their family at home helped them endure the war. Even though they couldn’t speak with their wives or family, (both Ron and Dick met and married their wives, Lea and Mary, during the war) they longed to see the weekly Catalina plane arrive with mail from loved ones at home.
The event concluded with an auction of some very memorable experiences included a day with the Australian Special Forces, a day in the life of RAAF Richmond for four people, a two night stay on the HMAS Adelaide for four people and a NRL private suite at ANZ Stadium. Thanks to the generosity of those attending more than $34,000 was raised for Legacy Sydney.