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Sid's 102 Year Life History Told In State Parliament

Tags: Tony Piccolo MP / Gawler / Light Electorate / Building Communities


  • By Tony Piccolo
  • Jul 03, 2018
Sid's 102 Year Life History Told In State Parliament

South Australia’s oldest surviving World War II veteran, Willaston resident Sid Ey, has had his story told in State Parliament recently to mark his 102nd birthday.

Local Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Mr Tony Piccolo raised Mr Ey’s birthday in State Parliament as he believes his story has the potential to promote our town’s history to younger generations.

“It is an era that is so long ago, yet Sid remembers it quite fondly. His recollection of his early life is truly interesting and a door into the past. He has a very vivid recollection,” Mr Piccolo said.

“He remembers one night in particular when he was looking after a patient with a broken leg in a hospital [in Tobruk during a six-month siege].

“Because this patient had a broken leg, he was unable to be evacuated to the air raid shelter when the siren sounded.

“Sid decided to stay with the patient to try to stop him in case he tried to get to the shelter.

“He remembers sitting with this patient during the bombing. He remembers it being an incredibly nerve-racking period but thankfully neither were hurt.”

From horse-drawn carts to electric cars, Sid Ey has witnessed incredible changes in his 102 years, and his childhood memories are still clear.

The parliamentary speech is based on an interview given to the Gawler Oral History Project.

In his interview Mr Ey recalls when the grocers used to call at the home to take an order and deliver it later in the day, the baker ran a horse and cart service, and the butcher ran around with meat in a closed box in the back of a horse and cart.

“It was a totally different experience to what they have today,” Mr Ey said.

Mr Ey also remembers climbing onto his back fence to watch the monthly horse and cattle sales, held behind the Bushman Hotel, as well as buying treats from the lolly shop opposite Lyndoch Rd.

Mr Piccolo expressed his delight that Sid’s story has been preserved for future generations, including his military service as a Field Ambulance Officer.

“I think it is incredibly important to acknowledge the work of medical staff in our military,” Mr Piccolo told State Parliament.

“They too experienced the trauma and brutality of war. They played an important role in making sure that soldiers who were injured had the care that they needed.”

Sid Ey’s story offers a treasure trove of information about Gawler and its history, and was expertly curated by interviewer Barry Neylon.

The Gawler Oral History Project collects, records and preserves the memories and stories of some of our most remarkable local residents.


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