Tea Gardens veteran Roy Day honoured with for World War II service

WWII veteran Roy Day, surprised as he is presented his special Medallion by Tea Gardens RSL sub-Branch President Mal Motum.

WORLD War II Australian armed forces veteran Roy Day has been honoured in the lead-up to ANZAC Day, with a special presentation of a medallion by the Tea Gardens RSL Sub-Branch on Monday 15 April.

Roy, at 97 years young, is one of the oldest surviving WWII veterans in the area, and was unaware that the presentation would be taking place.

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He was genuinely stunned speechless at the rare honour, presented by Tea Gardens RSL sub-Branch President Mal Motum.

“The 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day, and the end of WWII was on 15 August 2020, and in recognition of this the Government has issued a Medallion to all living veterans of WWII, who contributed in any way,” Mal explained.

“Roy was an instrument fitter, and has the thanks of a grateful nation.”

Roy told News Of The Area to receive the honour was “so nice, if a bit embarrassing”.

“It was a very long time ago,” Roy said.

“Six years ago, Veteran Affairs rang me up and told me that, of the 990,000 people sent in uniform to the war, they only knew of 6000 remaining.”

Roy was initially called up for the war at age eighteen, however, due to his work at the time in a ‘critical industry’, his boss managed to get a stay on the call-up.

However, Roy was keen to get involved, and only three months later, when he received a second notice, he joined the RAAF.

“I did basic training in NSW, and medical training in Victoria, then spent most of my time in WA as a medical orderly, looking after POWs returning to Australia.

“Some were not very well at all, for obvious reasons.

“After WWII, I went back to the machine shop to make surgical instruments again.”

Roy has enjoyed life ever since, including looking after a large staff in government communications services, before ultimately retiring and travelling around Australia, twice so far, with his wife, Lynette.

“On ANZAC Day, I will go to the Dawn Service at 6am, then the March from 10:30am down Marine Drive, with the RSL group at the front, and later my wife Lynette and I will go to lunch,” Roy said.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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