Federal Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare MP, visited Mr Bert Collins at his home in Bankstown to wish him a happy birthday.
Mr Collins turns 104 on Wednesday, making him one of the oldest people in the Bankstown area and the oldest veteran in the local community.
Last year he was the oldest veteran to march in the Anzac Day march, and is the oldest member of Bankstown RSL, being a member for 59 years this year.
Bert was a part of a special generation of Australians that helped defend and save Australia in our darkest hour.
Bert was called up into the army in 1940 and in 1943 was stationed with the 52nd Anti-Aircraft Regiment as a corporal to the swamplands surrounding Merauke airfield.
He was hit by shrapnel while serving here and survived.
And he didn’t just survive the war and being hit by shrapnel. He had a heart attack a couple of years ago and survived. He had a stroke and survived. He was diagnosed with stage four malignant melanoma and survived. And he is the oldest Australian to survive skin cancer.
“I’m fortunate to call someone like Bert my friend and I wish him a very happy birthday,” Mr Clare said.
“104 is a tremendous achievement for any person, especially someone who has been through what Bert has, so I congratulate him on this extraordinary milestone.”
Mr Clare invites residents to let his office know when they are celebrating a special 90th plus birthday or a 50th plus wedding anniversary so he can arrange for appropriate personal congratulatory messages.
“Celebrating important occasions like this with members of our community is a great privilege,” Mr Clare said.
ISSUED: Monday 9 March 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Lizzie Green 02 9790 2466