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Most outstanding honoured with CBCity's Australia Day Awardshttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/most-outstanding-honoured-with-cbcitys-australia-day-awardsMost outstanding honoured with CBCity's Australia Day Awards2023-01-26T13:00:00Z
Welcoming CBCity’s new Aussies is the best way to celebrate Australia Dayhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/welcoming-cbcity’s-new-aussies-is-the-best-way-to-celebrate-australia-dayWelcoming CBCity’s new Aussies is the best way to celebrate Australia Day2023-01-19T13:00:00Z
Celebrate Australia Day & cool down at CBCity’s Pool Partieshttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/celebrate-australia-day-cool-down-at-cbcity’s-pool-partiesCelebrate Australia Day & cool down at CBCity’s Pool Parties2023-01-16T13:00:00Z
Spectacular new water park opens at Greenacrehttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/spectacular-new-water-park-opens-at-greenacreSpectacular new water park opens at Greenacre2023-01-13T13:00:00Z
Better Homes and Gardens star named CBCity's Australia Day Ambassadorhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/better-homes-and-gardens-star-named-cbcitys-australia-day-ambassadorBetter Homes and Gardens star named CBCity's Australia Day Ambassador2023-01-09T13:00:00Z
Media alerthttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/media-alertMedia alert2023-01-09T13:00:00Z
Our free 'bus to the beach' is back: take the hassle out of getting to the beach in Januaryhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/our-free-bus-to-the-beach-is-back-take-the-hassle-out-of-getting-to-the-beach-in-januaryOur free 'bus to the beach' is back: take the hassle out of getting to the beach in January2023-01-08T13:00:00Z
Summer funhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/summer-funSummer fun2023-01-08T13:00:00Z
Local seniors celebrate togetherhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/local-seniors-celebrate-togetherLocal seniors celebrate together2023-01-08T13:00:00Z
Celebrate Lunar New Year in spectacular style in CBCityhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/celebrate-lunar-new-year-in-spectacular-style-in-cbcityCelebrate Lunar New Year in spectacular style in CBCity2023-01-04T13:00:00Z
Christmas and New Year 2022 Trading Timeshttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/christmas-and-new-year-2022-trading-timesChristmas and New Year 2022 Trading Times2022-12-11T13:00:00Z
Win for Canterbury-Bankstown Council in the battle for Ashbury's Peace Parkhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/win-for-canterbury-bankstown-council-in-the-battle-for-ashburys-peace-parkWin for Canterbury-Bankstown Council in the battle for Ashbury's Peace Park2022-12-07T13:00:00Z
Generation STEM: inspiring our kids to pursue a career in science, tech, engineering and mathshttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/generation-stemGeneration STEM: inspiring our kids to pursue a career in science, tech, engineering and maths2022-12-05T13:00:00Z
Padstow Heights family lights up for brain cancerhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/padstow-heights-family-lights-up-for-brain-cancerPadstow Heights family lights up for brain cancer2022-12-04T13:00:00Z
CBCity's Mayoral Christmas toy and hamper drive: Spreading cheer for those in needhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/cbcitys-mayoral-christmas-toy-and-hamper-drive-spreading-cheer-for-those-in-needCBCity's Mayoral Christmas toy and hamper drive: Spreading cheer for those in need2022-12-04T13:00:00Z
Campsie Master Plan wins national urban design awardhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/campsie-master-plan-wins-national-urban-design-awardCampsie Master Plan wins national urban design award2022-12-01T13:00:00Z
Canterbury-Bankstown to host live screening of Socceroos VS Argentina World Cup matchhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/canterbury-bankstown-to-host-live-screening-of-socceroos-vs-argentina-world-cup-matchCanterbury-Bankstown to host live screening of Socceroos VS Argentina World Cup match2022-11-30T13:00:00Z
Happy birthday, Lakemba Library!https://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/happy-birthday-lakemba-libraryHappy birthday, Lakemba Library!2022-11-28T13:00:00Z
Exploring joy in times of uncertainty: two new Bankstown Arts Centre exhibitionshttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/exploring-joy-in-times-of-uncertainty-two-new-bankstown-arts-centre-exhibitionsExploring joy in times of uncertainty: two new Bankstown Arts Centre exhibitions2022-11-28T13:00:00Z
Showing strength to say NO to domestic violencehttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/showing-strength-to-say-no-to-domestic-violenceShowing strength to say NO to domestic violence2022-11-28T13:00:00Z
A CBCity Christmas Carol with Mahalia Barneshttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/a-cbcity-christmas-carol-with-mahalia-barnesA CBCity Christmas Carol with Mahalia Barnes2022-11-21T13:00:00Z
Children and Youth awards: honouring our local heroeshttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/children-and-youth-awards-honouring-our-local-heroesChildren and Youth awards: honouring our local heroes2022-11-21T13:00:00Z
SASSi Campsie: bringing Anzac Mall to life to support local businesseshttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/sassi-campsie-bringing-anzac-mall-to-life-to-support-local-businessesSASSi Campsie: bringing Anzac Mall to life to support local businesses2022-11-21T13:00:00Z
Christmas in CBCity: Joy to the Worldhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/christmas-in-cbcity-joy-to-the-worldChristmas in CBCity: Joy to the World2022-11-14T13:00:00Z
Take the first step towards singing stardom & audition for TAP!https://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/take-the-first-step-towards-singing-stardom-audition-for-tapTake the first step towards singing stardom & audition for TAP!2022-11-14T13:00:00Z
Join the Tug O’ War Cup & say NO to domestic violencehttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/join-the-tug-o’-war-cup-say-no-to-domestic-violenceJoin the Tug O’ War Cup & say NO to domestic violence2022-11-06T13:00:00Z
Playground upgrades in time for warmer weatherhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/playground-upgrades-in-time-for-warmer-weatherPlayground upgrades in time for warmer weather2022-11-06T13:00:00Z
Canterbury-Bankstown's $20 Million Makeover Planhttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/canterbury-bankstowns-$20-million-makeover-plan-(2)Canterbury-Bankstown's $20 Million Makeover Plan2022-10-30T13:00:00Z
CBCity awards more than $400k to local organisations in need of financial supporthttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/cbcity-awards-more-than-$400k-to-local-organisations-in-need-of-financial-supportCBCity awards more than $400k to local organisations in need of financial support2022-10-23T13:00:00Z
Family day care crisis as centres are increasingly desperate for educatorshttps://www.cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/family-day-care-crisis-as-centres-are-increasingly-desperate-for-educatorsFamily day care crisis as centres are increasingly desperate for educators2022-10-23T13:00:00Z

