G’day from sunny Brisbane.
I have just had the loveliest day. It started with waking to the sound of cows moo-ing on the property next door to where I was staying in Murwillumba. That was followed by a morning stroll through Vince and Sue’s gorgeous garden with their three dogs, Basil, Beau and River. I will share some photos of that part of my visit, including the visit to Moo Moo Fabrics to spend the morning with Sue’s sewing group yesterday, in Monday night’s post. For today I want to concentrate on my visit to Heritage Village, home of the Old Bags and the Dag!
Sue and I met Angela there. Two other special guests attended as well. I can’t show you any photos but we were lucky enough to be joined by two serving members, a husband and wife team who are both recently home from Operation Slipper. Neither of them received a quilt from the Old Bags and the Dag but once they realised that the Village was close to where a family member lived they decided it was perfectly appropriate for them to visit and their efforts were very much appreciated.
We were ushered in to the large gathering area that had been set up with seats and were shown to seats that had been reserved for us.
I don’t have photos of everything that happened. It is sometimes just too hard to remember to take photos when you are caught up in the moment. There was lots happening. I hope I have got all the details and the order of proceedings accurate but if I don’t it will be close enough. It was a wonderful morning.
Michelle, the Diversional Therapist, talked about the sewing group and all that they do and then read out the latest email from a recipient who received one of their quilts.
This is Margaret -she is the wonderful lady who makes it possible for the sewing group to participate in everything they do. She spends an awful lot of her own time preparing fabric and blocks for the residents, and in particular, Harold, to sew.
Then I was invited to tell everyone the story of Aussie Heroes.
This is the first time I have given a presentation to people who sew for us and in front of a recipient! NO PRESSURE!
I always stick to a script. It is just much safer that way as I am liable to go off track and then we could have been there for HOURS.
I took four quilts to share but my photographer, Angela, was busy holding them up so there are not many photos of them. This one is the special quilt that a bunch of the lovely Aussie Hero Friends made for me and presented to me on ANZAC Day this year.
I also took along the two quilts that were made from the Challenge Blocks from last year’s dinner.
These are being beautifully modeled by some of our lovely Old Bags. I think Harold must have been off flirting somewhere.
After my presentation our wonderful recipient said a few words to thank the residents for their part in Aussie Heroes. She told them a little about herself and explained what a difference the quilts and laundry bags make to everyone. She brought her quilt and laundry bag along to show everyone; a gorgeous cow themed quilt made by Carol from Turramurra, and a matching laundry bag made by Joan. She presented a Commander’s Coin and her slouch hat, worn during her deployment, to the Heritage Village and they were very delighted to accept them.
The Old Bags and the Dag in turn presented our recipient with a beautifully made baby quilt for a soon to be delivered grandbaby as well as a gorgeous bib that said “Nan’s little Aussie Hero”. Oh too cute!
The Director of Nursing, Julie, then talked about Margaret’s involvement in the Village. She works tirelessly organising all sorts of activities that keep the lives of the residents enriched and interesting. It is obvious that she loves what she does and equally obvious that she makes a HUGE difference. Most important of all is that she is truly appreciated by those that she works for and with. Today Margaret, who normally likes to be in the background, had to take centre stage and Julie, and senior Village Staff paid tribute to her – and then she was on the receiving end –
First a quilting book
then a beautiful quilt made by the residents and incorporating blocks signed by all the members of the Old Bags and the Dag.
And finally flowers.
To say Margaret was taken aback would be an understatement.
The giving wasn’t over though. Angela, Sue, our recipient and her husband and I were all treated to handmade plum puddings made by none other than our wonderful Harold!
Can you believe that he has made over 400 plum puddings of various sizes for this Christmas. His pudding has been entered in to the local show and has one first prize too. People he is 88 years old! I don’t want to hear ANY excuses from anyone about anything from now on. If Harold can make 400+ puddings we should be inspired!
And just whilst we are showing off Harold’s talents – here is his other first prize winning effort – a small quilt to go at the foot of the bed for one of his daughters, designed and pieced by Harold!
We were treated to a special recitation by one of the residents, Mr Ray Bellamy, of Dorothy MacKellar’s poem “My Country”. He did a wonderful job and it was very stirring.
Keith, the village chaplain, played the piano and we all sang “I Still Call Australia Home” and then as a final treat, Dan, Keith’s assistant serenaded out recipient with a very smooth version of “S’Wonderful”. Just gorgeous!
All in all it was a really lovely day – moving, uplifting and encouraging. I personally, feel really blessed to have such wonderful inspiring people involved in Aussie Heroes. I only hope I am half as terrific as they are when I am their age!
I then said goodbye to Sue and hopped into the car with Angela for the 90 minute plus drive to Brisbane. We made a brief stop at a quilt shop – well, are you really surprised???
This place is seriously awesome! They make a business out of having lots of quirky fun fabrics and many of them are just perfect for our Aussie Hero Quilts.
If you get the chance you seriously need to check them out. You will find them at 70 Rostrevor Road Boondall, Brisbane and they can be contacted on 07 3266 2082. Plus they have a Facebook Page.
And yes, maybe I did buy a little fabric!!!
I have lots of photos to share with you from my day with Sue’s sewing group yesterday plus photos of Sue’s gorgeous garden but that will have to wait till Monday’s post. Tomorrow we will have the Weekly Dispatches as usual and then on Sunday we will post the photos Saturday night’s dinner! I am getting just a little excited now – so many quilters to meet for the first time, not to mention the fact that we have Money Honey, SuperDad, Tank Guy and one other recipient coming.
So much to look forward to!
Till next time………….keep spreading the word and happy stitching! JMxx