T'anks for the memories.
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What do you buy as a 50th birthday present for a man who has everything? A gold watch? A sports car? Try 50 tonnes of sheer grunt and metal in the form of an ex-Vietnam War Centurion tank. On our motorcycle trip last year we had lunch at a historic pub in the tiny township of Ross. After replenishing our ever expanding girths a call went up to come outside for a photo shoot. Under the verandah we lined up. Minutes later a rumbling could be heard in the distance. Weather looked a bit suspect, so could possibly be thunder. The noise became louder and a 50 tonne, fully fledged 1953 Mark V Centurion gatecrashed our gathering! A former Australian Army tank with an illustrious history, from service in south Vietnam in 1968 to the filming of the Hollywood film, Courage Under Fire, it was given by the wife of the owner as a surprise birthday present.
As my husband plans our group trips away he had arranged for the appearance of the tank to come rolling along the road. It pays to know people in old stamping grounds!
We had such fun crawling all over and in it. And many photos were taken, as you can see. One of our birthday 'boys' was given a special treat and rode in it all the way back to its garage. He checked it off his Bucket List.
And yes, there was a serious side, I thought of my Dad, as he was in the 18th Battalion Commandos and Tanks during World War II. And got blown out of them twice. Made you think of his time fighting for the good of all.
Also by Suzanne McGeady
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