St John veteran recognised with lifetime award

Kevin Young was recognised at the annual Investiture of the WA Commandery of the Order of St John. Photo: Supplied.

Kevin Young was recognised at the annual Investiture of the WA Commandery of the Order of St John. Photo: Supplied.

An 87-year-old Esperance man received a Lifetime Association Certificate from St John for 70 years of service. 

Kevin Young was recognised at the annual Investiture of the WA Commandery of the Order of St John on April 6. 

Mr Young is a knight of the Order of St John, having served in many capacities over the decades. 

He first joined the Boulder Sub Centre in 1946, but was not officially recognised because he was not old enough to have a first aid qualification. 

"I would go to the sub centre and put out the blankets and the splints and helped with the classes and fundraising," Mr Young said.

"I would go on duty and just carry the gear for the qualified men."

Mr Young was officially a part of St John when he was 17 in 1949.

He began his medical career responding to accidents on mine sites. 

During this time, he captained the winning team that won the Australasian First Aid Championship for WA.

In 1975, Mr Young left the mines and got a job at Royal Perth Hospital as a senior orthopedic technician.

He served in similar positions at hospitals in Fremantle and Murdoch.

When he started at Royal Perth, there was no course for orthopedics, so Mr Young purchased books, studied and learnt from the orthopedic surgeons at the hospital. 

Over the last seven decades, Mr Young has seen a lot of positive changes at St Johns.

These include increased government funding, more flexible training and equipment and vehicles which have improved care for patients and have made the job of responders easier. 

Mr Young said the increased presence of women in St Johns had been a "great thing".

He said in the past he would attend to female patients who had experienced miscarriages and were embarrassed.

"I thought, 'wouldn't it be good if we had women in St John'," he said.

"I'm so glad that women have been brought into St John. I think it's a great thing."

Mr Young has served in many roles, including as member of the St John Council and a museum curator for the organisation.

"I have an affinity and love of trying to help people," he said.

Mr Young still attends St John events in Perth and visits the Esperance Sub Centre to mentor new volunteers.