Dusty and Jesse honoured at Yandina Eumundi Anzac parade

PARADE HONOUR: Yandina Eumundi RSL Auxiliary volunteer Jesse Pegg led the parade for Anzac Day.
PARADE HONOUR: Yandina Eumundi RSL Auxiliary volunteer Jesse Pegg led the parade for Anzac Day. JD Suarez

A POIGNANT tribute was made by the Yandina Eumundi RSL Sub-branch this Anzac Day to one of their greatest characters, former Lancaster wireless air gunner Dusty Miller who survived everything the Germans could throw at him.

Sub-branch president David Buckley paid tribute to William Edin "Dusty" Miller who passed away during the year aged 92.

Dusty was a "rare survivor” of among World War after an incredible 30 raids over Germany and sub-branch secretary Tracey Gilmartin said he was a true legend.

"He actually gave our Anzac Day speech last year," Tracey said.

"Dusty was due to get a French Legion of Honour medal, but because he had problems breathing he could not make the ceremony in France, and they never get it after you pass."

Tracey said the Australian War Memorial director Dr Brendan Nelson stepped in and arranged for Dusty's daughter Lauri to be presented with it.

"It meant a lot to him, he was such a character. He was gorgeous, he was still going to the gym."

Tracey said the Yandina Eumundi branch service, which marked its 80th year of serving the community, saw "a really good turn up".

"One of the things that makes our service a little bit different is the amount of community links. There's the kids' involvement with the cadets so it's a very youthful and hopeful service," Tracey said.

There was also a special tribute to war widow at the start of the ceremony, Jesse Pegg, a long-time member of the RSL auxiliary.

"Jesse led the parade as our war widow, she and her husband Jack had a long association with our RSL,” Tracey said.

She also laid a wreath for war widows alongside the president David.

"She's still helping with the serving today and made Anzac biscuits," Tracey said.

David said earlier in the day Verrierdale turned on its usual "very enthusiastic” dawn service.

"There was about 60-70 there including one former Canadian paratrooper,” David said.

"Apparently it was the first service parade he been in since he'd left the military about 30 years ago,” he said.

At Eumundi the community Anzac walk halted at Private A M McIntyre's Memorial Tree opposite post office before the solemn service at the amphitheatre.

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