90yo still helping the community
AT almost 90 years old, Harry Gwynne felt it might be time to slow down just a bit, so after 24 years he retired from his role with Legacy.
However, the Allora ex-serviceman has just taken on another role as president of the Allora RSL Sub-branch and still regularly involves himself in the community.
“I said I would take it (Sub-branch presidency) through to the end of the year. I mean, I am almost 90 and I don’t hear as well as I should and I don’t see as well as I should,” Mr Gwynne laughed. “You’ve got to get out there and get active in society. I think that is one of the main things.”
Mr Gwynne took on the role at Legacy in Allora in 1986. He supported the 17 widows of ex-serviceman for many years.
He has seen many changes over the years due to the welfare system improving and the services Legacy provides to women and children changing.
“We used to arrange to mow lawns, get firewood and all of those things,” he said.
When he first took over in 1986, he said he saw it as an extension of the work he was already doing with the RSL as secretary and wanted to do as much as he could.
“I have been a member (of the RSL Allora Sub-branch) since 1946 and was secretary for 35 years. It’s taken me this long to become president,” he said.
“If you are capable of doing it, you should do it – it’s a very worthy cause. You are doing something for your mates who didn’t come home.”
Mr Gwynne served in New Guinea and Borneo for eight years in the infantry battalion and in the light horse before the war.
Mr Gwynne said, as a part of his role with Legacy, he used to organise the badge day, which raised about $400 each year for the cause.
Every year there was also a Christmas outing, which involved a surprise bus trip followed by a function at the Allora RSL but this year it will change a bit for the first time.
“There is still a use for Legacy. It would be a backwards step if we didn’t have Legacy here to look after the ladies of Allora,” Mr Gwynne said.
He has handed over the position to former Warwick Shire Councillor Glyn Rees and said he was happy to find a compassionate person to take on the role.
Mr Gwynne said he would always maintain contact with Legacy as well as the RSL, which he has been a life member of since 1986.
“I have held every office except treasurer – they won’t give me the money,” he laughed.
Mr Gwynne said he was fortunate to have had a long life and still felt great for his age. He still goes camping in the desert and helps a friend transfer vegetables four times a week to Brisbane.
“If you sit at home looking at the walls, you’ll be looking at a box,” Mr Gwynne said.