MOST of the 14,000 surviving Australian Second World War veterans are now aged in their 90s, but one Toowoomba veteran is keeping active.
At 95, Highfields man Dr Bob Goodwin walks every day to the shops, tends his own rose garden, cooks for himself and does most of his own shopping.
Dr Goodwin served as a lieutenant in the Second World War with the 2/10th field regiment, an Australian army artillery regiment formed in the mid -1940s to fight the Japanese advance in the Malayan campaign. The regiment was taken prisoner at the fall of Singapore.
As a prisoner of war, Dr Goodwin endured horrific conditions, including the amputation of his ulcerated toe without anaesthetic, while working on Hellfire Pass, a notorious part of the Burma-Thailand railway.
"I have lived a varied life, but I wouldn't change a thing," he said.
After the war Dr Goodwin achieved his matriculation, studied medicine and went into general practice. He became a member and a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and was at the helm of the National Heart Foundation for almost 30 years.
Dr Goodwin received an Order of Australia Medal in 1993 for his service to community health. His devotion to healthcare was, in part, inspired by the doctors who looked after prisoners of war.
Dr Goodwin has been at every Anzac Day service except for last year due to health reasons.