Local man Patrick ‘Pat’ James Woods, recently celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends in Mudgee.
Born in 1918 in West Wyalong, Mr Woods enlisted in 1941 and following training in the Middle East was brought back as the Japanese moved towards Australia.
He was was sent to New Guinea and whilst on the Kokoda Track was injured by a bomb blast and was evacuated back to Australia. Still today he knells down beside his bed and prays and only recently told daughter Norah that, besides being religious, while on the track and manning a machine gun at night and not knowing when or where the Japanese were going to attack from the jungle his nerves would get the better of him so he found that by praying it helped.
Once he was well again he attended LHQ Provost Training School in 1945 and was offered officer training in Adelaide at Keswick Barracks the following year and after obtaining his commission he was posted in Sydney.
He stayed in the army and in 1947 was instructed to assist a Major at the Changi War Crimes Tribunal and went to Japan in the occupational forces, he served in the Military Police as a junior prosecutor returning to Australia 1949 before resigning his commission to help his brother and elderly parents back in Australia.
Mr Woods started his own stock and station agency business in Hilston before eventually selling to Dalgety New Zealand Loan and becoming a branch manager in many county towns across NSW including Maitland, Casino, West Wyalong, Grafton.
Pat and wife Peg moved to Mudgee in 1987, where he was registered valuer started and was well know and respected by many and had close contacts with all real estate agents and solicitors in Mudgee, and continued to work up until 2011 at age 93.
The couple now reside in Kanandah, they had eight children, Patrick, Michael, Tony, Dennis, Matthew, Mark, Norah, and Joseph [deceased].