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Painted for posterity . . . Proud veterans portrayed on a wall of the RSA building are Gore residents (from left) Cameron Taylor, Haleigh Glass, Wattie Gee, Noel Marshall, Fred Cooper and Bill Couper. PHOTO: JENNY DILLNER

The final panel on the Gore RSA mural has been completed, depicting the veteran’s journey – beginning as a young man or woman and ending in the reality of ageing.

The ages of the veterans in the mural range from 31 to 103.

The youngest, Cameron Taylor, served as a vehicle mechanic in Afghanistan and the oldest, Noel Marshall, served in the Middle East in World War 2.

Fred Cooper (93), who served in Italy, said it was an honour and privilege to be on the wall.

Korea veteran Wattie Gee agreed and said it was a great memory for the town.

Haleigh Glass, who served two years in Iraq, said it was an honour and great for everyone to be able to come and see the murals.

Bill Couper served his time in Vietnam.

The Ensign captured on camera the six veterans posing beneath their images in the mural.

Mr Taylor thought it was surreal to be in the same frame as the older veterans.

“It is very special,” he said.

“Today’s photograph is truly historical.”

Co-ordinator and veteran Aaron Horrell, of Mandeville, said the last panel was the most important, representing who and what a veteran is.

“All of these panels portray what each of these people had gone through during their time in the forces.

“It is a storyline.”

The final panel brought everyone together.

“It is an historical picture which is now a timeline for the veterans,” Mr Horrell said.

“There is a stigma about elderly people being veterans – not so – anyone who has served overseas is a veteran.”

Gore RSA president Jarrod Scott said the Gore RSA was now thought of as the model for this type of mural.

“This is a first,” Mr Scott said.

“We have been blown away by the amount of interest there has been and the comments by the public.”