Thursday, 18 December 2014

Gifts, Visits and Surprises

Hi all 
I know I wasn't going to publish a post tonight but I did not know what was ahead of me when I said that.  

I was standing in the queue at the post office and decided that I had time to open a card that I had picked out of the PO Box.  I opened the envelope to see that it was a Christmas card and flipped it open to see the message inside.   


That is when I read the message ...  WOW.  


I flipped it over and checked out the back......
now that is special!!!


There was a hand written message on the left hand side of the card - a personal Christmas message from none other than "our General" as some of you call him.   Major General Orme has just completed his term as Commander Joint Task Force 633, and returned home after a long 15 month deployment. For those of you who do not know, earlier this year, Major General Orme sent a thank you letter to every quilter I had on the books at that time, hand-writing the salutation and signing each letter himself and in addition he added one of his Challenge Coins.


Shortly after returning to Australia Major General Craig Orme AM CSC will be leaving the army.   His career which spanned 37 years has taken him from Staff Cadet at Duntroon in January 1978  to General in 2015.  
It has just been announced that he has been appointed a Commissioner and the Deputy President of the Repatriation Commission.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Major General Orme continued success in his new career.

But, wait! There's more...

Last month I went to the wedding of one of my recipients.  Whilst there I met another recipient who happens to be a pilot for 37 Squadron's Hercules aircraft.  He had received a quilt and a laundry bag whilst he was deployed and spent quite a bit of time talking to my son and I about how the quilts and laundry bags were received by those who are deployed - how people reacted and how it made them feel.  I invited him to join us for our Christmas Dinner and he had every intention of attending.  The weather had different ideas.  

He is deploying again early next year and was in the middle of a training program that had to be completed last week.  Part of that training required weather that was not rainy with low clouds.  They had planned to fly on Wednesday but the weather intervened and they had to fly on Thursday which meant he could not come to the dinner. He was determined to catch up though so we arranged that he and his partner would come for dinner last night.   I was delighted as I am always happy to meet a recipient.  

As it happened Stephanie T had already arranged to come over and give me a hand with packing boxes.  We decided that she would extend her visit as she had actually made our pilot's laundry bag. We managed to get nine quilts and a satchel of fabric packed (it is on its way Jo) before dinner.  We had a great meal talking about all things deployments and Aussie Heroes and then look what I was surprised with!  I will be finding a special place to hang this!  Thank you so very much!



And the fun didn't stop there.  

Someone else who had intended to come to the dinner, but didn't make it due to work commitments, was the recipient of one of our Mystery Quilts. It was a pink one that we were asked to make so that she could pass it to her little girl to remind her that her mum was always thinking of her.


As she was not able to attend the dinner I was invited to visit her at her place of work today - 6 Aviation Squadron at Holsworthy.  That is the blackhawk squadron.  I was shown around the squadron and then we had a look at a blackhawk.......... and yes, it was pretty amazing.  The last time I had been "up close and personal" with a black hawk was around 25 years ago or thereabouts! The blackhawks had just been handed to the RAAF.   
Of course I was VERY young at the time - that is my story and I am sticking to it!!!

I was given a patch for 6 Aviation regiment - on the left, and a patch for 171 Squadron on the right.  6 Aviation Regiment is made up of 171 Squadron, the flying Squadron and 172 squadron, the training Squadron.  In addition there are the support units as well.  


The third patch is the Army Pilot's patch - definitely the closest I will ever get to having wings!  

Thank you so much for inviting me and taking the time to show me around.  :-)

Finally some admin.   

I am sorry I have not yet written up the laundry bag challenge.  I just have not had time to write up the post yet and gather all the photos together.  In brief our Chaplain who served on HMAS Melbourne just the winners for us and as luck would have it, the first second and third place getters were all present on the night. As prizes they received a selections of goodies donated by Tamsin at Berrima Patchwork. THANK YOU TAMSIN!!!

I will get the photos and the post sorted but please bear with me as I do not think I can get it done before Christmas.  Sorry guys.  

Finally, if you do not keep up with Facebook then please let me know if you would like to be added to my special mailing list for NON-FACEBOOKERS. That way if  I post something on Facebook I can email it to you as well, but without bothering everyone on the mailing list who uses Facebook.  

So that's it for tonight.  

Till next time......................keep spreading the word and happy stitching!  
Jan-Maree  xx

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