96-year-old veteran 'Corky' attends Wooli Service
AT 96 years of age, Henry "Corky" Caldwell was the oldest veteran to attend the Wooli Dawn Service this morning.
After serving in the Middle East from 1941-1943 during World War II, Mr Caldwell came home to the Clarence Valley. During his time in the Army, Mr Caldwell was apart of the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
For 34 years Mr Caldwell served in the Minne Water Fire Brigade where he earned the Order of Australia for his services to the community. Mr Caldwell was joined by his family, who said they brought him to the Wooli dawn service every year.
While the district of Wooli, Minnie Water, Diggers Camp and Pillar Valley does not have a large number of returned or retired serviceman, many supporters came from out of town to join the few that were left in the commemoration of Anzac Day.
Ray Greaves from Kootingal, near Tamworth, had come to the Wooli Dawn Service as a Vietnam War Veteran for the first time. Mr Greaves who served in the Vietnam in 1970 in the B Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, said from year to year he and his friends go to different places for Anzac Day.
"We don't want to be in the same place every year," he said.
"It was a very nice spot to have a service," Mr Greaves said about the service that is held on the top of the sand dunes overlooking the water on Wooli Beach.
For Mr Greaves, Anzac Day was about remembering the diggers who are gone, and remembering the servicemen from the more recent wars.
Among the out of town visitors were the local Ex-Servicemen who help organise the service every year.
Brian Fredrickson from Minnie Water has been coming to the Wooli Dawn Service since 1986 when he moved to the area. Mr Fredrickson was in the Navy as an Engineer for nine years and in the Air Force as Air Sea Rescue for 12 years.
During his time in the Navy, he served with the Strategic Reserve in the Far East.
Now, Mr Fredrickson tends to the garden that surrounds the cenotaph at Wooli. During the service, Mr Fredrickson read the Ode and lowered the flag during the ceremony.