Wednesday, 9 November 2016

What everyone else had to say about the dinner...

As promised here are the rest of the photos and the feedback and impressions from other guests at the dinner.


If you see a lovely photo or two that you would like a good copy of please just send me an email but understand that with my trip to Perth this week and a three days in Wagga next week there will be little chance for me to send the photos on til the week of the 20th or thereabouts. 

Rear Admiral Trevor Jones (Rtd) and his wife Annette with Valda who came with her daugher.

Susan and Lindsey P and Deb and Jim B

Hello all,

Thank you Jan-Maree and HMAS Harman for a really special night.  It was great to meet some of the Aussie Hero team. The evening made me feel special after hearing how appreciated Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry Bags are so appreciated.  My husband was really impressed on how much 'brass' were in attendance, just showing how well regarded Aussie Hero's Quilts and Laundry Bags are received.  It gave me an insight of what our heroes are doing on deployment and encouragement to keep on sewing and passing the word along.

Sunday breaky was a nice way to finish off a very enjoyable weekend. 

Susan P (QLD)

Lydia, Michelle, Alyssa and Leanne D 

Kris and WGCDR Lesley 

Joan Mck, Bev F, Clarissa, Bridget, Bev U...... one or two missing but otherwise known as the WPH ladies.

The one and onlys.... Drew and Cath H 

Keryn and Carolyn

Michele, Kirsten and Cath M 

Captain Terry, Maridy, Sharon N and WO Deb

I think some of the things I enjoyed most was the chance to dress-up - always a plus and not much need in front of a sewing machine.

The honour of being invited. We do what we do because we want to so it’s lovely to be honoured that way.

Hearing from people face to face is very encouraging to keep going and I loved that so many recipients where there.

I chatted for quite a while with a young airforce lady who has just got back from South Sudan - she was very humble but also real - she spoke of lack of interesting/healthy food, running water, electricity and concerns for her safety and having to stay back past her time as they couldn’t chopper her out. It made things a lot more real and you, Jan-Maree, made her quilt. 

We together educated a Brigadier ( wish I knew that before I stirred him about not knowing- oops) on the significance of pineapples in the military and the requests that had come through wanting one.

I met up with some familiar faces and built on a new friendship and laughed.

It may sound funny as a civilian but even the important people who where there are just normal people that like to chat and laugh and even though some of the decisions they make on a daily basis are paramount to our country and its safety they are just people that at times need a bit of love.

PS the Brigadier did mention over 4 times in our conversation that he would love a quilt with Port Adelaide his favourite team - I said giving JM inside scoops on colleagues could land him one - oops again

love Sharon

Erik, Robert, Philomena and Cath 

Maxine, Joan, Julie Ann, Rita M

and from Maxine....

Hi Jan-Maree
Thanks for the hard work you put into making last night such a great success. I enjoyed very much meeting not only the other quilters but also some of the recipients. It was interesting to hear how much they loved the colour that the quilts and laundry bags brought to their lives.

Best wishes


Emma, Su J and Doug

We arrived to a welcome from dishy sailors, male and female (for the fellas)😃 guided into the mess by a welcoming senior officer where a display of military medals was set up by two lovely ladies whose business is the display of a serving persons memorabilia. Then into the main hall where a complete display of quilts was lined up all around the room, we then passed on our donated thankyou gifts of laundry bags and were able to check out many more quilts on the tables. 

It was noted by staff only one bag each was requested but it seemed none of us could count as the piles just kept growing. 

Speeches were made and many thanks given with more than a few leaky eyes around the place. 

A raffle was run with prizes of a WW1 bear and a painting of a working dog and handler, many miffed people including myself as we didn't win it, many had already put dibs on that one. There was also an auction for a quilt from the centenary display called Reunion, as the bidding was going on one officer kept nudging up the price to make the final purchaser pay more, he won it and his wife was not going to let anyone get hold of it.  I'm sure she was going to have it "come hell or high water". 

The food was delicious although I was talking so much I didn't get to eat much. 

The whole evening was a lesson in how well our quilts and laundry bags are really appreciated and the personal effects on receiving them can have especially on someone going through a low patch when away from home. Thank-you to Jan Maree and all the ADF people and volunteers for making this a most memorable night

Su J 

Maree W, David and Sue P

WO-AF, Warrant Officer and Mrs Swanwick and WGCDR Andrew and his mother, Jacqui D

Chaplain Jason and CMDR Peter and Ruth B

Leanne D, Pauline S, Alyssa D and Lydia Mck

Hi Jan-Maree
Thank you so much for organising such a fabulous social night.
The chance the meet and talk to other quilters was helpful and enlightening, however the highlight of the night had to be meeting recipients.

To understand how and why they are given quilts has encouraged me to make even more.

I had no idea the colourful quilts being given unconditionaly could have such an impact on peoples lives especially given the circumstance they must find themselves in. 

I asked each recipient that I spoke to what they did with the quilts when they returned home and this has encouraged me more to know they are really cherished either on the lounge or the bed, even used for exercises after they return from OS.

I have only been making quilts for 9 months in this time I have made 13 quilts and I can’t wait to make many more.

