Veteran celebrates 100 years
TEWANTIN'S own new centenarian Mervyn Taylor, fresh from partying hard at Noosa's Boathouse last Wednesday, was back in town again the following day, to receive a special certificate from Tewantin RSL's Sub-branch.
RSL president Mick Reid arranged for Merv's long-time neighbour and fellow veteran John Philpot to present the certificate next to the RSL's new artwork.
Mr Reid also wrote up a summary of Merv's military career:
"Mervin Taylor left school and started work for Pykes Motor services as a driver and mechanics' assistant learning about motors and the servicing of vehicles.
"In 1939 he was called up for Army military service and directed to report to Victoria Barracks. His best friend Albert had joined the RAAF.
"After some thought he went down and enlisted in the RAAF and was accepted.
"He was sworn in on April 29, 1940.
"He advised the Army of his enlistment and never heard from them again.
"He never had any further contact with his best friend.
"He applied for a position as a driver in the transport section of the RAAF, but was told there were no vacancies.
"With the support of his previous employer he requested to be trained as a fitter.
"The RAAF posted him to Adelaide and then to Melbourne for training as a hand rigger on aircraft.
"Again there was no position available so he was approached to be a steward serving in the officer's mess.
"He was also called on to help with the servicing of aircraft on occasions.
"Posted to PNG's Milne Bay he was, along with his normal duties, directed to guard the perimeter of the airfield.
"He had to undertake bayonet training because the threat from the enemy was so serious.
"To this day he remembers that they took turns sleeping in an old ambulance, so that they could get some decent rest away from the stress and the heat. He served in Australia, Port Moresby, Milne Bay and Morotai Island.
"On his return, he spent some time in hospital with malaria, before being discharged on September 25, 1945.
"He has spent the last 25 years living in retirement in Tewantin.”