The thing we miss about Edwin Frank Fardell is his mateship, his good, old-fashioned Australian decency, as much as we miss his patriotism when he ran up the flag in his front yard on Australia Day and Anzac Day.
That was the thing about Frank. He just did it like a good Aussie does: no fuss, no bother, your best mate, the neighbour you need for advice on technical matters which baffle the useless handiman.
And never worry about failing to shout a drink: Frank was always good for finding a black beer or a decent red.
He left us earlier this year at the age of 94, a good and long life, but it came as a shock to learn of his admission to Taree's Manning Base hospital with a heart condition when he appeared so healthy, still so cheerful.
It was unbelievable he should leave us without having time to say farewell.
And now some of the last memories of Frank's life have surfaced with the proposed sale of his house in Forster's Belton Way and the discovery of a bag of his old newspapers, including the Sunday Telegraph of August 12, 1945, in which it announced the ending of World War II.
In heavy black type, the one-word front page headline trumpeted "PEACE" with its sub-heading: "Allied powers accept Japanese offer of surrender."
It went on to read: "Britain, the US, Russia and China have accepted the Japanese offer of surrender".
It is a proviso that Allied Supreme Commanders, after occupation of Japan, shall rule the nation through Emperor Hirohito."
Frank went to Japan weeks after they dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, having joined a combined Allied group named the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) soon after he began his printer's apprenticeship with the Manly Daily.
Frank went to war at 19 on the understanding with the editor he would resume his position at the Manly Daily on one condition - that he returned alive.
Frank and his editor laughed and shook hands and had a beer or two.
The BCOF men were based outside Hiroshima, but in their innocence they played the tourists, making rail trips into the shattered city just to explore the ruins, initially without protective clothing against the radioactive fallout.
The spectacle was horrific.
What confronted them were thousands upon thousands of Japanese survivors, wandering the streets in rags, children begging for food and water, their parents lost, homes destroyed in the blast.
In theory, the BCOF group was formed to disarm any Japanese civilians wishing to continue fighting, regardless of the Declaration of Peace.
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The men discovered that the Japanese people were so demoralised by the bomb's destruction that all they sought was peace and safety and a good, square meal.
To a newspaper man, Frank's papers were a treasure trove of old memories, records of ancient history, not items to be destroyed.
We will always miss him.
The small consolation is that each morning, we see Frank's memorial, the ghost gum he planted years ago for Lorinda, his daughter, a tree in which the joy birds, the magpies, gather along with currawongs and lorikeets and occasionally the kookaburras of Telegraph Hill.
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