Volunteer clocks up 30 years at Fortress frontline image

11 January 2019


At 93 years young, World War II veteran Wilf Hatton still turns up to his post twice a week, albeit as a volunteer at the Princess Royal Fortress. 

It’s familiar surroundings for him, with memorabilia and artefacts from the days when he was on the frontline, and he’s clocked up 30 years meeting and greeting visitors to the Fortress.

He celebrated the special milestone with fellow volunteers and staff at a morning tea on Thursday, January 10 and plans to keep soldiering on.

During his three decades as a volunteer, Mr Hatton has provided support in a number of roles, sharing Albany’s military history and his experiences in war with thousands of visitors through talks, tours and hospitality.

Mr Hatton recalls many highlights in his time as a volunteer, including meeting former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and educating visiting school students on Albany’s military history.

“I’ve certainly met many notable people in my time volunteering, like Prince Charles,” Mr Hatton said. “However, a real feature was two thousand students through the forts in one week.”

City of Albany Chief Executive Officer Andrew Sharpe said it was fantastic to acknowledge Mr Hatton’s service to the Princess Royal Fortress.

“It takes an army of people to ensure that Albany’s military history is preserved and shared with the community,” Mr Sharpe said.

“I applaud Wilf on his milestone and encourage anyone in the community who feels they can contribute in a similar way to contact the City.”

To find out how to become a volunteer at Albany Heritage Park, contact the National Anzac Centre on 6820 3500 or email info@nationalanzaccentre.com.au.