KAFS members welcome Australian Korean War vet
By John Redmond
Members of the Korean Australian Friendship Society (KAFS) played host to Australian Korean War veterans during their visit to Korea as part of a tour commemorating the outbreak of the Korean War (1950-1953).
They attended a memorial ceremony along with former members of Commonwealth forces from New Zealand, Britain and Canada at Gupyeong on April 24 at 11:30 a.m.
The ceremony was especially important for this group as an Australian is listed as the youngest allied soldier to be killed in the Korean War. His name was James Patrick Daunt and he was a private of the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment. He was killed on Nov. 6, 1951 when was 17 years old. Like many soldiers of that era he lied about his age to enlist.
As a show of appreciation to KAFS the Ambassador of Australia to Korea Sam Gerovich was awarded a special gift at a dinner held at the New International Hotel in Seoul on April 13.
Professor Kim Song-hee, president of KAFS presented Gerovich with a celadon bowl as a token of maintaining ties between the two countries.
The evening comprised of a buffet-style dinner and speeches by KAFS members in English, and a thank you message from Gerovich.
KAFS has been active for some 30 years as a program that involves the exchange of ideas and skills between Korea and Australia. These include job training, educational programs and trade opportunities.
During their stay veterans of all nations also attended an ANZAC Day dawn service at the National War Memorial.
ANZAC Day refers to a memorial for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps known as the ANZACs.
The term originated with the First World War army corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force that was formed in Egypt in 1915 and operated during the Battle of Gallipoli, a campaign that resulted in almost half a million casualties.