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Community & Business

28 April, 2022

Joffre Bell’s sky high experience

The Southport School (TSS) honoured one of its old boys when Clifton World War II veteran Joffre Bell was the guest of the Old Southportians Association ANZAC event.

Clifton World War 2 veteran Joffre Bell, who is 102 years old today (27th April), settles into the Helitours chopper before heading to Southport via Greenmount.

Mr Bell was given the option of driving to Southport or being taken by helicopter.

Given that he was a navigator in Bomeber Comand (Halifax planes) in the war, the air option was probably always going to win out.

Mr Bell has several times been a guest at the Greenmount State School’s ANZAC Day ceremony and after taking off from Clifton, the chopper pilot flew to Greenmount, circled several times over school’s ANZAC ceremony and sounded the siren. 

They then flew to Spicers Peak for morning tea before taking off for the Gold Coast.

After landing at TSS, Mr Bell was taken into a darkened building where organisers sat him on a chair - then the lights came on and he was surrounded by hundreds of people.

On stage he was interviewed by TSS headmaster Mr Andrew Hawkins.

While there was lunch on offer, Mr Bell didn’t get much, as he was kept busy chatting with many of those at the event.

“I had about half an Anzac biscuit for lunch because people kept talking to me,” he said.

“Fortunately I wasn’t hungry - I was too excited.”

Before flying back to Clifton, Mr Bell was presented with a GPS (Great Public Schools Association) tie, which he was delighted to receive.

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