March 5, 2017
A ceremony was held at the new RSL Villas in Markwell Street, Kingaroy, on Friday to open the residential complex.
The ceremony also honoured long-time Kingaroy-Memerambi RSL Sub-Branch member Doug Farmer, whose name now adorns the complex.
Wide Bay-Burnett RSL District president Neil Burrows officially opened the “Douglas Newton Farmer OAM RSL Villa Complex”.
“This has been the culmination of a lot of hard work by many people,” Neil said.
“Doug Farmer was secretary of the Kingaroy Sub-Branch when the first villas were built in 1993.
“Doug was then known as Mr RSL, he was so widely known and associated with the Kingaroy RSL Sub-Branch.”
South Burnett mayor Keith Campbell also spoke in praise of Doug and the significant contributions he has made to the Kingaroy community.
Doug thanked the RSL for the honour.
“I really do not deserve this, others have done far more than me. They should be named them the Don Davey and Warren Cockburn Villas,” he said.
The first four villas in the complex were built in 1993, another four in 2003 and now the final four have been completed.
The villas house ex-defence personnel and war widows.
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Doug Farmer was born in Gympie on February 1, 1924.
He joined the RAAF on July 6, 1942, and served in the South Pacific as an RAAF Guard. He was discharged on January 21, 1946, and returned to work on the family farm at Lower Wonga.
He then moved to Brisbane to be trained under the Post War Reconstruction Program where he became a qualified carpenter.
He married a Brisbane lass and moved to Kingaroy where he worked for a few years in the building industry before joining the railways.
Doug worked for 17 years for Queensland Rail, first as a fettler and then as a porter at Kingaroy Railway Station.
He also worked for seven years for the PMG in Kingaroy, delivering telegrams and letters on a bicycle..
Doug is a Life Member of the Kingaroy-Memerambi Sub-Branch.
He served as secretary of the Sub-Branch for many years, and also had a special interest in supporting Legacy. For more than 20 years, he regularly manned a street stall to sell Anzac Day badges, Remembrance Day poppies and Legacy badges.
In 2009, Doug was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service to war veterans and their families, and to the community of Kingaroy.
- Related article: A Big Thank You, Doug!