Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Clear Lower Decks.... HMAS WATSON by Bev U, Gail and Joan McK

Visit to HMAS Watson – 23 September 2016

Perched atop South Head at the entrance of Sydney harbour is HMAS Watson, where Jan-Maree was invited to attend a luncheon and she kindly invited Gail, Joan and Beverly from Cherrybrook Headquarters to represent all of the other AHQ volunteers. 

We were ushered to our specially designated seats by Chaplain Colin Tett, while the impeccably dressed crew stood to attention! The occasion is known as Clear Lower Deck, where every available sailor must attend.

Following various announcements and presentation of awards to deserving members of the crew, the CO, Captain Craig Powell, asked everyone to raise their hands if they had received a quilt or a laundry bag from Aussie Heroes. It was wonderful to see at least half the assembled personnel raise their hands.

After saying a few words the CO presented Jan-Maree various vouchers, which were from funds raised by the wonderful men and women to help her put her home back together after it was lost to a house fire in June this year. Jan-Maree was asked to respond, which she did with great aplomb.

We were then escorted upstairs to the Junior Sailors' Mess for the most delicious lunch of prawns, oysters, bbq meats, and a variety of salads followed by the most decadent desserts, all prepared on site by Navy cooks.

A special table was set for us along with Chaplain Tett and Captain Powell. They were both very generous with their time and knowledge, as you can imagine we had lots of questions! We all learnt so much from them. 

During lunch a few recipients of Quilts and Laundry bags approached our table and thanked Jan-Maree and her volunteers for our wonderful contributions. They told us how much the quilts and laundry bags meant to them.

(I was thrilled that this young lady came to say hello as we have made quilts not only for her, but also for her father and step-brother.   Their father still stays in touch with me though we are yet to meet. 
One day.....  JMxx)

After lunch we were taken on a guided tour by the Chaplain of the magnificent HMAS Watson Memorial Chapel. 

He kindly explained the significance of some of the priceless historical items. It is well worth a visit! The view is breathtaking with the Sydney Harbour on the left and North Head on the right. The majestic cliffs of South Head dropping straight down into the ocean.

We were treated with the utmost kindness and respect by everyone involved. We would like to pass this on to all AHQ volunteers. Please don’t ever think that what you do is taken for granted! These men and women appreciate and love their Quilts and laundry bags. 
We had a lovely day and were so inspired and encouraged we couldn’t wait to get back home to our sewing rooms!

 Beverly U, Gail and Joan McK.

From me, personally, thank you so much to all the staff and students at HMAS Watson who contributed the funds to the vouchers I was given. I will put serious thought to what I spend them on and make sure that it is something I will remember you by.  Thank you again.

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



1 comment:

  1. Wonderful read. A great post and what wonderful views!