A 91-year-old New Plymouth veteran made a special trip to Auckland's Anzac Day service today to tick off an item on his "bucket list" while he's still well enough.

Clive Jones, who served as an Air Force air frame mechanic from 1949 to 1966, grew up in Mt Roskill and remembers attending Anzac Day services at the Auckland War Memorial Museum as a child.

"I'm not well, to be honest," he said in his wheelchair outside the museum today.

"I've got a collapsed lung, I've got two artificial hips. It was just a thing I wanted to see, that's all.

Advertisement

"It was a bucket-list thing. I haven't been very well. I've been in hospital twice recently."

He remembers looking up a relative who was killed in World War I when he visited the museum after an Anzac Day service as an 11-year-old.

He said the service had not changed much despite the use of big screens and other technology.

"It's probably a bigger crowd," was all he would concede.

New Plymouth Air Force veteran Clive Jones, 91, came to the 2019 Auckland Anzac Day service to tick off an item on his bucket list while he is still well enough. Photo / Simon Collins
New Plymouth Air Force veteran Clive Jones, 91, came to the 2019 Auckland Anzac Day service to tick off an item on his bucket list while he is still well enough. Photo / Simon Collins

Born in 1927, Jones was too young to serve in World War II, but his two older brothers and three brothers-in-law all fought.

"I tried for the Navy when I was 16 at Ōtāhuhu College. They wouldn't take me," he said.

When he eventually joined the Air Force, he helped to service the Harvard aircraft that took part in a fly-past while the crowd sang the national anthem at today's service.

He was one of the military personnel who were ordered to load and unload ships on the Auckland wharves during the 1951 waterfront dispute, ferried in from the Chelsea sugar refinery wearing work clothes over their uniforms.

Advertisement

After he left the Air Force he worked as a carpenter in Blenheim, Taranaki and Waiouru.

Aucklander Garry Jones (standing) brought his 91-year-old father Clive to the Auckland Anzac Day service. Photo / Simon Collins
Aucklander Garry Jones (standing) brought his 91-year-old father Clive to the Auckland Anzac Day service. Photo / Simon Collins

Son Garry Jones, an Aucklander who brought his dad to the service today, said it was well worth it.

"We normally do it at St Heliers but that was cancelled so we came here, and particularly with Prince William being here that adds a little bit more to it," he said. "It has been a lovely service."