Thank you again, I wasn’t expecting the recipients to be at this event, so I have come away very proud that I am actually doing something that helps our troops overseas.


Tracey P and Cath H 

Chris, Donna and Blake 

Bob and Rita M and Michelle 

Bev and Russ F

Dear Jan-Maree,

Thank you for organising the dinner last night. My husband and I both enjoyed meeting other quilters and recipients and hearing their stories. I have seen many of the names on the blogspot  so it was good to be able to put faces to names. We also enjoyed the power-point display organised by Charis. It was also good to meet the girls from Lone Pine Medals and see their display.

The staff at HMAS Harman certainly looked after us. They made sure we found the parking area and mess without getting lost then supplied us with drink and enough food to last us a week! We managed to eat breakfast at Poppy’s this morning though.

I’ll definitely have to buy a small sewing machine to take in the caravan so I can keep sewing when we’re away next year. I’ll have to make sure we stop at powered sites every so often.


Bev F

Charis, Sharon, Chaplain Alan, Lisa and Chaplain Mark

Joan C and Stephanie T 

T.S. Eliott once said “The journey not the destination matters” well this almost holds true for my trip to the AHQ dinner held at HMAS Harman. One is inclined to think the trip from Sydney to Canberra is quite routine, until one has a new chauffeur who likes variety. So going down via Leumeah, onto Mittagong, Bowral, a visit to a fabric shop at Berrima, lunch at Goulburn added interest to the trip.

The trip  to HMAS Harman from our friends at Weetangera was undertaken without drama in 20 mins, the return trip in the dark was more interesting. Canberra is a very dark place at night, no sun to give you a sight of North, suffice to say we were geographical embarrassed until a kind man took pity on two slightly crazy looking women and led us to a recognisable street.

The journey home via Queanbeyan, Bungendore, Tarago and Lake Bathurst showed the Australian landscape at its finest. The highway held no attraction so it was home via Marulan, Tailong, Penrose, lovely lunch at Exeter, drive through Bowral and Mittagong to the motorway and a sedate drive the rest of the way.

Was the journey worthy of  the destination, definitely it was.  Dinner at HMAS Harman provided an opportunity to meet and chat not only with other sewers, but an opportunity to meet service personnel from all three sections of the Australian Defence Forces.  Personally it was lovely to catch up with a now reservist who was my distributor for a number of Special bags.  Commander Alison Westwood was a delight to chat with and is certainly going to put her mind to distributing the many laundry bags given to her as a present from all the sewers who attended.  Good drinks, good food and good conversation all combined to make for a very pleasant occasion and this dinner was indeed a very pleasant occasion.



Aaron and his wife, Ingrid, quilter and recipient!

Michelle and one of our first mystery quilts!

Raelyne and Valda

Hi Jan-Maree,

I think what stood out to me most was the feeling of generosity and friendship amongst everyone. Generosity from the defence force personnel through their kind words and welcome (no matter what rank they were) to us all, and generosity amongst the quilters.  Everyone I spoke to was so happy to share what they had done and keen to encourage each other.

It was humbling to hear the thoughts of the recipients and how much the gifts of quilts and laundry bags mean when they arrive - even for the toughest of the tough. Hearing those stories was what made the night so special and Im really glad I was able to attend.

Job well done Jan-Maree, thankyou to you and all your helpers for great night.


Clarissa, Lynn and Arthur

Lyn K and Jeff with Deni and Bart.

Hi Jan-Maree,
Jeff and I had a great time last night and again this morning for breakfast.
Last night it was lovely to see Defence force personnel mixing with the quilters. It was good to be able to meet and chat with fellow quilters, recipients and all levels of ADF members. It was really moving hearing recipients stories and to hear how we are making an impact on those serving to keep our country and us safe.
Thank you for all that you do. I just love being able to make quilts and laundry bags for such a worthy cause.
It was great catching up with you and meeting fellow quilters, especially those from SA.


Michele and Pennie

Ruth B and Rita M 

Clarissa and Derek

Katrina and Garry

Grant, Pennie and I 

Pam W, Cath H and Lynda A

Hi everyone
Well what can I say to express what a wonderful experience this whole weekend has been.
Pam and I have done a road trip from Melbourne (stopping along the way at just one or two fabric shops!!!!)

We had the most wonderful night at HMAS Harman.  We delighted in meeting recipients and their families.  We have been inspired by quilters living in small towns, working on their own and who travelled many 100s of miles to come, to be part of this fantastic evening.  We feel privileged to be part of this amazing organisation that is Aussie Hero Quilts.

The breakfast at Poppy's at the war memorial this morning was a lovely way to continue the fellowship from last night.  We had the joy of spending time with Gary and his wife.  We would like to thank Jan-Maree, the staff at HMAS Harman and all involved in making this such a special event.

Lynda Anderson and Pam Woods
MUC Pilgrim Patchworkers.

PS we loved the sailors 😀😀😀

James and Jo-Anne

and the last word goes to one who wishes to remain anonymous.....


Best night out in a long long time!

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

Jan-Maree  xx

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