Help the Dolphins make history! Sign the pledge

Search:



Remembrance Day a time to reflect

Posted: 1pm 10 Nov 2020

Neville Cullen’s family had a long history of military service, so it was only natural that the then 17½-year-old would sign up for the Vietnam War in 1964.

“My grandfather was a World War I veteran – he was mentioned in despatches and was promoted in the field (in Egypt) from Sergeant to Lieutenant,” Neville says.

“Two days later he was wounded with shrapnel that stayed in him until he died.”

The Redcliffe RSL president’s father and mother both served in World War II, his father in the Armoured Crops and his mother in the Women’s Air Force.

New traditions

While traditional Remembrance Day services are cancelled due to COVID-19, Neville says it is still a day of reflection for service men and women.

“To me it’s just about remembering their service and what they have done, along with my own service, and to remember those that did not return home and gave their lives so we could live in peace,” he says.

As with Anzac Day, the Redcliffe RSL will work with 99.7 Bridge FM to air a service so the community can commemorate Remembrance Day.

“The service will be conducted by 99.7 Bridge FM and I will be reciting The Ode and there will be the Last Post and a minute’s silence,” Neville says.

“We do encourage people to either turn out (in their driveways) like they did on Anzac Day, or if they are passing by the memorial to place a poppy.”

Meanwhile, Moreton Bay’s Own 101.5FM community radio station is also broadcasting a Remembrance Day Service from 9am hosted by Christine O’Brien with themed music, historical pieces from Morayfield-Caboolture RSL Sub-Branch president Bruce Miller OAM, poems as well as a main service starting at 10.45am, with all the formalities.

Promise to grandmother

Having served in a cadet corps while at school, Neville says he enjoyed the discipline and sought permission from his grandmother, with whom he was living, to sign up for Vietnam.

“My grandmother made me promise that I would not go into the infantry or the artillery and said the best to apply for would be the Medical Corps.

“The Army asked you to put down three choices (of where to serve) and I put down medical, medical and medical.”

Neville says few men sought to join the Medical Corp – just three from his intake applied – so it was little surprise when he received his assignment.

He served two tours of Vietnam, with two years with the 16 Commonwealth Field Ambulance in Malaya in between.

“I was a Corporal when I went to Malaya and I came back a Sergeant, then went over to Vietnam again as a dust-off medic.

“That involved flying out in a helicopter to pick up wounded from the battlefront and bringing them back for medical treatment.”

Neville says flying over the battlefront was challenging, “especially when you were getting shot at by the enemy below”.

Career in nursing

His time with the Medical Corps ignited a passion for nursing and Neville went on to become a registered nurse working mainly in operating theatres.

“I rose through the ranks in the admin side and became the Deputy Director of Nursing at Mount Druitt Hospital, which was still on the drawing board at that stage.”

Moving to Queensland, Neville became the Director of Nursing at St Andrews Hospital at Ipswich and later the Principal Policy Officer for Queensland Health before his retirement.

Read more local news here.

Share

Trending

Call to support local venues offering takeaway

As greater Brisbane and the Moreton Bay Region settle into a three-day lockdown, hospitality venues offering takeaway are calling for your support.…

Inspiration to spoil mum on Mother's Day

Have you left Mother’s Day planning to the last minute? There’s no need to stress – we’ve got you covered, from gorgeous gifts to places to take her for breakfast, brunch or lunch. …

More you might like:

Trending

Local News   •   23-4-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Tales of great escapes preserved forever

Bryn Evan’s book about airmen’s incredible escapes during World War II not only preserves their stories for future generations, but also serves as a reminder of what was sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy today. We chat with the Scarborough author.…

Local News   •   10-4-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Youth in the spotlight

Queensland Youth Week starts today and runs until April 18. It’s a chance to celebrate young people in our community making a difference and to shine a light on what we can do to support those in need.…

Local News   •   29-3-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Sea of red for Moreton Bay Red Ride

In a first for the region, motorcyclists will embark on a scenic ride from Caboolture to Redcliffe, through to Samford and Woodford to take a stand against domestic and family violence on May 1.…

Local News   •   26-3-2021  •   Nick Crockford

Join walk for Wounded Heroes

Bribie Island Bowls Club is calling for volunteers to step up and step out for its new Kokoda Challenge Charity Walk.…

Community Groups   •   26-3-2021  •   Kylie Knight

J2J gives PAA a paw up

This year’s Jetty 2 Jetty Fun Run will raise money for a charity which has been giving animals a second chance at life for 50 years.…

Local News   •   23-3-2021  •   Jodie Powell

Father Peter Gillam farewelled

Father Peter Gillam a man of the people…

Your free local community newspaper, home delivered fortnightly.

Read Latest Edition

Close