Mavis Blackwood was a wireless telegraphist in the navy. Contributed
Mavis Blackwood was a wireless telegraphist in the navy. Contributed Contributed

ANZAC DAY: Whitsunday veterans captured in photograph

AIRLIE Beach photographer Brooke Ogden has used her talents to capture portraits of the remaining Whitsunday residents who served in the Second World War.

Photographing the 15 ex-servicemen and women in 2015 gave Ms Ogden, who owns Brooke Miles Photography, some insight into and appreciation of their lives.

"They're just beautiful souls, the ones that I did get time to talk to," she said.

"They were happy to share their story and have their photo taken, regardless of what awful memories and emotions it brings up for them."

Ms Ogden was impressed by how some of the residents, now in their 90s, were living life to the fullest.

"George (Gnezdiloff) is still playing golf three times a week… (and) Frank Sellers is still selling real estate in Bowen at 92 years old," she said.

Ms Ogden was approached to photograph the series as part of a national project to document all remaining Second World War veterans.

The Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP)'s Reflections Project was a mammoth task in which more than 5000 registered veterans were photographed to be presented and archived in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

"(I thought it was important) for the families of those veterans, the grandchildren and the grandchildren, to have a reflective portrait of them in their last years," Ms Ogden said.

Ms Ogden also has a personal connection to the project - her late grandfather Harold Hambleton fought in the Second World War.

She attended this morning's Cannonvale ANZAC day dawn service to honour the veterans.


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