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Harbord Diggers sub-Branch has a dedicated Welfare Officer who maintains contact and offers support to many veterans, widows of veterans and family members.
Call Wal Edwards on 9977 3230 if you would like to arrange a visit.

   WW2  Veterans - Wal Edwards & Al Hansen

A quick story of Harbord Diggers sub-Branch oldest Veteran and the club’s Welfare Officer

Wal Edwards OAM.

It is 2020 and these are my treasured memories and lamentations of the most popular seaside area in the world, the Northern Beaches, Manly to Palm Beach, from the oldest 103-year-old who has an unrestricted driver’s licence until 2022 and has had so since 1936.

I was born on the 22nd November 1916, in Bibby Street, Hamilton, N.S.W., living in Newcastle, and schooled at East Maitland and Newcastle High, until 1932 in the Great Depression.  We were very poor and there was no work for my dad, so we moved to Manly that year.

My first car was a Morris Oxford (1928) and cost 80 pounds in 1936.

You could park anywhere in the shopping area on the Corso, or Sydney Road.  It was truly heaven for me – but think of the future – so many new cars each year (to park where?) there is no room now in any of the streets.

I have been a grocer, a wine salesman, a soldier for four years in WW2, a dairy farmer and a real estate and business agent and auctioneer for 30 years. I had a small building company, owned three motels and two restaurants, was on the board of the Real Estate Institute of N.S.W., President of the North Shore Branch at the same time as joining the Rotary Club of St. Ives and have been in Rotary now for 55 years. I was honoured to be awarded an Order of Australia in 2015 at the age of 99. They didn’t think I would make 100, but I’m writing this at 103. 

Lessons learned from practical experiences over 103 years – If you are suffering physically, mentally or emotionally, through loss of loved ones, or mates, or by accidents, it can be extremely sad and may God Bless You! BUT try and reach out everyday to contact by phone or in person, someone else in the same position as you that could be worse than you – they are always out there in nursing homes, aged care, War Vets and locked up and cared for, for their own comfort. 


I know this, because I have been the Welfare Officer of Harbord Diggers for 26 years and have visited hundreds of good people suffering and dying and they all appreciate some tender, loving care. I am also a Pastoral Partner of St. Matthew’s Church, so if you need help, just call me.  Our thoughts and actions should always be SERVICE ABOVE SELF – DON’T TALK, JUST ACT. The biggest tip is STOP WHINGING (It’s boring).

       Wallace (Wal) Edwards OAM. Born 22nd November 1916. Penned by Sean Rout - 25 January 2020.

Another great one-stop-shop for expert advice and help for any veteran or family member needing welfare advice and medical or emotional support is the Veterans Centre Sydney Northern Beaches.

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Level 4, Dee Why RSL Club
932 Pittwater Road, Dee Why, 2099
Contact number: 9454 4015
Email: info@vcsnb.org.au

Website: http://www.vcsnb.org.au/