RSL honours WWII veteran Pat
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.