Saluting Bill's war service
DECKED out in his suit and tie and surrounded by his family and carers, Bill Douglas deserved to be the centre of attention.
The 93-year-old beamed as he was handed a Certificate of Appreciation for his service to the nation in war time.
There was hardly a dry eye at Coffs Harbour’s St Augustines Nursing Home where Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker did the honours this week.
“Bill served in Singapore and Malaya when they were over-run by the invading Japanese and he was a prisoner of war at Changi for three years and 10 months,” said his son-in-law, Derry McLean.
“His parents hardly recognised him when he was carried off the hospital ship on his return because he was skin and bones, typical of the Changi prisoners of war.”
Bill spent most of his working life at the Postmaster General’s Department in Sydney and retired to the Coffs Coast in the early 1980s.
“He’s always been a real character,” Mr McLean said.
“He’s always had an interest in horse-racing and used to train greyhounds – his favourite was called Snow.”
Bill’s daughter Wendy McLean, his granddaughter Karen Lazarou and his great granddaughter Ellie Lazarou were by his side for his big day.
Certificates of Appreciation fall within the Federal Government’s Saluting Their Service commemorations program.