Honouring Keith, beloved Ipswich veteran

Ipswich City Council has unveiled a plaque to recognise well-known World War II veteran and defence force advocate Arthur Keith Pennell.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said Mr Pennell was a tireless champion for the health and wellbeing of service personnel in Ipswich, especially veterans.

“Keith dedicated his life to supporting his fellow veterans through volunteer work with the Ipswich Incapacitated Servicemen and Women’s Association,” Mayor Harding said.

“He was a life member of the Ipswich RSL and patron of the Bundamba ANZAC Observance Committee where he recited the Ode for 40 years at the annual dawn service.”

The plaque, in the North Booval Park that bears his name, reads: This park is dedicated to Keith who made a mark on this city and its people that will not be forgotten.

Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle said Keith spent three years in active service during World War II in the Pacific and served in Japan following the atomic bombing.

“This council-sponsored plaque, which commemorates his life and public service, will remind local residents using the park what this man gave back to our community,” Cr Doyle said.

“Keith was dedicated to making Ipswich a better place. He was a truly remarkable man who gave of himself endlessly.”

Division 3 Councillor Andrew Antoniolli said Mr Pennell was the Ipswich Citizen of the Year in 2008 and is deeply missed by many within the community following his death in 2022.

“He was a life member of the Ipswich RSL Sub-Branch, president of the Incapacitated Servicemen and Women’s Association and volunteered with Meals on Wheels,” Cr Antoniolli said.

“He assisted many former servicemen and woman obtain disability pensions as the RSL pension and welfare officer and was a friend to all.”

Bundamba ANZAC Observance Committee chairman and long-time friend, Brad Strong, said the plaque was a fitting tribute to Mr Pennell.

“Keith was a valued member of our Committee at Bundamba, who continually went the extra mile in service to assist the community in remembering those who paid the supreme sacrifice on our behalf,” Mr Strong said.

“Keith was our patron and he has been sorely missed since his passing.

“He was a part of a generation the likes of which we will never see again. He was a part of history and was very proud of his World War II service.”

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