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The courage of John MacDonald

 

This year marks the 75th year since the end of World War II, and we’d like to take a moment to recognise one of our residents at Aveo The Domain Country Club – John MacDonald.

Born in 1923, John grew up hearing tales of World War I.

At the age of 17, with World War II well underway, John enlisted in the army and completed his training in Brisbane. It wasn’t long before he was sent to Dutch New Guinea and Borneo, serving during some of the most intense fighting in the entire Pacific region.

John met his wife Edna, a fellow soldier and truck driver, during the war. The pair were married on St Patrick’s Day 1945 while on leave, but resumed their duties soon after.

By October 1945, John’s brigade was still in Borneo waiting to be demobilised. After a day on duty, John went for a swim in the ocean to cool off and found himself face-to-face with a Japanese mine.

In an act of courage, John grabbed onto the mine to keep it away from the shoreline, while a fellow officer sounded the alarm and organised a boat to help push it back out to sea and out of harm’s way. 

As a reward for his courage, John was granted his request to return home and made it back in time to hear ‘Rainbird’ win the Melbourne Cup.

After the war ended, John and Edna had three children and opened bakeries in Allora and Gladstone. In the late 1950s, the family returned to Brisbane, where John worked for hardware firm James Campbell for more than 17 years.

After moving to the Gold Coast and running another hardware shop, John retired in 1992.

Now widowed, he lives at Aveo The Domain Country Club, where he keeps active with regular walks and enjoys watching his favourite AFL team, the Essendon Bombers.

Across Australia, Aveo communities are home to many brave people who, just like John, have dedicated their lives for our nation. 

We thank you for your service.

 

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