A young Ballarat family is on the lookout for a kind war veteran who left a profoundly positive mark on their four-year-old son during Ballarat’s Anzac Day service.
The impact Anzac Day has on Australians can never be understated, but the interaction between an unknown soldier and local four-year old, in many ways, typifies the importance of the occasion and its capacity to influence the younger generations.
Oscar Kosloff, just four, is trying to find a soldier known only as Tom to thank him for shaking his hand and offering to meet him at the same bus station at the Ballarat cenotaph on Anzac Day next year.
The two met shortly after the conclusion of Monday’s ceremony and march and along Sturt Street at a bus stop on the intersecting Lyons Street.
The encounter, while brief, nonetheless left a profound effect on Oscar, who wants to talk to him about his life as a soldier.
The family knows very little about the man other than his name is Tom and that he will turn 95 next year.
Oscar’s mother Kelly has since put out a plea for help on the Ballarat Buy, Swap and Sell Facebook page to find the man.
“The lovely elderly gentlemen happily shook his hand and introduced himself as 'Tom', he also said to Oscar that he would meet him there (at the bus stop chair on south side of Sturt Street near Lyons Street) on the same day next year,” she wrote in the post.
“All day my son has been talking about his friend 'the soldier, Tom'.
“Oscar would love to get back in contact with his new friend and have a look at his medals and talk about him being a soldier.
“I'm wondering is there anyway you might be able to help us locate this lovely gentlemen that touched our little boy’s heart today.”
Oscar’s father Brendan said he was “stoked” to meet the ex-soldier.
“I think he did (have a big impact on Oscar). He was pretty stoked that he got to speak to a real soldier,” he said.
“He’d like to (see him again). He was talking how he’d like to make him some Anzac biscuits.”
Local RSL members were proud to see a strong turnout of children attending the Buninyong Anzac Day service and Oscar’s experience is proof in the value of introducing younger generations to those who have fought for their country.
“I just think it’s nice to bring your kids along and to teach them about the history of the Anzacs,” Kelly said.
“We’re going to lose all of these old soldiers (one day) and the stories are going to fade and it’s nice to be able to go up to them and have a chat.”
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