Special day to say thanks
KERRY Noonan of Pottsville was an 18-year-old seaman aboard HMAS Hobart in June 1968 when the destroyer was struck by three missiles fired from an American jet fighter.
The Vietnam War accident resulted in deaths and injuries among the Australian ship's crew.
Kerry, who retired to the Tweed two years ago, recal- led the horrible mistake yesterday as he discussed the role of Anzac Day.
"Anzac Day doesn't honour conflict. In war, there are no real winners, people suffer even in victory," he said.
"Anzac Day is extremely important because it says thank you, thanks to those people who went before us."
Kerry served 21 years in the navy. He will be marching today at Pottsville.
After his navy life he worked in the Queensland public service in the 1990s as a purchasing officer, looking after contracts for uniforms for police, firemen and nurses.
Kerry believes that if the Snowy Mountains hydroelectric scheme or the Sydney Opera House were on the drawing board today they would never get built mostly because today's politicians have no real vision.
He said the Murwillumbah train line was a classic example of public infrastructure needed for the greater good, yet allowed to languish because it attracted too many concession passengers and not enough full-fare payers.