AUGUST 15, 2020, marked the presentation day by the Australian government for the Saluting their Service Commemorations Program and also the anniversary of Victory in the Pacific.
Within our local community, Alexander Ronald Clements was proudly awarded a certificate of appreciation and a medal to mark his service, after an application was made by his family.
There would be few of his fellow servicemen still alive to be granted these recognitions. He is a proud 96-year-old living in Korumburra.
Alec was born in Toora and enlisted on March 17, 1942, in Melbourne, aged 18.
He served within the Royal Australian Air Force. His service initially involved training in Sydney and then he was commissioned to Townsville for the forward journey to Papua New Guinea.
He was mainly involved in maintenance of the planes and the airstrips under extremely trying conditions. His recollections of service included Milne Bay, the Admiralty Islands and Tarakan.
Endurance, perseverance, mateship and courage are qualities that these servicemen needed to cope with their environment at the time. He continued until his discharge on January 31, 1946. He then returned to Toora and worked on the dairy farm with his father and later his brother.
In 1948, he married Gwenneth Pitchford and in 1955 they moved to Nyora, where he was awarded a soldier’s settler farm block. He lived there until 1972.
Unfortunately, a formal presentation of his awards has not been possible because his aged care facility remains in lockdown, but his family is very aware of how proud he is. His children are Graeme, from Cowra in NSW, Sandra and Neville of Warragul, and Merideth in Melbourne.