Stand with our Sergeant, our Hero. Lest We Forget

Stand with our Sergeant, our Hero. Lest We Forget Bert’s story is just about “an ordinary bloke” who is a “very lucky fella”. But to most, it’s nothing but extraordinary. No Stand with our Sergeant, our Hero. Lest We Forget Bert’s story is just about “an ordinary bloke” who is a “very lucky fella”. But to most, it’s nothing but extraordinary. News Columns; News and Updates
Albert Collins

When you meet Albert ‘Bert’ Maurice Collins it’s clear there are very few people like him left. It’s not least of all because at 104 he’s physically healthy and has a remarkably sharp mind. Rather, it’s because of the debt our nation owes him for his service during World War II. ​

Bert’s story is just about “an ordinary bloke” who is a “very lucky fella”. But to most, it’s nothing but extraordinary.

Reflecting from the front porch of his Bankstown home where he’s lived for more than 70 years, the veteran who rose to the rank of sergeant in the 52nd Australian Composite Anti-Aircraft Regiment (AIF) in Dutch New Guinea says he has many memories and stories to tell.

As a boy, “Bert” had a penchant to join the navy. That dream was fulfilled when, he joined at the tender age of 16 - the record listed him as cadet Collins C243. But his hopes of sailing the high seas was not to be fulfilled and shortly after joining, he was discharged from service.

“I was a cadet and one day we were standing in the hot sun for so long I thought, ‘what the hell’s up here?’ and the next thing I thought was, ‘what the hell am I doing laying down here (the ground)?’,” Mr Collins said.

“People were asking me if I was alright and I said, ‘yes, what’s up?’ They told me I’d passed out (but) so did they, because of heatstroke! There were about four others. We were all discharged as unsuitable.”

In August 1940, he received a letter from the army and served as a searchlight operator. After a short stint and a discussion with his men he decided to join the AIF, leaving for Dutch New Guinea (now Indonesia) in 1942.

Mr Collins explained how he had three searchlights and was responsible for directing these lights whenever planes flew overhead.

“I’d have to direct the searchlights and say, ‘searchlight number one, machine gun action on west; number two, bomber; and number three…’ I set them all up and kept an eye out on them. Many a time I was scared, I’m not frightented to admit that,” he said.

It was a far cry from his first job, where he worked at the Eastershow and had to “sing out ‘hot soup! Hot soup! Here you are ladies and gentlemen, over here!’” ​

In recounting his stories, it’s clear the centenarian veteran has refused to give up the Anzac Spirit in him, every time he’s come face to face with death. But he’s always reminding himself and others about how lucky he is to be alive.

He once had to dive into his gun pit after bombs rained down and he felt a thud on his back. It was a close brush with death, which left him with spent shrapnel lodged in his left shoulder blade. But he said he was one of the more fortunate ones seeing as it was “just” shrapnel.

After returning to civilian life in 1945 the veteran became a champion ballroom dancer, but his life of discipline and service has never left.

Last year, Mr Collins was the oldest WWII veteran to march in Sydney’s Anzac Day commemorations.

“The things that happened in wartime is imprinted in my mind … I believe in Anzac Day so much and I should be marching but I can’t because of this scourge (COVID-19). But as far as I’m concerned, I’m with the Anzacs, even though I have to stay home,” he said.

“Many people have to stay home and have their own service … with all the little kiddies too … I hope that everyone who is able to walk, can make their way to their front gate, face east and remember Anzac Day in the early morning.”

This we all should do to Stand with Bert - lest we forget.


 22/04/2020 4:49 PM