John a true friend to veterans
JOHN Dredge is living proof that there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.
Mr Dredge, of North Ipswich, has received an Order of Australia Medal for his service to veterans and their families, and to the community of Ipswich.
He is now secretary of the Ipswich Railway Sub-Branch of the RSL and secretary of the Incapacitated Servicemen and Women's Association of Australia (ISA).
"Our sub-branch and ISA run bus trips for veterans who may be otherwise restricted to their homes, so we can get them out and take them to interesting places and give them lunch which they thoroughly enjoy," Mr Dredge said.
"We also give them advice on where to get possible pension benefits and other auxiliary help through the Department of Veterans' Affairs."
It is not accolades that have brought Mr Dredge the greatest joy over decades of service. When asked what gives him the most satisfaction from his work with veterans his answer was emphatic.
"The best thing is just to see their faces when we help them," Mr Dredge said.
"You don't ask for anything, but it is wonderful when you can shake their hands and they say thank you. Most of the good work has been done in partnership with my wife Jeanette."
Mr Dredge said he award was "a recognition for the many people who do voluntary work for veterans and their families and for community activity".
Mr Dredge has also had a long history of service to the Ipswich Rugby League (IRL) where he fulfilled just about every role.
"The only thing I haven't done is sell pies," he grinned.