A World War II veteran who who is passionate about sharing his experiences at the Kokoda Memorial Track Walkway has turned 100.
Reg Chard, of Villawood in Sydney, NSW, joined the army as soon as he turned 18 and in 1942, after the fall of Singapore, he and fellow soldiers were sent to Papua New Guinea to fight on the Kokoda Track.
There were 22 people in his group at the time, with him being the last to remain.
Reg enjoyed a long career working as an apprentice baker and later operating a blast furnace in an iron foundry.
He regularly talks to school children and visitors at the Kokoda Memorial Track Walkway.
Reg's advice to young people is simple - use manners and be kind to each other.
"If you can help somebody who is not as well off as yourself, do so! You have no idea just what it means to them," he said.
His centenary birthday was on October 30, 2023.
Reg, who was married to his late wife, Betty, for 66 years, celebrated his special day with a party at the Kokoda Memorial Walkway, followed by a family gathering with his son, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
"I don't like being the centre of attention, but it was very nice," he said.
Reg said reaching the milestone turned out to be more than he expected.
"I never thought it was going to be this good, but I got the surprise of my life! I found people that I've known for years and they've come out of the woodworks - it's beautiful," he said.
City of Canterbury Bankstown mayor Bilal El-Hayek was among the people to congratulate Reg, popping in to visit.
Bilal said Reg is a living treasure who is well known to the locals and the wider community.
"From serving in the war to serving in the community through shared storytelling, Reg is truly a symbol of hard work and dedication," he said.
"Reg, thank you for your service and from all of us here at Canterbury-Bankstown, we wish you a happy 100th birthday."
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