Army life carried on to end

SWORD, slouch hat and military medals accompanied World War II soldier Ed Haddad as he was farewelled.

The 90-year-old’s wish to wear his army uniform to his funeral was met as his life of service was marked at Wodonga’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Mr Haddad died on May 2.

He spent his early marital life on the Border and the last 20 years living in Wodonga.

Oldest son Peter recalled his father had an “unparalleled ability to make everybody feel that they were special to him”.

Mr Haddad was born in Melbourne in 1923 to Christian parents who had emigrated from Lebanon.

He enlisted with the army in 1941 after colour blindness saw him rejected by the air force.

War service took Mr Haddad to New Guinea and Bougainville before he entered the naval bombardment group which saw action in Moratai, Labuan, Tarakan and Balikpapan.

After being nursed home on the floor of a bomber and sent to Bandiana, Mr Haddad was promoted to sergeant and then warrant officer class 2.

He and his first wife Mary had four of their five children born on the Border prior to army life taking him across Australia and to England.

Mr Haddad, who attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel, retired in Melbourne, with Mary dying in 1991.

In spending time in Wodonga in subsequent years he became close to widow Sarah Rattray and married her in 1994.

Mr Haddad became part of various community organisations including Legacy, the Albury Golf Club, Wodonga Bowling Club and Wodonga Probus Club.

“Dad gave a great deal to his fellow man,” Peter said.

Peter along with brothers Paul and Phillip followed his father into the army.

“Somebody once asked me how come Paul, Phillip and I all joined the army,” Peter said.

“The answer is simple, we grew up in isolated army camps and did not know any other career choices existed.”

Mr Haddad spent his last 18 months at Bupa nursing home in Wodonga.

He is survived by his wife Sarah, three sons, two daughters, Gail and Suzy, 16 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.