The Third Battalion Memorial Rock at the East Jindabyne Kokoda Memorial Park, Kosciuszko Rd, was dedicated as a tribute to the 15 young men that enlisted from Canberra, surrounding rural areas and the coast.
One of those men was Bede Tongs.
As an ambassador for the Kokoda Track Foundation, he not only played a part in establishing this memorial but a poem he wrote is inscribed on one of the plaques.
Bede was born in Narranderra in 1920, however he grew up in Whitton, attending Whitton Primary School and later attending Leeton High School.
He worked on Wilga Station before becoming a carpenter and later moving to Canberra where he met his wife.
At the start of World War II, Bede belonged to the Third Battalion (militia) which fought the Japanese along the Kokoda Track in 1942 from Ioribaiwa and Imita Ridge through Menari and Efogi.
In 1948, he joined the 3rd Infantry Battalion CMF (Citizen Military Force), Werriwa Regiment, Canberra.
In 1953, as a captain in the CMF, he went to Korea as a front-line observer for Eastern Command. After the war, Bede became a highly respected community stalwart and Australian ambassador who was involved in a diverse range of organizations.
This along with his war efforts saw him awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2014.
There is plenty of interesting information available online about Bede and his war efforts as well as his community work here in Australia and overseas after the war.