REFLECT: Max Anderson with a picture of himself at 18-years-old.
REFLECT: Max Anderson with a picture of himself at 18-years-old. Inge Hansen

The Story Of: Max Anderson, who dug trenches at age seven

WHILE most seven year olds were sitting in classrooms, Max Anderson was outside helping dig trenches in case the Japanese attacked.

The year was 1943.

It was a time where kids could walk to school alone without fear and the biggest chocolate block you could find was a mere 10 cents.

Back then, it was hard for a seven year old to afford a 10 cent block of chocolate.


"We used to pinch flowers from around town and sell them," he said.

"Or you'd get a long pencil and cut it into thirds and sell them at the races.

"Of course, they bought them from us because they felt sorry for us."

Max never particularly enjoyed school and when the opportunity came around for him to leave, he jumped at the chance.

At 11-years-old, Max showed his mother an advertisement in the local newspaper which asked for young boys to help deliver ice-cream to stores.

At 12-years-old, he was hired.

He committed to his work for many years ahead and the job was simple in comparison to his next one in line.

These days, many 18-year-olds would have a full time job or be studying for a future career.

Max was involuntarily signed up to the army.

"The government sends you the notification and if you didn't turn up you were arrested," he said.

"All the kids I knew in the area turned up and we went training in the army - there were about 3000 of us altogether."

A few months went past and Max was in an aeroplane ready to jump out and fight in the Korean War.

While in the air, the war was called off and Max' and thousand's of other lives were spared.

Afterwards, it didn't take long for Max to find work repairing and laying carpet in hotels, resorts and other businesses.

He continued his career after moving from NSW to Hervey Bay in 1994.

By then, he already had two children with his first wife and had remarried to his current wife, Rita in 1985, with whom he had another daughter.

At 82-years-old, Max has seen the world change right before his very eyes.

He's watched as Hervey Bay transformed from a small country, fishing town to a thriving holiday hot spot with more buildings erected than he could have ever imagined.

He looks at young people these days and is in awe of the contrast between the new generation and his own.

A time where you couldn't dye your hair eccentric colours like you can today.

Where being left handed in school was considered wrong and you'd be hit with a piece of bamboo on the arm to make you right handed.

Something Max, as a left handed person, found nearly impossible.

Now, as he sits in his Point Vernon home and reflects, he is surrounded by photos of his past and is humbled by his life and where he is today.

"You never know what's ahead in life," Max said.

"I never dreamed I'd be married to Rita and living (in Hervey Bay).

"I wouldn't have it any other way."

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