Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Mr "Tim" Harry Stevens Flint
WW2 Veteran,
retired builder, retired fireman
fox shooter, wood carter,  fisherman, Bushman's bushman,
Expert veggie grower, Tomato Relish Master chef
 father, grandfather, great grandfather
well known and liked, respected pillar of the community
and long term resident of Temora.

I am ever so proud of my Grandfather for marching in the Anzac March in my home town of  Temora. For many years he wouldn't march, it was just too hard for him to face the day. He is a proud man and the questions and  emotions that the day brought up caused a lot of pain to him. as half a lifetime later he seemed to still be trying to make sense of it all. 

 As the last few years have passed and he has just turned 87 he has begun to relay alot of the stories of his experiences of that time during the war. With an ever growing sense of urgency he has began to tell us all sorts of tradgic, amazing and incredible stories about his past. I had heard very little about my grandfathers wonderful, colourful life. Very little I could pass on to my grandchildren to describe what
a great man Tim Flint was when the time came.

So I am not only intrigued, often entertained, as he retells the past but oh so grateful that I have had this chance to get to know this character, as more than just my grandfather but as the amazing man he is. He often says I talk to much. " Marcy rang and I listened" I've heard he's said! I used to feel abit hurt by this until I realised and pointed out, emphatically, I might add....where exactly
I now know, my story telling skills were inherited  from!!! LOL


Poppy Tim Flint in the front seat of The Veteran's Jeep

On a number of occasions on Anzac day, over recent years Pop could have "got a lift with the oldies" ...perhaps after knee surgery maybe when the walking stick came out? We were worried this year as Pop had had just gotten over a 4 round of antibiotic size pneumonia how he'd approach the march. Much relieved were we when at his own suggestion he mentioned the day before he thought he might get an army "taxi" this year. Secretly in the back of our minds I think we all thought bout time he started being a sensible old digger, the time had come. It was just moments later we had a laugh at ourselves when Pop said:
He didn't feel to bad "just pulled up a bit sore in the leg after stacking the last of the fire wood. He'd had it delivered on Thursday and it was, after all a mere 5 and half tonne! That my POP!

Mum and Pop share a "moment"
Not to make light of the day being overall solemn event even funnier than that story, was my husband helping Pop into the jeep and "nearly breaking his leg!" as he jammed it in when it it wasn't seeming to bend! and me raving over awesome photo I took of Pop, the "money" shot  of photos
only to discover on closer inspection Pop wasn't even in it!

would have been good if we'd had a cross wind!

On a more serious note this was the beginning of Pops march this year and even at the start having to lower his lofty standards to get a lift he showed that true Anzac spirit as once seated he reached across and shook the drivers hand thanking him for the help he'd offered today! Then the next moment we are looking down the street lined with people clapping their hands and it hits me.  O r should I say nearly overwhelms me ...POP in the front seat of the first vehicle in the march is the face of the parade the first digger people will applaud! I choke back a tear.Then I glance over at my Mum who always wears her heart on her sleeve and shes already using a fistful of Kleenex. 

If only my Nan was alive to see this, chills go up my spine,
HOW PROUD SHE WOULD BE. she would have probably need to be held up!
Poor Pop looks ever so uncomfortable in the spotlight, god love him.
I am pretty sure that the kids don't notice as I can hear them
excitedly calling out "There's MY GREAT Pop!"

The marchers are well on there way to the  memorial now and in front me I am a taken back. This is the first year I have not been so focused on Pop marching in, that I have noticed how few diggers are left.

Its heart breaking really when I think in the days we marched with our school
(yes okay more than a few years ago) the number of men and women with medals
marching in these ranks was probably for or five times this.

The ceremony was lovely and respectful. The wreaths are layed and the children spoke in length about what they feel about Anzac day. I am in awe of their both their research skills and the courage they show for their tender ages. I know I couldn't do what they are up there doing, addressing practically the whole town. I am particularly moved as a little boy about 10 tells us about a country boy of 16 who goes from being a shearer, to the first Aboriginal Wing Commander in the Australian Air force and
 pride registers, all these years later, in this boys voice as he speaks about this
man who This man who was his great Uncle.

The last post is played I still cant get over how haunting it sounds on a clarinet as apposed to the trumpet which was usually played when I was a kid. Then than a minutes silence is observed where eerily you can almost hear the thoughts of remembered lost loves and fallen mates. In your own mind, the horror of your imagination delivers a hefty dose of respect and heartbreak for all those who
suffered so we should have freedom.

These thoughts are only punctured by goosebumps as a vintage CA-16 Wirraway roaring
low across the service and then
that speech, that Ode of remembrance, by Laurence Binyon ....

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.


Lets hope they never do.

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