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The birds, the bees and the bingohttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/the-birds-the-bees-and-the-bingoThe birds, the bees and the bingo2021-09-05T14:00:00Z
Canterbury-Bankstown unites to help needy cope with COVIDhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/canterbury-bankstown-unites-to-help-needy-cope-with-covidCanterbury-Bankstown unites to help needy cope with COVID2021-09-05T14:00:00Z
CBCity creating better ways to stay safe and connectedhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/cbcity-creating-better-ways-to-stay-safe-and-connectedCBCity creating better ways to stay safe and connected2021-09-05T14:00:00Z
Upgraded play space for Paul Keating parkhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/upgraded-play-space-for-paul-keating-parkUpgraded play space for Paul Keating park2021-08-29T14:00:00Z
Program sparks culture, connection and creationhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/program-sparks-culture-connection-and-creationProgram sparks culture, connection and creation2021-08-29T14:00:00Z
Grassroots campaign celebrates diversityhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/grassroots-campaign-celebrates-diversityGrassroots campaign celebrates diversity2021-08-29T14:00:00Z
Mayor announces extra COVID support for CBCityhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/mayor-announces-extra-covid-support-for-cbcityMayor announces extra COVID support for CBCity2021-08-26T14:00:00Z
$500,000 in grants to support CBCity community groupshttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/$500-000-in-grants-to-support-cbcity-community-groups$500,000 in grants to support CBCity community groups2021-08-08T14:00:00Z
CBCity businesses get "Inside" scoop on COVID paymentshttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/cbcity-businesses-get-"inside"-scoop-on-covid-paymentsCBCity businesses get "Inside" scoop on COVID payments2021-08-08T14:00:00Z
Council's masked heroes delivering more than mealshttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/councils-masked-heros-delivering-more-than-mealsCouncil's masked heroes delivering more than meals2021-08-02T14:00:00Z
CBCity supports local jobs for local peoplehttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/cbcity-supports-local-jobs-for-local-peopleCBCity supports local jobs for local people2021-07-19T14:00:00Z
Fantastic Plastic. Don’t trash it, Recycle ithttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/fantastic-plastic-don’t-trash-it-recycle-itFantastic Plastic. Don’t trash it, Recycle it2021-07-13T14:00:00Z
Premier to attend CBCity COVID Community Forumhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/premier-to-attend-cbcity-covid-community-forumPremier to attend CBCity COVID Community Forum2021-07-13T14:00:00Z
Governor's call to CBCity Mayorhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/governors-call-to-cbcity-mayorGovernor's call to CBCity Mayor2021-07-07T14:00:00Z
Mayor’s COVID plea to Canterbury-Bankstownhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/mayor’s-covid-plea-to-canterbury-bankstownMayor’s COVID plea to Canterbury-Bankstown2021-07-06T14:00:00Z
Bankstown and Campsie master plans win awardhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/bankstown-and-campsie-master-plans-win-awardBankstown and Campsie master plans win award2021-07-05T14:00:00Z
A win for women in sportshttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/a-win-for-women-in-sportsA win for women in sports2021-06-16T14:00:00Z
Fiesta! Funding for festivalshttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/fiesta-funding-for-festivalsFiesta! Funding for festivals2021-06-16T14:00:00Z
Local builders urged to get the site righthttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/local-builders-urged-to-get-the-site-rightLocal builders urged to get the site right2021-06-07T14:00:00Z
Successful walking basketball program plays into overtimehttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/successful-walking-basketball-program-plays-into-overtimeSuccessful walking basketball program plays into overtime2021-05-31T14:00:00Z
Hundreds of school children and players left in the lurch for weekshttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/hundreds-of-school-children-and-players-left-in-the-lurch-for-weeksHundreds of school children and players left in the lurch for weeks2021-05-31T14:00:00Z
Power playspace for Paul Keating Parkhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/power-playspace-for-paul-keating-parkPower playspace for Paul Keating Park2021-05-31T14:00:00Z
Polluter cops a triple whammy! Fined $330,000https://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/polluter-cops-a-triple-whammy-fined-$330-000Polluter cops a triple whammy! Fined $330,0002021-05-30T14:00:00Z
Art sculpts connection during Reconciliation Weekhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/art-sculpts-connection-during-reconciliation-weekArt sculpts connection during Reconciliation Week2021-05-24T14:00:00Z
Not all heroes wear capeshttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/not-all-heroes-wear-capesNot all heroes wear capes2021-05-17T14:00:00Z
Thoughtless vandals tarnish weekend soccerhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/thoughtless-vandals-tarnish-weekend-soccerThoughtless vandals tarnish weekend soccer2021-05-17T14:00:00Z
Save our parkhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/save-our-parkSave our park2021-05-10T14:00:00Z
Walk safely to school dayhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/walk-safely-to-school-dayWalk safely to school day2021-05-10T14:00:00Z
CBCity to provide more support for youth mental healthhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/cbcity-to-provide-more-support-for-youth-mental-healthCBCity to provide more support for youth mental health2021-05-10T14:00:00Z
Serial killer not welcome in my cityhttps://cbcity.nsw.gov.au/media/news/serial-killer-not-welcome-in-my-citySerial killer not welcome in my city2021-05-06T14:00:00Z

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