Obituary: Kel Sharp - last of the Port Stephens Veterans & Citizens Aged Care founders

Kel Sharp was one of the last of the founding members of the Harbourside Haven retirement village in Port Stephens.

Kel Sharp was one of the last of the founding members of the Harbourside Haven retirement village in Port Stephens.

Kelvin 'Kel' Sharp, a World War II veteran and one of the founding directors of Port Stephens Veterans & Citizens Aged Care Ltd (Harbourside Haven), has died, aged 94.

A generous man who will be remembered for his community work, Mr Sharp was one of the last surviving directors of the original Harbourside board, which included Bernie Thompson, Bill King, Bruce Cowan, Les Johnston, Ronald Brock and Butch Foley. (Bob Martin is the last surviving members of the original board).

"The board is almost complete now that Kel has joined them up there, and the dream [of providing affordable aged care] will follow them forever, may they all rest in peace," said Harbourside chairman Gerry Mohan.

Born in 1925, Kel had seven children (through two marriages after his first wife Roma died aged 40), 20 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

Kel, a plumbing inspector for Hunter Water in the Port Stephens area, and Maisie moved to Nelson Bay in 1980. Son Wayne Sharp said his dad was asked onto the board because of his building experience.

"He worked with the architect to build the aged care facilities. He also had the opportunity to experience village life, residing in a villa at Salamander Haven before moving into the Harbourside nursing home."

In 1943 Kel Sharp enlisted in the Army aged 18, joining the 2/14 Battalion, 7th Division and served in overseas campaigns in Morotai, Celebes and Rabaul as a signaller before his discharge in 1947.

"In 1995 Kel and Maisie were awarded life membership of the Port Stephens Yacht Squadron, and he completed a Sydney to Hobart yacht race in 1971."

Kel was a Justice of the Peace for over 50 years, a member of Marine Rescue Port Stephens and tour guide at the Inner Light facility and a member of Newcastle Anglican Diocese Synod and All Saints Anglican Church.

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