Veterans catch up to share stories

ARARAT - Ararat RSL members Eddie McAdie and Mick Sherger are continuing to give World War II veterans the opportunity to get together and share stories.

Mr McAdie and Mr Sherger, who carry out RSL home and hospital visits, recently took 11 vets from the Ararat Retirement Village out to lunch at the Ararat RSL.

"What we do is we bring them all up here. It's like a men's club and the RSL shout them lunch and a few drinks," Mr McAdie said.

"They sit down and we ask them would you like a squash - some say 'No, I'd like a beer' so they really do enjoy the outing."

Each Friday Mr McAdie and Mr Sherger alternate visits between the Ararat Retirement Village, Lowe Street aged care facility, Garden View Court, the Ararat Hospital and private homes, with about 35 people on their visiting list, all members of the RSL.

Mr McAdie said they had been visiting vets for the past six years.

"They love it, they are looking forward to it every time we go down and visit them," he said.

"We just go around and have a talk to them, because sometimes family isn't always that close by.

"Once you get them going they share stories. What they tell us we don't tell anybody, unless it is a funny joke, but otherwise we are sworn to secrecy."

Jack Culph, one of the veterans who attended the lunch at the RSL, said some of the stories are not always repeatable.

Mr Culph said the visits from Mr McAdie and Mr Sherger and the regular lunches give everyone the opportunity to catch up.

"I love the variety, it is different from day to day and you make up for lost time by being able to associate with all your common men," he said.

"We get to see everybody in rotation. Every second Friday the two gentlemen, Mick and Eddie, arrive and give us all the incoming news."

With some of the veterans now aged in their 90s, the lunch and visits are an important chance to share in the experiences while the opportunity is still there.

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