Meet Les, one of our local heroes, who was awarded the French Legion of Honour this year for his service as a paratrooper during the D-Day landings of World War II. With a grin and a sparkle in his eye, he talked to me about his wartime service (only briefly, though, as he’s not a particularly sentimental man), immigrating from the UK to Australia in the fifties, and living in the Western District of Victoria.
Edit: Sadly, I heard a week later that Les passed away. I feel so fortunate to have met him and had this opportunity to make his portrait. What a wonderful fellow.
Happenstance brought us to the mystery town of Bridgewater on Loddon, half an hour’s drive from Bendigo; happenstance being our friends who found us accommodation in the mainly booked-out region so that we could join them at the eleventh hour on their planned trip to enjoy some of Bendigo’s Easter Festival.
Loddon – population under 400 – is blessed with a couple of handsome civic buildings, a lovely river only a hundred metres from our motel (perfect for recreational fishing and boating), a photography studio (the region is host to some 200 species of orchid, two of which are extremely rare there), and certainly made us feel welcome for our overnight stay.