In the way life imitates art, Gerry Walshe's life began in a way similar to that of Steve Martin's character Navin R. Johnson in the movie 'The Jerk'.
Born in Melbourne in 1926, Gerry Walshe got off to a bad start in life by conventional standards.
Being the illegitimate son of a Roman Catholic woman, he was given away to a tribal Aboriginal woman at the age of four months to be raised by the Lieillwan clan in North Western New South Wales.
At age five he was reclaimed by his natural mother. His father was killed right before his seven year old eyes.
Being brought back into white society, he was very confused. When he was introduced to his white family he was ostracised by his blood relatives as being seen as a very black sheep.
So, Gerry grew up tough - he had to. Sent to a Catholic College in Melbourne he had to settle scores with the playground bullies. This he did in three rounds.
Gerry joined the RAAF at age 18. He was posted to Morotai Island to work on damaged aircraft during World War 2. He dodged live ammunition on no less than three occasions.
Later he went to Japan as a member of the British Occupational Forces where he rescued Japanese civilians from typhoon ravaged areas, witnessed the damage that the atomic weapons wrought on Hiroshima and performed PR duties for the RAAF in conjunction with the American forces there.
After the war he returned to Melbourne only to find his life savings had been 'ratted' away by his own family.
While overseas, he lost his one true love in an accident.
But Gerry rose above all this.
Despite nearly losing his life in a motor cycle accident he managed to survive - long enough to write this account of his life - so far.
Today, Gerry lives quietly near Batemans Bay in NSW.
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