FAREWELL MY FRIEND: A final toast at the CSI Club after the funeral of Keith Pennell (right).
IPSWICH’S veterans turned out in force on Monday to say a final farewell to Keith Pennell, one of their most respected comrades.
Well-known World War II veteran Arthur Keith Pennell was a life member of the Ipswich RSL Sub Branch and was active in the community.
His efforts in the community were recognised by the Ipswich RSL Sub Branch when he was honoured with a life membership.
Keith enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces on March 27, 1944, serving until June 30, 1947 when he joined the Interim Army for two more years. He served in several areas including Morotai in Japan.
He was the president of the Incapacitated Servicemen and Women’s Association for a time, on the Bundamba Anzac Day Commemorative Committee with the Salvation Army, the Eastern Heights Anzac Committee and did volunteer work with Meals on Wheels.
He was given a medal to mark the 10th anniversary of the UN International Year of the Volunteer, first joining in 1993.
He assisted many former servicemen and woman obtain disability pensions as the RSL pension and welfare officer.
He was elected president of the Ipswich RSL Sub Branch in 1998 and amongst many things even provided 600 loaves of bread for association morning teas.
He was named Ipswich Citizen of the Year in 2008 and had a park in North Booval named after him – the Keith Pennell Park at 22 Baden Jones Way, North Booval.
Mr Pennell’s eldest daughter Lyn issued a statement saying how proud his family was of him.
She said he was “very active” up until about three months ago and “liked to help people and had many great friends in Ipswich “.
Many members of the Ipswich RSL sub branch posted tributes to Keith on their Facebook including Wayne Gibbens who said:
“Vale Arthur Keith Pennell one of the most genuine gentleman you could ever wish to meet, Keith was one of the first to call me to put his name on my badge selling roster at Ipswich RSL Sub Branch prior to ANZAC and Remembrance Day’s every year. He sold our merchandise at Booval Shopping Centre, and he will be sadly missed by all he knew.
Thank you Keith for all your help and advice, Rest in Peace now old mate your work here is done.”
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding, paid a tribute to Keith saying he did a lot to help other veterans and was an inspiration to us all,