Pat Cannard, who lives at Murrumba Downs, has used her retirement to edit and publish stories of Korean war veterans.
Working with the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment Corporation, Mrs Cannard has helped produce two volumes of The Diggers Own Stories.
“My husband, Ernie, was a Korean veteran and a part of the organisation’s committee so I used to go along to the meetings when one day they were looking for an editor, and that’s how I came to start,” she said.
“I was surprised because I came from a bush town, Wallangarra, and the most important person in that town was the schoolteacher - now here I was talking to the Governor’s General and politicians!
“We tried to cover everything in the book. I did stories on the Padres, attached troops from other countries, major speeches by politicians and Japanese war brides.
“It was mostly veterans of the Korean War but there weren’t too many battle stories they wanted to share – it was all the funny experiences they had away from the warzones.”
Mrs Cannard and her husband Ernie moved to Bolton Clarke’s Inverpine’s Retirement Village at Murrumba Downs in 1999 and are among the longest standing residents.
She had been a secretary for most of her life and raised five children, later taking a role with Australia Post in Brisbane.
“We ended up staying in Brisbane for 30 years and I was the State Manager’s Secretary – I only left because we wanted to travel Australia,” she said.
“We spent eight months travelling the country in a caravan and we went everywhere!
“After I moved in I was still a national secretary of a women’s organisation, I was a part of a poet’s group, a writer’s group and I wrote the village newsletter for 20 years.”
That has developed into publishing books which Mrs Cannard describes as one of her proudest achievements during retirement.
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