RSL hon­ours WWII vet­eran Pat

Campaspe News - - LOCAL CLASSIES - By CHARMAYNE AL­LI­SON

LONG-TIME Rochester res­i­dent Pat O’Shaugh­nessy has been hon­oured by the Re­turned and Ser­vices League with a life mem­ber­ship.

Rochester RSL pres­i­dent John Glover pre­sented Pat with his award at a re­cent meet­ing.

Pat is the last World War II vet­eran in Rochester sub-branch to be hon­oured with life mem­ber­ship.

John praised Pat’s tire­less ser­vice through­out his 32 years in the RSL.

“A vet­eran joins the RSL to main­tain his ser­vice-re­lated friend­ships, to con­tinue hon­our­ing the tra­di­tions of the ser­vice and to as­sist in bring­ing wel­fare to those vet­er­ans who need it,’’ he said.

‘‘The award is not a re­flec­tion of one’s ser­vice in uni­form be­cause all ser­vice is hon­ourable, no cam­paign or war is more or less im­por­tant than any other and the per­sonal sac­ri­fices are the same.

“Life mem­ber­ship ac­knowl­edges an in­di­vid­ual’s per­sonal con­tri­bu­tions to the ideals of the RSL. Pat has dis­tin­guished him­self by be­ing readi- ly avail­able to those in need, a con­stant friend to those who are in­firm, bedrid­den or hos­pi­talised and a read­ily recog­nised face of the RSL within the Rochester com­mu­nity.

‘‘Ad­di­tion­ally, he is a friendly men­tor to other mem­bers of the RSL sub-branch.’’

Pat said he felt ‘‘lucky and blessed’’ to re­ceive the award.

“This award is not some­thing one ex­pects... I have en­joyed do­ing what I do for the RSL and I am grate­ful that I am well enough to re­ceive the award,’’ he said.

‘‘I was lucky to sur­vive World War II, the an­gry Arctic Ocean is not my best friend, and I lost too many good mates.

‘‘The Pa­cific Ocean was kinder but the wartime threats were just as deadly and con­stant. My de­ci­sion to set­tle in Aus­tralia was the bless­ing, as are my fam­ily mem­bers.’’

Other World War II vet­er­ans hon­oured with life mem­ber­ships in­clude Bill Pit­t­away, Eric Knee­bone and Stuart Walk­ley.

Greg Walk­ley, a Viet­nam vet­eran, is also a life mem­ber.

Pres­i­dent John Glover, right, con­grat­u­lates Pat O’Shaugh­nessy af­ter he re­ceived a life mem­ber­ship of the RSL.

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