Happy Tuesday Friends!
I write on behalf of my father, thank you and all at Aussie Hero Quilts for the honour of your gift of a quilt.
The quilt is truly beautiful – so skillfully made – and a work of art. It is a special thrill to see the patch embroidered with his name and service details. Congratulations, and special thanks to Jenny P who made the quilt top, Alison C who did the quilting and Kerri B for her embroidery. A talented, dedicated team.
At 98 years 9 months, Dad has macular degeneration and only peripheral sight. He cannot see the detail of the quilt, but can appreciate the overall view and is interested to hear it explained. My mother died just before her 97th birthday in February 2021. Mum was very talented in most craft areas, though not a quilter. She would have appreciated the quilt. It has been placed on top of Mum’s bed where Dad sees it all the time.
You may be interested to know that on ANZAC day this year dad was given the the honour of marching at the front of the street parade in Bendigo. He was in the centre striding with his walker. To his right was his great-grandson who is in the Army Reserve. Up until 2019 dad always marched in the parade with the Eaglehawk Brass band, playing his cornet. COVID prevented that in 2020 and 2021, and now his poor eyesight means he cannot read the music.
The initiative of Aussie Hero Quilts is a wonderful tribute to serve men and women, both present and past, near and far. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness.
Good afternoon Danielle M!
I am the proud recipient of the Aussie Hero quilt that you made and designed for me. Oh, and how could I forget that awesome care package you made for me too!!
Firstly, I’d like to apologise for my delayed response. It has been an unbelievably busy period over the last 6-8 months on board HMAS Choules as we’ve just completed an extensive maintenance period, the biggest she’s ever had. I’ve been meaning to contact you for some time now, but have honestly had very little time left over after a full day. Thankfully it’s much quieter these days (touch wood haha).
I am so happy and thankful for what you have done for me. I, without a doubt…have the best quilt on board. I’m almost certain there were a few jealous looks being cast my way when I purposely paraded it all in front of all the engineering team haha!
You mentioned in your letter that you and your family visited Choules in Port Melbourne a while ago. I have been there with Choules on a number of occasions and remember all the ships open days we conducted. I may very well have been on board the day you all visited us. I believe I would have been operating the damage control station explaining how we fight fires, floods and toxic hazards whilst at sea. I’m glad you all enjoyed your time on board. We love hosting people and showing off all our equipment to you.
I’m glad your son found his calling in the RAAF. The gap year program has been a great for defence in my opinion. As Life in defence can be rewarding and challenging at the best of times, It’s better to take advantage of programs like this so you at least can ride the highs and lows in a career that you’re happy with. I’m sure your son will have more than enough advice from his dad in that regard. But if there is any advice I can give it would be to just have fun. Enjoy the good times, and learn from the bad.
A little bit about me…
I also come from a military family. My dad served in the Army, my uncle served in the RAN and my grandad and great grandad both served in the Royal Navy and merchant Navy too. January 2009 in Adelaide at the fresh age of 20, I joined the RAN to become a Marine Technician. I was heavily influenced by my uncle who always seemed well off in life and had the coolest stories from the time he served with the RAN.
This is my third posting back to Choules, having commenced this posting at the beginning of this year. I have held many roles in my 6+ years on board Choules. Currently I am a Leading Seaman and the lead propulsion maintainer/supervisor on board. My main responsibilities involve conducting planned and corrective maintenance on ships engines and their associated auxiliary systems, too much paperwork and I have a heavy influence on the majority of training conducted on board (Especially with the more junior/less experienced engineering sailors). I have never been in a role that has held this much responsibility and expectation before. It’s an extremely challenging role that tests every part of me at times, but it is so rewarding and I love it. After my time has finished on Choules I am expecting to receive a posting down to HMAS Cerberus where I will be an instructor for the local damage control school. I’m really looking forward to that position and some much needed downtime haha!
Well, It’s been an absolute pleasure replying back to you Danielle. Hopefully next time Choules is back down in Melbourne, you and your family can visit us again. Until then, all the best to you and your family and once again, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your gift. I am so glad you made my Aussie Hero Quilt.
It truly is the best!
Dear Ellen N,
I recently had the pleasure of obtaining a Laundry Bag whilst deployed which contained your letter. The bag in particular was a “Bob the Builder” design which impressed my daughters greatly (aged 4 and 6).
Much of my uniform and kit is, as you would imagine, very bland due to being military in nature so a splash of Bob has brightened my room considerably!
I’ve travelled Australia more than most people I know through Postings with work so it is nice to see someone who has been to places other than the tourist hotspots (my parents have been to Cameron’s Corner – although it was on a whim!). My Dad often takes a makeshift firepit with him on trips and finds it a great way to get a social gathering happening.
In closing, thankyou for the Laundry Bag and the effort you have made, it is appreciated very much and the ‘little things’ do make a big difference to those deployed.
I trust you will enjoy your retirement after having given so much as a Nurse Educator. I often volunteer as a role player for Emergency Trauma Training for deploying medical staff and have had the experience of a mass casualty event so I know the importance of what those in the Health Care field do!
🌟 🌟 🌟