Mayor visits one of last surviving WWII vets Reg on 100th birthday

REG Chard thought turning 100 was going to be just like any other year.

But it turned out to be more than he expected, he told Canterbury Bankstown Mayor Bilal El-Hayek who popped into his Villawood home to wish him a Happy Birthday.
“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 woodwork – it’s beautiful,” Reg said.
One of Canterbury Bankstown’s last surviving WWII veterans, Reg, who turned 100 on October 30, is passionate about sharing his experiences with school children and visitors at the Kokoda Memorial Track Walkway.
He joined the army as soon as he turned 18 and in 1942, after the fall of Singapore, he and his fellow soldiers were sent to Papua New Guinea to fight on the Kokoda Track.
“Unfortunately, all the others, there were 22 of us over there at the same time, have all passed away over a period of time,” he said.
He also enjoyed a long career working as an apprentice baker and later operating a blast furnace in an iron foundry.
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.
His advice to young people is simple – use manners and be kind to each other.
Mayor El-Hayek said Reg was a living treasure who was 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.”