My only regret, on a personal level, is that I just did not have time to talk to so many of you who attended and there were even some quilters who I have not met, who attended the Friday night event and the dinner, and who I still did not meet. I am planning something special, just for newbies or those I have not met before, next year so that will not happen again.
But back to this year's dinner.
Tess (on the right) is married to a recipient and has been following our page for a while and she roped in Marianne to help. They both came along on the Saturday morning and helped to set up, could not have done it without them! Both of them received laundry bags for their efforts and in fact, Marianne will be deploying in the future and we will make sure that we look after her then of course!
Guest were encouraged to pause for a photo in front of one of the two Fallen Warrior Quilts. Just a note, there was one with an RAN crest and one with a Rising Sun. The RAAF was not deliberately left out, but the sad fact is that both these quilts are actually destined to head off in the near future to families who have lost loved ones.
and Drew (on the left) who many of you have come to know, seen here with Don. Those those that do not know, both of these fine fellows are ex-RAAF Air Traffic Controllers, like myself (except I am also ex-RAN) and Drew, in particular, has known me for a very long time.... since I was 19 in fact. Don was also helping out, taking care of the audio visual part of the evening.
(seen here with Warrant Officer Deb, our Ship's Warrant Officer from back when we looked after HMAS Success and Nicole and Caroline L)
Bev u was fortunate enough to meet two of her recipients.
Sandy has masterminded a group effort to make the Colonel's quilt and Jean had made his laundry bag.
Hugs and kisses a plenty when recipients met, in this case the Commodore greeting Gail who worked on his quilt with me.
Stephanie N (on the right) with her recipient
And last but not least..... Helen was able to meet Christine.... this is the hug of a grateful wife as Helen made the laundry bag for Christine's husband who is still deployed....
During my speech I acknowledged Carole and Bob from the Aberdeen Care Package Cadets - if you have not heard of them you can check out their Facebook page here... they have sent masses of care packages to the troops each year.....
We were also joined by Jay, the CEO of Veterans 360 Australia, an organisation that works very hard to bring our homeless veterans in off the street. Their Facebook page can be found here. During the night the mess was decorated with some of the V360 quilts spread on the leather lounge chairs around the room.
Jay is pictured here with Bruce who is the President of the NSW chapter of the Australian Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Veteran's Association, another great quiet achiever working to support our veterans.
After my speech I handed over to Chaplain Willis who commenced the auction.
The first item up was a surprise item..... a huge jar of my homemade ANZAC Biscuits.
When I met the Chief of Army at the Soldier On Ball in August the subject of my ANZACs came up and I promised to send him some. In response he suggested that if I had some ANZACs on auction at the dinner he would bid on them.
I am happy to say that not only did the Chief of Army make the opening bid, but he also had the winning bid, though that could have been his wife, I could not see. Whichever one of them made the final bid I can tell you that Army Office had plenty of ANZACs for morning tea on Monday morning and I am told they went down well.
The next item to be auctioned was our beautiful Aussie Themed quilt. The Chief of Joint Operations and his wife, Belinda, were the successful bidders for this one. The final price was an absolute steal with all the work in it but I think people were waiting for the next two items on the list.
After the Aussie Quilt we auctioned a ride in the Hornet Simulator at RAAF Base Williamtown. This was also hotly contested and was eventually won by Robyn and Carol for $750. The plan is to give it to Robyn's son, Carol's son-in-law. What a lucky fellow!
Next up for Auction was the Opportunity to Commission or request a quilt
This is something that you usually cannot buy and it was a hard won prize in the end. To the winner go the spoils and in this case our Chief Petty Officer Cath was determinedly successful with a bid of $1000. I am not sure if she wants to me to reveal her plans for the quilt but suffice to say she did not buy it for herself.
Finally we came to the ANZAC themed quilt. What a beautiful quilt! This was another hotly contested quilt and the main bidders were Christine and the Chief of Air Force (CAF). They were standing side by side and at a certain point CAF turned to Christine and asked her if she really wanted it.... according to Christine, the look in her eye when she said yes made it clear that she did and he let her have it for $1200. She was certainly a very happy winner.
The very next morning I received a photo of the quilt, already hanging in pride of place on Christine's wall.
In addition to the live auction we also had a silent auction.
Bidding was equally competitive for those items and I am told that some people were not game to stray too far from the table where the clip boards were in case they were outbid.
|Not the actual teddies, we got them at the last minute and I forgot to take a photo of them.....|
My friend Alison, ex-Navy, won the RAN bear.
Rod won the RAAF bear for his ex-RAAF fiance
and the Army bear was won by one of our quilters, Deb B
We also had three laundry bags to auction.
The Aussie laundry bag, made by Gail was won for $165 (I think) and the winning bid was for Rod, who again wanted it for his fiance.
The Laundry Bag commission was won by one of our recipients, Lammy, who has become one of our supporters. He wanted it to give to his wife.
Finally the very hotly contested ANZAC Themed laundry bag.
This was won but the extremely happy Chaplain Mark... he LOVES it. He has wanted the ANZAC Themed quilt but it went passed his limit so he was doubly delighted to receive the laundry bag and the last time I spoke to him he was thinking of framing it.
I will share more details about the beautiful Auction Quilts in separate posts.
I am quite comfortable with declaring the night a success. There were are few things that we can certainly improve on, and I am making copious amounts of notes to make sure that we do things better next year, but on the whole I have had a huge amount of feedback from both recipients and volunteers telling me how much they enjoyed the night and that is what really matters.
This is not the last post about the weekend, I just need time to write more. I need to tell you about the Auction Items, and also about the Gift Bags and I have quite a few messages from those who sew for us who have written their thoughts. I will also publish as many of the photos as I can and intend to send photos out to those that I think might like them.
So, standby, there is more to come, as soon as I can.
Till next time...... keep spreading the word and happy stitching!