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Farewell to Vietnam Veteran, John Carey

Posted by Vietnam Swans on January 19, 2012

John Carey, pictured left, at last month's Vietnam Swans' Annual Cricket day at the MCG with Stan Middleton and Willy.

UPDATE, 20 January 2012. Funeral details: Wednesday 25 January, 10.30am, Cordell Chapel, Fawkner Cemetery, Sydney Rd, Fawkner.

The Vietnam Swans have been greatly saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Vietnam Veteran and great bloke, John Carey.

Fellow Veteran, Ron Vernon has written to say that:

“I just had a phone call from (John’s wife) Kay to say that John laid on the couch last night and didn’t wake up.

“I only spoke to him on the weekend and he was so looking forward to going back to VN and the (ANZAC) football match.”

In March/April of last year, John, with Kay, returned to Vietnam for the first time since he had served here. John was amazed with the transformation of the country over the previous four decades and was greatly impressed and touched.

His mate, Ron Vernon, also introduced him to the Vietnam Swans. Coincidentally, in 1999, John had worked with National President, Phil Johns back in Melbourne. John thought the ANZAC Friendship Match was a terrific concept and was bitterly disappointed that his pre booked tour had him returning to Australia just two weeks before last year’s match. However, John vowed to come to the 2012 ANZAC Friendship Match (which would have been his second trip to Vietnam in 12 months after a 40 year break) and to do what he could to promote the match back in Australia.

John Carey at the MCG, three weeks ago, on 28 December 2011.

John  was true to his word and did many things that included an article published in last month’s 7th Battalion’s Newsletter (see 7th Battalion’s December newsletter promotes 2012 ANZAC Friendship Match). He also came to the Vietnam Swans’ 5th Annual Test Cricket Day at the MCG just three weeks ago on 28 December.

The Vietnam Swans send our deepest condolences to Kay, their family and friends. It is very sad news.

As a mark of respect for John, the Vietnam Swans shall proudly wear black arm bands at our next match. And, playing the ANZAC Friendship Match on 21 April will now be just that little bit more special.

R.I.P. John.

UPDATE, 20 January 2012, : CAREY. – Robert ‘John’. 16.7.1945 – 18.1.2012 Passed away suddenly on Jan. 18, 2012 aged 66 Devoted husband to Kay, adored father of Matthew and Sarah and Brendan and Kylie. Loving Pa to Olivia, Annie, Sam and Oliver, Lola and Charles. Dearly loved son of Charles ‘Stanley’ and Joyce (both dec.). Loving brother of Ron, Andrew and Stephen. Our caring, wonderful man – Loved forever. Funeral details: Wednesday 25 January, 10.30am, Cordell Chapel, Fawkner Cemetery, Sydney Rd, Fawkner.

UPDATE, 21 January, 2012, from wife Kay (published in Herald Sun): My darling John – my soldier while suffering your own pain in stoic silence you cared for and loved me, our beautiful family and all around you until your last breath. Your sense of caring for others, your strong cheeky nature, your work ethic and wisdom lives on in all our angel family. I thank you and may God Bless you my love ’til we meet again. – your Kay.

8 Responses to “Farewell to Vietnam Veteran, John Carey”

  1. Bev & Ian McLean said

    So saddened to hear of the loss of John. Such a wonderful man. Our hearts go out to Kay, Matthew, Brendan and families.
    Ian & Bev McLean

  2. Grace & Patrick Fitzpatrick said

    Very, very sad news. John was a warm, friendly and lovely man. We cannot imagine the shock and grief his family must be feeling. Our deepest condolences to all the Carey family.

  3. Willy said

    Very sad news.

    Sincere condolences to the Carey family.

    R.I.P. John.

  4. Peter Mullins said

    John was one of the ‘good guys’. While the world has many good guys, there are not enough of them. So it was with great sadness that I learnt about John’s passing.
    To John’s family I pass on my sincere condolences – you have lost a fine gentleman. While I can only imagine your pain I am sure that once the pain ebbs, you will be left with happy memories of a ‘good guy’.


    Peter Mullins (Work Colleague)

  5. Derrin Limbrick said

    I met John at the cricket day recently and had a great chat about his planned trip to Vietnam. Really nice guy and I want to pass on my condolences to his family.

  6. Phil Johns said

    In 1999, I took on a new job in Melbourne. On the first day, John introduced himself to me. A lot was going on and he was always an absolute stand out.

    Fast forwarding 12 years to April last year, Ron and Ailsa Vernon suggested we have dinner at Jaspas in Hai Ba Trung Street, Saigon. I turned up – and there was John with wife, Kay! A massive and magnificent surprise. Just 40 years had passed since John’s previous visit to Vietnam.

    Since then, we have been in regular contact by email. To see him at the MCG last month with the Swannies was mega awesome.

    How much fun was it going to be to see him and Kay again in Vung Tau for this year’s ANZAC Friendship Match?

    That’s not going to happen (but hopefully Kay will still come). But John did get to see Vietnam again and had already booked his next trip back to Vietnam. And I did get to see him again which served as another reminder as to why the “present is a gift”.

    Darren McRae’s, (Remember us) “On ANZAC Day”, is a good one.

    Deepest sympathies to Kay and family.

  7. david edmunds said

    Dave and Jane express our condolences, met john in the company of his brother and our good friend Andrew on many occasions and always enjoyed his easy going personality.

  8. Giulia Auzagelis said

    Kay, Matt, Sarah, Brendan, Kylie, grandkids, extended family & friends,

    We were deeply saddened to hear the news of John’s sudden passing. Our heartfelt condolences are with you all during this difficult time.

    We will cherish John, the wonderful memories, and the outstanding contribution he made to our organisation. He will forever be in our hearts.

    Love, his beloved friends and colleagues at SAI Global Property (Anstat)

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