WWII vet among 700-strong Tin Can Bay crowd
ONE of the youngest World War II veterans to engage in active service, 94-year-old Sergeant Thomas Kelly, witnessed the Anzac spirit first-hand as an 18-year-old.
Today, he glimpsed it among the future generations as a record crowd of about 700 turned out to commemorate Anzac Day at Tin Can Bay.
Sgt Thomas Kelly, who describes himself as "the same age as the Sydney Harbour Bridge” and served in New Guinea, was far from alone at the ceremony.
He was joined by veterans, public servants, students from Tin Can Bay P-10 State School, Victory College and St Pat's, and Gympie's first group of army cadets since 1912 - all there to commemorate those who fought and gave their lives.
And not to forget three generations of his own family, including son Corporal Tom Kelly, a Reservist for 36 years who drove from Mackay to be with his father.
RSL sub-branch school liaison David Grice said the turnout for the parade, which marched down Tin Can Bay Rd from Jew St to the RSL, made a mark - especially on the heels of this morning's 250-strong Dawn Service attendance.
"It brings tears to my eyes,” he said.