Bill’s inspiring life of service


ANZAC Day is a time of reflection for all Australians, for what has been lost, what has been learnt, and what will always be treasured: the self-sacrifice of our servicemen and women, up until the present day.

One such Australian was Lance Corporal William (Bill) John Gleeson

(August 16, 1923 – August 3, 2002).

He was born in Swan Hill, Victoria, and his family moved to Lake Cargelligo in 1925.


He was drafted into the army and experienced active service during World War II, originally serving in the 56th Battalion, but later enlisted in the AIF.

Bill was accepted into the 2nd/4th Independent Company of Commandos, and served in Tarakan, Borneo, and Papua New Guinea.

After his return to Burgooney (between Lake Cargelligo and Tullibigeal), Bill was involved in the local community for the remainder of his life.

At different times he served as president of the Burgooney Cricket Club, the Burgooney Football Club, the Burgooney Bush Fire Brigade, the Probus Club, the Lake Cargelligo RSL and the Lake Cargelligo Show Society.

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He was actively involved in such diverse community efforts as the Festival of the Lakes committee, the United Farmers Association and the local Care of the Aged Committee.

Bill was a recipient of a Citizen of the Year Award and the Bob and Jean Memorial Community Shield in recognition of his contribution to the community.

Perhaps most importantly, Bill was devoted to his family and his faith.

He and his wife Anne (nee O’Kane, May 31, 1922 – February 11, 2017) raised nine children together, seven daughters and two sons.

He also served on both the local Our Lady of Lourdes Lake Cargelligo Parish Council and the parish school council.

The lives of Australians such as Bill Gleeson are inspiring examples of a life steeped in service and self-sacrifice, virtues that Anzac Day should remind us all to emulate.