Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Emu Plumes and Sailors

Well to start off with here are some more messages from the last of the crew on HMAS ANZAC to be told they will be receiving quilts.  As always they are very enthusiastic and appreciative.  The chaplain always tells them to email me to establish contact and to introduce themselves to me.


I am a sailor on HMAS Anzac and my Padre has just let me know I will be lucky enough to receive one of your Aussie Hero's quilts.

Thank you so much for the support and kindness shown by yourself and your group in putting so much work into these moral boosters for sailors soldiers and airmen. 
We feel unappreciated by the Australian public and knowing there are good people out there with us in their hearts and minds is comforting. 



Ahoy there Jan!


My name is XXXX and I am currently deployed on HMAS Anzac in the Middle East.  I work on our Seahawk helicopter and have been doing this since joining the Navy in 2004. I have been given the news that you are going to make some more Aussie Hero Quilts and my name was drawn to be one of the lucky recipients!  I would like to thank you in advance for your hard work and am sure your quilt will give me many nights of good rest! 

Once again thank you and best regards! 



The padre said you were going to be kind enough to make up some more quilts for us, and I finally lucked in and got my name selected.  He also said to introduce myself, so here goes - My name is XXXX.  I fix the seahawk helicopter we have on board  and it usually keeps me quite busy as helicopters require bulk maintenance to keep them flying.  Have been in the navy 6 and a half years now, however this is my first time at sea. Spent most of my career at HMAS albatross down at Nowra (fleet air arm) and probably end up back down there sometime next year. If  I'm not working i usually take out the boat and go fishing, sometimes with success and sometimes without. Am originally from QLD, oh and I love my bundy rum. 

Well hope this is enough of an introduction. Thank you very much for the offer to make me a quilt. If there's anything i have left out please feel free to email me.


My name is XXXX and I'm a Combat Systems operator on board HMAS ANZAC who is currently deployed in the middle east.  My ship is involved in Anti Piracy operations.   Our Chaplain  informed us of these Aussie Quilts and showed us some designs that you had done before and many of us boys loved them and wanted one however at the time there was only a limited amount that were going to be given out.  But we have been informed that you are going to make some more.  The guys who missed out got very excited so expect a few more emails from people like myself that missed out originally. Anyway I hope to hear from you soon and look forward to getting a quilt from Aussie Hero Quilts!!! 


My name is XXXXX,  The Chaplain asked me to email you in regards to receiving a quilt.  I'd like to say thank you so much and thank you to the people making these quilts.  It means a lot that there are people back home looking out for us,


And now for a little bit of history...


Jill mentioned that the tradition of the Emu Plume being worn in some Slouch hats as part of the army uniform  is immortalized in Capella QLD with some special monuments so I thought it would be interesting to share the following information with you.  Being ex-RAAF and ex-Navy I was not aware of the history behind this and thought you might find it interesting too.


The Emu Plume 


Slouch hats worn by members of the Armoured Corps are adorned with Emu plumes, a tradition that originated with the Queensland Mounted Infantry during the great shearers’ strike in Queensland in 1891. During this time, the Queensland Mounted Infantry were called out, as soldiers to aid the Civil Power. 



As time permitted, the soldiers would participate in a sporting activity where they would ride their horses alongside the emus, plucked the breast feathers, and placed the feathers on their hat. The Gympie Squadron was the first to wear the feathers, a fashion soon followed by the regiment. 



The Queensland government permitted the Regiment to adopt the plume as part of its uniform in recognition of its service. In 1915 then Minister for Defence Sir G. F. Pearce granted all units of the Australian Light Horse permission to wear the plume , which they refer to as ‘Kangaroo feathers’. 



Emu tufts of approved design and dimensions are now worn by all members of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps as an item of dress. All Royal Australian Armoured Corps personnel were given authority to wear Emu plumes in the slouch hat, brim up or down in 1996, this was extended to all personnel serving in the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Regiment in 2000.

(passage this information was taken from can be found here)
The above information is from the Army website.

There seems to be a good deal of uncertainty about which story is the more accurate but here is the Capella version as written on the plaque in town.  The photo is not very clear so I have written it out below.


Capella and the Light Horse Emu Plume.
The Great Shearers' Strike started north of  Capella on 5th January 1891at the Fairbaim owned Logan Downs Roll call.  While no conclusive evidence exists on where the emu plumes tradition began, Sir George Fairbaim's familt history anecdote is tha a detachment of Mounted Infantry troopers guarding a gang of "non-Union" shearers at Peak Downs rode down to Capella Creek on day with things were quiet and shot an emu. Each tool a handful of feathers and placed them in the band of his hat.  From then on it became tradition for troopers to wear the emu plume.

Here are some photos of the monument to the story in Capella itself.



Jill's husband says that the most important thing to mention is that all the metal is 6mm plate, hand cut and assembled by local fabrication company in Capella and also that is was made to as part of QLD's 150th celebrations.

So, you learn something new every day!

Just a quick request.  We have a BUMPER week of quilts going out this week.  
Can I please ask you to get your photos in as soon as you can.  
Also BIG PLEA
when you email me to discuss a request, or to notify me that you have posted a quilt or laundry bag CAN YOU PLEASE give me the first and last name of your recipient and if they are from ANZAC can you please mention that too.  My records are kept in order of the request being received as that makes  it easier for me to keep track of how things are going and if we are on time.   There are so many requests now it is sometimes hard to match up the quilter with the recipient without going through all of them.  

Your assistance in this matter will be much appreciated.

Till next time.........keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

5 comments:

  1. That makes me sad, that the members of military feel Australians don't appreciate the work they do. Just makes me want to give that person a big ole hug! I appreciate him and everyone else involved!!

    I had no idea about the Emu Plume- I live and learn!

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  3. i love history jan- maree and your quilts

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