WWII diggers remember New Guinea

World War II veteran Jack Payne fought on the Kokoda Track.
World War II veteran Jack Payne fought on the Kokoda Track.

JACK PAYNE fought alongside many Australian soldiers during his time serving Australia on the Kokoda Track during World War II.

And those soldiers are never far from his memory when Anzac Day comes around.

“It is a day to remember my mates,” the 89-year-old Airlie Beach resident said during Sunday's Anzac Day parade.

Jack was part of the 39th Battalion and went to New Guinea in 1942 where he remained until six months after the war had finished.

In his early 20's he saw things that luckily most of us will never have to face and it is because of people like Jack and so many that came before and after him that crowds turn out in their droves to pay tribute to service men and women on Anzac Day every year.

Bert Huttley is another Whitsunday veteran who fought in New Guinea during World War II.

The significance of Anzac Day to Bert is obvious and he is one that has enjoyed seeing the way it has grown over the years.

“It means a hell of a lot to me,” he said following the parade in Proserpine on Sunday.

“It is a good thing.

“I really hope it keeps growing as a day.”

Judging by the size and average age of the crowds that attended services in the Whitsundays on the weekend, Bert is going to get his wish.

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