Veteran’s mile­stone

Good mates, wife help Eric cel­e­brate eight decades

Central and North Burnett Times - - HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE... 50+ -

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.

Photo: Bran­don Livesay

BIRTH­DAY LUNCH: (From left) Bill Dav­i­son, Merl Dav­i­son, Craig Fothergill, Eric Hunt, Maria Hunt, Er­rol Shep­herd and Des Cow­burn.

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