A young Tom McLucas.
A young Tom McLucas. Contributed

He carried the Anzac spirit

DECORATED Bundaberg war veteran, Tom McLucas OAM BEM, will be remembered for his many years of service within the community.

The World War II veteran, in his 90s, passed away this week after decades of keeping the Anzac spirit alive.

For more than half a century, Mr McLucas led the Anzac Day march as chief parade marshal - something he was immensely proud of.

Starting in 1960, Mr McLucas began the service with his father, a World War I veteran who was chief parade marshal.

On his father's retirement he took over the role and in 2010, was honoured for his service by Bundaberg Regional Council.

 

SERVICE: Tom McLucas OAM BEM talks to Mayor Jack Dempsey. RIGHT: Tom Lucas.
SERVICE: Tom McLucas OAM BEM talks to Mayor Jack Dempsey. RIGHT: Tom Lucas. Max Fleet BUN091114FWW9

Mr McLucas said at the time his prime concern on Anzac Day was for the welfare, safety and comfort of each marching group.

"If you treat each group with respect they will appreciate that," he said.

"Each marching group, whether it be a veterans' group, school students, cadets or marching bands - they all waved to me when passing.

"What a warm feeling that gave me. It was worth all the effort."

Last year, even a broken hip couldn't stop Mr McLucas laying a wreath at the Bargara Dawn Service - a move that showed just how passionate he was.

President of the Bundaberg RSL Paul Tramacchi said Mr McLucas held the title of Honorary Life Vice President of Bundaberg RSL.

He said Mr McLucas would be be proudly remembered by the citizens of Bundaberg and district for his exceptional service to both the RSL and general communities.

"During World War II, Tom's father Bill commanded the Bundaberg Volunteer Defence Corps Battalion - responsible for local and coastal security," Mr Tramacchi said.

"And this father and son combination displayed inspirational dedication and enthusiasm throughout the region for more than 100 years.

"Tom's motivation in his own words were, 'We are not placed on this earth for our own selfish ideals. Our greatest reward in life comes from helping others'."

Mr McLucas had a proud history of helping organise Anzac Day functions but also had roles in many other community groups.

 

Tom McLucas OAM BEM has been acknowledged for his 50 years of outstanding community service as Parade Marshal for the Bundaberg City ANZAC Day Citizen's Service.
Photo: Mike Knott tom2910c
Tom McLucas OAM BEM has been acknowledged for his 50 years of outstanding community service as Parade Marshal for the Bundaberg City ANZAC Day Citizen's Service. Photo: Mike Knott tom2910c Mike Knott

In 2014 he completed 25 years as patron of the Bundaberg Drum Corps.

 

He was also elected patron of the Bundaberg Municipal Band.

The McLucas family has notched up a remarkable 90 years of involvement with the band movement in Bundaberg.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said Tom McLucas was "one of a kind".

"It's obvious Tom came from a generation where there were exceptional standards both in the manner in which we lived our lives and in the manner in which we chose to serve," Cr Dempsey said.

"He was a man who gave much to his country as a serviceman and even more to his community in the years following the war.

"Tom was genuinely interested in the welfare of returned servicemen and women and his role in the annual Anzac Day commemorations across the district became legendary.

"Sadly, the passage of time is taking from us men and women of the calibre of Tom McLucas and our community is the poorer for their passing."



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