Kingaroy war hero turns 96 ‘a genuinely good guy’
WELL known, and well loved, Kingaroy war hero Doug Farmer will turn 96 years of age on Saturday, February 1 – and he has lived his life to the fullest.
Doug is a resident at Canowindra but has a leave pass to be driven to the Kingaroy RSL Club on Saturday, where he will be invited to have a cuppa with his family and friends.
He will, of course, also be cutting his birthday cake.
Douglas Newton Farmer was born in Gympie on February 1, 1924.
Growing up at Chatsworth near Gympie, Doug and his brothers and sisters milked cows on the family farm every morning before school.
On July 6, 1942, Doug enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force.
He served until his honourable discharge on January 21, 1946.
During World War II Doug saw active service in New Guinea, for just over 19 months, with the Airfield Construction Squadron.
He was later posted to Melbourne, then Darwin, and finally Kingaroy where he met his first wife Amy.
During post-war training he completed his apprenticeship as a carpenter in Brisbane and, after marrying, he and Amy moved back to Kingaroy, the place he wanted to make his home.
He worked as a carpenter for the Forestry Department before joining the Kingaroy Post Office where he delivered mail, worked on the telephone exchange as a night officer, and then worked as a counter officer for nine years.
Members of the community might remember Doug delivering telegrams on his red PMG bike back in the good old days.
Doug then returned to his trade of carpentry in and around Kingaroy.
He also helped in the construction of the then new mining area of Moranbah and the Great Keppel Island Resort.
Tired of working away from home, he then worked for Queensland Rail in Kingaroy for about 17 years.
Many locals will recall Doug at Kingaroy Railway Station, waiting for the train from Maryborough to arrive at about 4pm each day.
Doug is a former long serving secretary of the Kingaroy and Memerambi RSL Sub-Branch, and a long serving board member of Legacy.
Doug is also the oldest member of the Kingaroy-Memerambi RSL Sub-Branch.
He is well known by generations of “Kingaroy’ites” for his selling of RSL, Anzac, and Legacy badges from his footpath stall in Haly Street.
Doug will be collected from Canowindra by RSL board executive members on Saturday morning and driven to the Kingaroy RSL.
He is due to arrive there at 10.30am to join family members and friends for a chat and coffee.
On the stroke of 11am, Doug will cut a large birthday cake, which will then be shared among those present.
Doug’s favourite is chocolate coated sponge cake, so the RSL Club’s baker is preparing something appropriate, bearing the appropriate birthday boy message.
Doug always takes a great photograph and likes to regale with stories of his military life and lengthy work history.
He is also known for being very likely to burst into song. Some of his favourites are How much is that Doggie in the Window and My old Man’s a Dustman.
Doug has a reputation which precedes him as a genuinely good guy.
In his 96 years, he has never been known to bad mouth or degrade anyone. And he’s known for being the most generous man anyone could ever wish to meet.
LNP leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington wished Doug Farmer a happy birthday.
“On behalf of the South Burnett community, I would like to wish Doug a very happy 96th birthday,” she said.
“I was honoured to catch up with Doug at the 2019 Kingaroy Remembrance Day ceremony and share some time with him.”
“I have seen first-hand Doug’s dedication to the work of the Kingaroy-Memerambi RSL Sub-Branch and his commitment to keeping the Anzac spirit alive through our annual Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and Vietnam Veteran’s Day events.
“He is a stalwart of the Kingaroy community and I would like to thank him and show my appreciation for his service.
“I hope he has a wonderful day with family and friends, sharing memories and enjoying his birthday celebrations.”