A stalwart of the Buninyong and Mount Clear communities, Vic Bradley OAM died on Friday at the age of 97.
A World War II veteran, Mr Bradley was born at Mount Clear on December 22, 1923 and enlisted in the army at just 18 years old.
Mr Bradley served in Torres Strait and Papua New Guinea before returning from service at the end of the war.
After returning from service, joined the Ballarat RSL in 1946 before transferring to the Buninyong sub-branch in 1948.
Mr Bradley was a member of the RSL for 75 years and served as president of the Buninyong RSL from 1969 to 1987, the longest single presidency in the sub-branch's history, and again in 2008.
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In 1995, the RSL awarded Mr Bradley with the Meritorious Medal for Service and he was also made a life member later that year.
Mr Bradley served at the Buninyong RSL's welfare officer for more than 50 years and spent 55 years selling Anzac Day tokens and poppies.
In 2011, Mr Bradley was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the community.
Mr Bradley was also involved in both Ballarat Legacy and the Ballarat Avenue of Honour committee for more than 20 years.
Buninyong RSL president Ron Fleming said Mr Bradley became part of the RSL tradition and set a high standard for the sub-branch.
"He was able to spend a lot of time, particularly in his welfare role, in looking after diggers and visiting them in hospital and seeing that they were travelling okay," he said.
"Whilst that's a part of the welfare officer role, it was carried out with that passion that Vic had for that particular role.
"Having been a World War II serviceman, he was able to understand the situations that often ex-servicepeople find themselves in during their journey in life."
Mr Bradley was also heavily involved in community sport and was a member of the Mount Clear Cricket Club, Buninyong bowling and golf clubs.
Every year since 2009, the Mount Clear Cricket Club has awarded the Vic Bradley Medal to the player who most embodies the ANZAC qualities of courage, endurance, sacrifice, mateship and good humour.
Mount Clear Cricket Club president Anthony Tigchelaar said the club was proud to have Mr Bradley as one of its members.
"We're saddened by Vic's passing. We extend our condolences to his family and friends and we'll miss him around the club. We'll miss his enthusiasm and his spirit, but we're all the better for having had Vic Bradley in our life at some stage."
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