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Former WWII RAAF serviceperson Alan celebrates centenary b’day with Anglicare friends


Former WWII RAAF serviceperson and Anglicare Southern Queensland service user celebrates centenary birthday, along with proud Anglicare staff in Queens Park in Ipswich

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This week one of Anglicare Southern Queensland’s out and about clients celebrated their centenary birthday along with staff at Queens Park in Ipswich.

Alan Beaumont Hastie has been a client with Anglicare for the past 10 years and has been enjoying his outings every Tuesday.

He was born on April 14, 1921 in Auchenflower. His father was from Scotland and his mother was born in Melbourne. They lived at Wilston and then at the Grange.

He had one younger brother (Edwin) who has died.

Alan attended the Wilston State Primary School; itself celebrating its own centenary last year. He obtained a two-year scholarship to what was then the State Commercial High School and College located at what is now the George St campus of The Queensland University of Technology. At both schools he played tennis.

Alan was first employed by A Forysth and Company Pty Ltd; a company which made ropes for ships, railways and graziers.

He then enlisted in what was then the Citizens Military Forces on May 15, 1941. Alan obtained the rank of acting sergeant until transferring from what became the Australian Army to the Royal Australian Air Force on April 7, 1944. He trained at Kingaroy in air crew, but was then moved to ground staff as they seemed to have enough air crew. Alan trained at the Sydney Technical College. He was posted to Tocumwal, then to Aitape in Papua New Guinea where the Beaufort Squadron was stationed. He returned from there and was discharged on January 18, 1946.

Alan went back to his previous job until 1952, when he received a new job with the Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) and then it’s subsidiary, Australian Wine Industries. He remained there until his retirement on September 30, 1983, a total of 31 years.

Alan married Mary Ursula Sims, a kindergarten teacher who had grown up in country New South Wales and who was educated at a teacher training college in Surrey Hills, Sydney.

They were married by Mary’s father, an Anglican priest, at Gosford on 12 February 1949. Alan and Ursula, as she was known, first met during a three-day bus tour to Warwick, and then they started playing social tennis together at Coorparoo. Ursula had come up to Brisbane to work at the Lady Gowrie Child Care Centre in Spring Hill. She remained working there after they married and their children attended the centre.

They had four children, Elizabeth, Lesley, Peter and Sue.

Alan and Ursula lived at Ascot, followed by the Grange and shortly after bought an old Queenslander in Auchenflower.

In 1972 the family moved to Kenmore.

After his retirement Alan and Ursula spent time travelling overseas: including to New Zealand, China, the United States of America, England, Scotland and Wales, Norway, Sweden and Finland and Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany and what was then Yugoslavia. In 2012 at the age of 91, Alan travelled with one of his daughters Lesley and her husband to Agra, Punjab and New Delhi in India where one of his grand-daughters was then working for the Australian High Commission.

Ursula died in 2004. Alan currently lives by himself at the family home in Kenmore. Apart from his four children, two of whom live in Brisbane, one of whom lives in Sydney and one whom lives in Roma, he has seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Alan gets his house cleaned once a fortnight through Anglicare.

Happy Birthday, Alan, from all of us here!

First published on the Anglicare Southern Queensland website on 16 April 2021.

Editor’s note 20/04/2021: This news story was updated, with a text change to ‘Citizens Military Forces’ from ‘Citizens Municipal Army’.

Editor’s note 20/04/2021: Images updated.

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