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Colourful Rockhampton character diagnosed with cancer

LOCAL HERO: Harry Mimi. ALLAN REINIKKA AR07-0510-3
LOCAL HERO: Harry Mimi. ALLAN REINIKKA AR07-0510-3

RESPECTED Vietnam veteran Harry Mimi says Rockhampton won't be seeing him, or his hats around town anymore.

The popular personality was diagnosed with terminal cancer last week and has moved to Gayndah to be with his family.

After being given anywhere from a few days to two months to live, Harry said he really hoped he'd make it to the end of December.

"I hope I will still be around on Christmas," he said.

"It is not a very good thing to have.

"It is a shame it had to happen but I have had so many calls form all the blokes I served with in Vietnam, they are ringing up from everywhere."

Harry served in the Vietnam War, and was one of the first soldiers on the ground when he was just 22-years-old.

He raised concerns that his illness may have stemmed from the use of Agent Orange in the war following the cancer-related deaths of several others in his company.

After returning home from the conflict, Harry began working for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing department to help Indigenous Australians with housing and budgeting.

Now aged 71, Harry has been a familiar face around Central Queensland sporting his impressive moustache and creative fashion sense.

"I didn't want to dress like anybody else," he said.

"I wanted to look like myself."

Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne, who met Harry while they were both in the army, said he was very upset at the news.

"I really like Harry. I did when I was in the army; you don't really express those sentiments when you are in the force but our friendship developed there and continued past our military service," he said.

"He is a good bloke and soldier and he always has been. I have enjoyed his company over the years, he always makes me laugh and that is something I rarely do these days.

"I could never get over how he could get all of his gear to match. He was the expert at wearing very surprising attire, and you always saw him coming.

"Everybody will be very upset by this news and I wish him all the best."

Topics:  harry mimi health vietnam veteran



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