Bendigo is a regional city in Victoria which enjoyed a boom during the gold rush and its past is reflected in its magnificent heritage buildings, beautiful architecture, wide streets, quaint shops and a treasure trove of the arts and culture.
It’s also home to one of our own Aussie Heroes Quilts and Laundry Bags golden treasures – Rhonda R! An injured shoulder and many surgeries has left Rhonda unable to sew any more, but that hasn’t stopped her. She is now one of the embroiderers who helps to make our quilts and bags look so professional and whose work adds that special personal touch for our deployed personnel. Many of the beautiful defence force patches, regimental badges, Australian imagery such as animals, iconic buildings, and maps that we use are made from her embroidery machine at home. She also produces many, many other embroideries for special projects (for example, Rhonda spent over 200 hours on Invictus Games embroideries!).
Caroline L is currently making 18 laundry bags for one such special project. Each bag required the relevant service crest, which Rhonda is producing. Under the guise of saving money on postage, but really just wanting any excuse for an excursion, the Thelma and Louise of road trips (with a happier ending) decided to go to the source, travelling to Gisborne on Friday to catch up again with the delightful Rhonda over lunch.
Rhonda is the most amazing, kind, fun and warmly generous woman. She worked her family cattle property in Bendigo for many years, cared for her family, and kept so many balls in the air doing myriad other things, that we struggled to keep up with her just telling us about it. How she finds the time to actually DO it all is a mystery! It’s not surprising then that she barely batts an eye over our last-minute, weird and wonderful requests (well, maybe there’s a twitch, but she’s so nice about it!).
We picked up the service embroideries, but she’d also made up some gorgeous embroideries of Australian icons – animals, maps, etc for us to use on future projects, she gave us metres of fabric, and to top it all off, a dozen eggs from her chooks!
We just want to say a HUGE thank you to Rhonda R, for thousands of embroideries she’s produced for us all, and for being the most beautiful and accomplished woman, not to mention a life-saver for last-minute rising suns!
And to all you embroiderers out there, who toil away for us, but who don’t always have your names under the photo, we say THANK YOU and we appreciate everything you do.
Nicole W & Caroline L
As do we all appreciate all those who contribute to our fabulous finished products… especially this time… our embroiderers!
Till next time… keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
May I say the same for Keryn M, who does the same for me and quilts my creations to send for those who request them as well. She's brilliant and I appreciate her work. She and Rhonda R are two very special ladies.
I think every Lady /Gent deserves a pat on the back for their love and dedication to being an Aussie Hero Volunteer 🙂