Last weekend Toni and Jenny A were kind enough to travel to Singleton to represent Aussie Hero Quilts at a Family Welfare Day and here is Toni’s report on the day.
Our day began with an early rise as Jenny Allen and I, Toni F, drove to Singleton Army base to take part in the Annual Singleton Military Army Base Family Day to represent Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry Bags. Upon arrival we were introduced the Family Day Event Organiser and then we proceeded to set up our display just inside the hall next to one of the main entrances.
Fortunately we had wonderful warm weather on the day for the many outdoor activities that were scheduled. The event was intended as an opportunity for all Singleton Area ADF members, employees and contractors and their families to participate together in a fun day with displays and lots of children’s activities like face painting etc. In all, there was close to 30 organisations in attendance. It was wonderful to meet so many ADF members and their families. Not long after the Event was opened soldiers from the Base participated in a section attack demonstration. This was interesting showing the abilities and skills of soldiers in Battle.
With the quilts and bags on display we had 3 hard cover books with coloured photos showing a multitude of quilts that aroused a lot of interest. From this point on, the conversations expanded with great results and much surprise. Also veterans, some of whom were retired, were surprised to find that they were also were eligible to receive a quilt for their Service.
We meet lots of interesting stall holders, including the awesome girls from Prestige Medals. Jenny and I were both amazed at their extensive range, presentation and beautiful workmanship. If needed they can provide medal mounting and professional framing.
We both had the pleasure of meeting past and present members of the ADF and Members of various RSL Clubs who enjoyed viewing our display and discussing our service. We met a delightful gentleman from Mussellbrook RSL Branch who had been in the RAN for over 40 years, he had some very amusing stories to tell us ! We enjoyed relating to visitors who had no prior knowledge of the service that Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry Bags provides.
Jenny and I were surprised to to present a quilt to a retired Veteran who had no idea he was about to become a recipient of a personalized quilt. This gentleman spent years planning, fund raising and finally constructing a unique Memorial garden situated on the Army base.
He was present with his wife and children and the Event Organiser, Maryanne. We then presented him with his quilt and he was so very surprised and overcome with emotion and gratitude upon receiving this special gift. After the presentation we were privileged to discuss many of his previous achievements. He also talked of the many retired Veterans who had multiple skills that helped him in the construction of the Garden and the hurdles they had to overcome.
The Commanding Officer of Singleton Army base was also in attendance to congratulate him. It was a moment in his life I am sure he will always treasure. His wife had come to our table earlier in the day and and just loved our display, explaining that her husband was no longer in service. She had been interested to find out he was eligible to receive a quilt. She left us so excited and happy knowing she could request a quilt for him. The look of surprise on her face at the presentation was priceless.
We were both pleased to meet some past recipients who were so pleased that they could personally say “Thank you” to us as volunteers of AHQ. It is clear that they valued and would always cherish their gifts.
A great day was held by all.
Toni F and Jenny A