Hero here to help
MADDINGTON resident Graham Lewis has spent his life serving his country and his community.
It is his work in the navy as well as the many voluntary roles the 70-yearold has had over the past 40 years that has seen him awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.
His time in the navy means he now lives with a self-described “severe case” of post-traumatic stress disorder.
He was born in 1946 and joined the navy in 1962, seeing saw active service in 1964 in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
“I have all sorts of flashbacks and that has required medication for over 30 years. When you are in action it’s a whole other world. I was still 17 when I saw active service - most kids that age are still in school,” he said.
“Some of my days start good, finish lousy.”
He said he accepted he would be on medication the rest of his life.
He has also served his community in various voluntary roles.
While living in Kalgoorlie in 1975 he was asked to become a Justice of the Peace and has been one since.
He said he regularly went to Hakea Prison to assess people to become sureties for prisoners.
“Every day of my life there is JP work to be done,” he said.
“I have always served. I served my country and I serve my fellow man.”
One of his roles is with TS Canning as a voluntary instructor officer.
He was promoted to being in command in 1981 and helped build the unit, which helped prepare people for life.
Mr Lewis has also been involved in woodturning for 15 years and spent five years from 1998-2002 voluntarily driving for senior citizens on day trips.
Originally his task was to take seniors to shopping centres, but he pitched the idea of going on trips to the countryside. He began taking them to country towns such as Northam, York and Pinjarra.
Mr Lewis has since joined the Liddlelow Homestead in Kenwick to participate in woodturning and eventually became an inaugural member of the Gosnells Woodturners Club.
After learning about woodturning and being awarded prizes in competitions, he began teaching at the Wandi Woodturners.
He started with one member at Wandi and it has since grown to more than 15.
Mr Lewis said one of his greatest achievements was teaching a disabled man with the use of only one arm to turn wood.
BYFORD’S Ric Giblett was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to veterans and their families.
Mr Giblett is president of the Serpentine-Jarrahdale subbranch of the RSL of Australia.
He was a foundation member of the branch and is a pension and advocacy officer of the Vietnam Veterans Federation WA.
Graham Lewis of Maddington says he has always served others.