HON. WAYNE SWAN MP
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR LILLEY
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS (STACEY, MR. CHARLES)
FEDERATION CHAMBER, CANBERRA
TUESDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2016
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Last week, Charles Stacey of Bli Bli, on the Sunshine Coast, passed away, aged 94. My grandparents were early settlers and cane farmers in the area, and Charlie was my uncle. He was a cane farmer all his life, the fifth of six children and my mum's older brother. Like my father, he answered the call and enlisted in 1942 as a member of the 9th Battalion. He served at Milne Bay and Bougainville. At Milne Bay, the 9th Battalion numbered around 600 infantry, mostly from Brisbane and the Nambour area. They had little training. Milne Bay was the first defeat of the Japanese in the Pacific and ended the myth that the Japanese were invincible. It was a brutal, murderous encounter. It was as tough as war gets.
Our whole family was proud of Charlie's service to our nation. I learnt a lot from Charlie about the importance of service and sacrifice for country. Charlie was one of the last remaining members of the 9th Battalion. Charlie passed away on the same property that he was born and lived and worked all of his life. Our nation owes a huge debt of gratitude to those men of the 9th Battalion. We must never forget the sacrifices they made for all of us. Charlie is survived by his wife, Bev, and his stepson, Stephen, who cared for him so well. Rest in peace, Charlie. Lest we forget.