MINISTERIAL COMMENDATION AWARDS PRESENTED TO BATHURST RSL SUB BRANCH TRIO

THREE members of the Bathurst RSL Sub Branch have received Ministerial Commendation awards.

Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott presented John Graham, Les Anderson and Brad Hock with special certificates at a ceremony held on Tuesday.

Mr Elliott paid tribute to the careers of each the trio who served their country and noted they are the first recipients to receive this Ministerial Commendation in the Bathurst Electorate.

John Graham (Army), Les Anderson (Air Force) and Brad Hock (Navy) were humble in receiving the accolade from Minister Elliott who heaped praise on their commitment to serving their nation.

Mr Anderson is the current Bathurst RSL sub branch secretary while Mr Graham and Mr Anderson are both pensions officers with the organisation.

Mr Anderson served in the Air Force from 1966 to 1972 as an instruments technician with 76 Squadron’s Mirage fighters based at Williamtown where their mission was to protect the steel industry at Newcastle.

“Today, Mr Anderson is described as ‘the glue that holds the local sub branch together in organising the annual Anzac Day ceremony in Kings Parade,” Mr Toole said.

“He has been involved in sub branch activities for the past 15 years, eight years as its secretary, and really is a quiet achiever.”

For John Graham, the Australian Army was his life for 36 years and 250 days. He served in Kashmir in 1983 and 20 years later in 2003 also served in East Timor.

“Mr Graham, who was born and raised in Portland, retired with the rank of Major and now is actively involved with the local sub branch as a pensions officer,” Mr Toole Said.

Brad Hock’s Navy career extended from January 1974 to July 2010 when he retired from duty with the rank of Commander.

He served on the HMAS Melbourne, but spent most of his time on board the HMAS Albatross.

“Mr Hock joined the Navy as an apprentice and went onto specialise in aero engineering. He was involved with the Wagga RSL sub branch for many years before moving to Bathurst in 2014 and taking up his role as a pension officer with the local sub branch,” Mr Toole said.

“Both Minister Elliott and myself were honoured to be involved in this special ceremony to recognise these special Australians.”