Good times and bad remembered

ANZAC Day is not a day to glorify war — it is a day to remember the deeds done, says Hammondville war veteran James Sprice.

"On Anzac Day, you don't have to wear your jacket and helmet, there are no bullets flying around. It is just a day to remember the good times," he said.

Mr Sprice served in the Vietnam War in the artillery division and as a photographer in the survey corps.

"I was a photographer by trade many years ago and when I joined the army I was going to go into the infantry," he said.

"But they asked me if I had any trades and I said I was a photographer, so that is when I joined the survey corps.

"It was a bit mundane and boring there. I joined the army . . . I didn't want to do some uniformed 9-to-5 job."

Mr Sprice said the future of Anzac Day would be preserved as long as history was still taught in schools.

"For years I have gone to the school and given the children talks," he said.

"I would tell the students what Anzac Day is all about and what it really means — they need to know why they should carry the Torch and keep it alight for many years to come."

Mr Sprice has been associated with the John Edmondson VC Memorial Club for 20 years.

He works with veterans and pensioners and educates them about what sort of aged care opportunities are available.

"I make sure they are aware of all the traps and pitfalls in the aged-care system," he said.

"I pass on what they need to know. This can be compensation for war injuries, or getting into aged care, might be welfare or helping them with their will."

Mr Sprice will attend the dawn service at Bigge Park on Friday.

"Anzac Day and Remembrance Day are days that are really held dear by most of the community," he said.

"The club also maintains an old tradition for its members and the public, where it serves a breakfast free of charge.

"I suppose it serves as a form of encouragement because people can look forward to a warm belly at the end of it all."

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