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Thursday, 25 July 2019
Page: 1029


Ms CLAYDON (Newcastle) (13:29): Today I'd like to recognise and celebrate the extraordinary life of an extraordinary man from my electorate, Clem Kealy AM MID. Sadly, Clem passed away on Sunday aged 95. To say Clem was a highly decorated soldier would be an understatement. Indeed, he served in more than three separate theatres of war over decades of service. Clem started his military service in the Second World War, where he served in Papua New Guinea. He also served in the Korean War, where he fought in the epic battle of Kapyong, and did two tours of duty in the Vietnam War. This is an incredible record of service on its own, but Clem also did peacekeeping in Japan, trained elite parachutists in the United States and became a regimental sergeant major in the Australian SAS.

Since retiring, Clem has been a greatly respected member of the Newcastle veterans community. He's a long-serving patron of the Newcastle and Hunter Region Vietnam Veterans and a member of the Waratah Mayfield RSL sub-branch. The home base for the Newcastle and Hunter Region Vietnam Veterans in Wallsend is named the Clem Kealy Centre in his honour. In addition to his service, Clem is well known in Newcastle as a true gentleman who would do anything to help others. He's renowned for his quick wit and larrikin ways that endear him to everyone who crosses his path. On behalf of the people of Newcastle, I pay tribute to Clem and thank him for his remarkable contribution to our community and nation. My heartfelt condolences go to his two sons, Laurie and Michael, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Thanks for sharing Clem with us all. His legacy, for which we remain truly grateful, is immense.