The Melbourne sun smiled upon around 170 people who gathered at the feet of Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop’s memorial statue to mark the great man’s 111th birthday.
Among them was a vanload of Weary Dunlop retirement village residents who made the journey to the St Kilda Rd site to pay their respects.
The village residents were one of more than 10 groups to lay a wreath at the memorial during last week’s service, which was organised by the Weary Dunlop Medical Research Foundation.
Weary Dunlop was an Australian surgeon renowned for his leadership while held captive by the Japanese on the Thai-Burma Railway during World War 2.
He died in 1993, and July 12 marked 111 years since he was born.
Among the crowd commemorating his life at his memorial last week was 96-year-old Colin Hamley, a former Thai-Burma Railway POW who knew Weary well.
Colin was joined by his wife, Val, grandson Ben Hamley, and 15-month-old great-granddaughter Isabelle.
Weary Dunlop resident Jack Mills, who helped organise the trip into the service, said it was a great opportunity to pay tribute to an outstanding Australian.
“The attendance of the village was mentioned [during the service] and it gave us a chance to honour Weary, which I think is an important thing because the village is named after him.”
Jack had met Weary “and he was absolutely worshipped, I can assure you”.
He says he plans to organise another delegation from the village to attend next year’s service.