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Celebrated war veteran moving on

Monday, 20th July, 2009

The city is preparing to farewell one of its most celebrated war veterans, Andy Dowd.

A special function will be held today for the 89-year-old who has dedicated much of his life to the local Returned and Services League (RSL) and Legacy.

The gathering will be held at the local RSL Sub Branch office, 399 Argent Street, between 1pm and 3pm. All are welcome to attend.

Those unable to attend today's gathering will be able to see Andy on his last shift at the office on Thursday afternoon.

The Order of the British Empire (OBE) and Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) recipient will be moving to Adelaide in coming weeks with his wife of 65 years, Lorna, so the pair can be closer to their family members. "I don't really want to go," Andy said. "It took a lot of talking into.

"I'll miss all the people and friends that I know here in Broken Hill."

During World War 2, Andy served with the ninth division in the Middle East, attached to the engineers. Shortly after returning from active service, he joined the local RSL Sub Branch in 1945. In 1948 he became an Executive Member of the RSL Sub Branch and was elected president of the Sub Branch in 1956 and 1957. He was inducted into Legacy in 1957 and took over as secretary of both the RSL Club and Sub Branch in 1959. He retired from the position of club secretary in 1983 and has continued to serve both Legacy and the local RSL until recent months. Andy was also secretary of the Gallipoli Memorial Foundation and a life member of both the RSL and Silver City Rifle Club.

While he may be less steady on his legs than he was as a 21-year-old man sent to war, Andy still recalls the horrors that he, like many others saw. "Anybody that went through a war is lucky to be alive," the veteran said. He said he was confident Broken hill residents would continue to provide support for memorial events like Anzac Day for many years to come. "They're a pretty loyal lot here. I think it is the best place in the world." Broken Hill RSL Sub Branch President John Bacich said Andy's tireless work over many years would not be forgotten. "The veteran community and everyone is sad to see him go, but he'll be with his family in Adelaide," Mr Bacich said. "We're definitely sorry to see him go." Those sentiments were echoed by Des Kennedy, Chairman of Legacy Broken Hill. "Legacy Broken Hill will miss Andy for all the time and effort he's donated. "There's not many people like him."

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