Good mates, wife help Eric celebrate eight decades
FOR veteran serviceman Eric Hunt, the Gayndah RSL was the only place to celebrate his 80th birthday.
Living in Gayndah for the past 10 years, Mr Hunt has always been an active member of the local RSL.
As the only Korean War veteran in the whole of the district sub branch, he regularly cops a ribbing from his RSL mates for being around forever.
“The only Boer War vet in the district, aren’t you Eric?” the other RSL members joked as he sat in front of his birthday cake.
He is a bit hard of hearing these days, but a wry smile told everyone the joke was heard loud and clear.
The delicious-looking cake was decorated with eight candles, “one for each decade of your life”, his wife, Maria, said.
The other servicemen were quick to quip, “we couldn’t get a fire permit for all 80 candles”.
Maria and some of his close friends gathered around the cake to pose for a photo under the Remembrance Day picture at the RSL hall.
“I tell you, the only thing about this is I don’t even like sweet things,” Mr Hunt said.
But after seeing 80 birthday parties, he knows to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
A sergeant in the army, Korea was only one of the many locations he saw action.
“I did two-and-a-half months in Vietnam,” he said before counting off the list of other conflicts in which he has served.
From Korea, Borneo and Cambodia to Malaysia, Sgt Hunt served his country in each.
After the army, he worked as an electrical engineer.
His two children gave him se- ven grandchildren, and so far he has two great-grandchildren.
A proud RSL member, Mr Hunt is also actively involved in Gayndah’s Senior Citizens Club and enjoys a game of indoor bowls at the RSL hall with Maria.
BIRTHDAY LUNCH: (From left) Bill Davison, Merl Davison, Craig Fothergill, Eric Hunt, Maria Hunt, Errol Shepherd and Des Cowburn.