A time of remembrance

ANZAC Day: A time of remembrance

Anglicare is proud to be delivering home care support to war veterans and war widows across our state.

We currently support around 100 Tasmanians through the Veterans Home Care Service.

One of them is Ken Hancock from Burnie. ANZAC Day was a special time of remembrance for Ken, who served in the army during the Second World War.

“As a young man, I was employed at my father’s garage and radio shop at Burnie,” he said. “In those times you could get adult education and take these different courses, which I did. One of them was a welding course at the Emu Bay Railway, under supervision there. When I was called up for the army they put me in as a welder”.

Ken served in the 8th Australian Army Troops, Royal Australian Engineers, and spent two years in New Guinea.

“I remember we landed in New Guinea in the middle of the night. In Tasmania, you hadn’t been allowed a crack of light – it was all dimmed – but in New Guinea everything was lit up bright as day”. For 12 months, Ken was based at the main workshop at Port Moresby. “And my last job was building a floating dock at a place called Labu,” he said.

Ken’s war time experiences included air raids at Port Moresby by the Japanese. “You certainly do a bit of thinking,” he said. “One of the worst times was when they first put us on the boat in Townsville. As they march you onto the boat, you didn’t know where you were going, what you were going to do,” Ken said. “It made you think, to wonder if you’d be coming back or not. It was a bit of a problem at the time but you got used to it”.

Ken said the work in the engineering department had kept his mind focused. “What got me through was having something to do. I was doing manual work all the time and that kept us busy”.

He said ANZAC Day was a time to remember many of the friends he had served with in the army. “I’m getting too old to march now but I take the car out and find a seat there,” he said. “About half my unit was from the North West Coast”.

“I used to go to the dawn service, but now I go to the one at 11 o’clock. It’s nice to see fellows that I knew, though most of them are gone now. I’m 96 – so there’s not too many others left unfortunately”.

Ken said the support services he received from Anglicare meant he and his wife could remain as independent as possible. “Anglicare is excellent. They’ve made sure all our needs are met – gardening, cooking meals, housework, all that sort of thing,” he said.

“I would certainly recommend Anglicare to others,” said Ken. “I didn’t want to move out of my home. I’ve been here all my life and I had to find some way of staying here and by employing Anglicare I was able to do that. They provide help with the things we just couldn’t do anymore. They really are first class”.

Find out more about Anglicare’s Aged and Home Care services.

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