Each year the Cottesloe RSL Sub-Branch conducts the Frederick Bell VC Memorial Lecture.
Previous speakers include the (2016) Director of the Australian War Memorial, Hon Dr Brendan Nelson AO; historian (2012) Rob O’Connor QC and biographer (2010) Ruth Marchant James OAM.
On the back of the release of his book ‘The Crossroad, A Story of Life, Death and the SAS’ the 2017 guest speaker was Corporal Mark Donaldson VC.
Sitting room was scarce as 160 people listened to Cpl. Donaldson at the Cottesloe Civic Centre Memorial Hall.
Cpl Donaldson explained that when he was younger he realised he had a choice. Lead a life of self-destruction and petty crime or change the pattern.
He chose the Army.
This path would see him become a member of Australia’s elite Special Air Service (SAS).
Tours of East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan followed. Mark carries a reminder of how luck can be an important ingredient in success.
A bullet remains lodged in his thigh to this day to keep him focused.