Sunday, 29 April 2018

Headquarters Joint Operational Command Quilts

On the 23rd of April, I was joined by several AHQ volunteers, as we attended the Headquarters Joint Operations Command ANZAC Commemoration Service and then presented three special quilts.

Rather than me telling you about the visit to Headquarters Joint Operations Command I thought I would ask those who attended to describe their morning.


In Monday 23rd April on a hazy Canberra morning I was honoured to attend the Joint Opperational Command Anzac Service. After a quick cuppa in the mess we were escorted to the JOC Memorial for a very personal service conducted by AIRCDRE Scott Winchester and CHAP Garry Hooper. All current members were present.
After the service we were welcomed by WGCDR Lesley Carney in the Mess. Jan Maree presented JOC with 3 wonderful quilts made by a collaboration of quilters, namely Lynn and Sandy and their teams of talented ladies. These quilts will be hung so they are seen by JOC members as they leave the area.
I did speak with many who haven’t received a quilt or LB, I think their fingers are crossed that they will get one next time! We assured them when thanked, the pleasure is all ours.
We of AHQ are always received so warmly by the members of JOC.
Thank you.

Sue G

What a marvelous experience!!  To be invited to attend the Annual ANZAC service at JOC was a real pleasure and an honour to be there.  Arthur and I, and a few other AHQ ladies and gentlemen, sat in the sun with Jan-Maree and just soaked up the atmosphere as various speakers made addresses to the gathered men and women of the camp.  I have to say that the Benediction delivered by the Chaplain was very moving and I for one, would love to hear it again as the message was so applicable to all.  I also found the reading of the names of those we have lost was particularly moving given the venue we found ouselves in.

Following the Service we all made our way to the Mess where a delightful morning tea was supplied. We got to chat to a few quilt and laundry bag recipients and Arthur and I spent quite a bit of time chatting to the very delightful Chaplain.  Jan-Maree made one of her heartfelt speeches as she presented three quilts on behalf of all of us who sew for AHQ.  I was delighted to be able to contribute to these wallhanging quilts and to be there to represent so many others who sewed poppy blocks for inclusion. They will hang for all to view and, I hope, realise, just how much we support their service.

Thank you for the invite to be in attendance today and Thank you All for your Service.

It was a privilege to be invited to HQJOC to attend their Anzac Day Service. The service was held at the memorial and was very moving especially listening to the names being read out from the memorial wall and seeing wreaths laid.

We were then escorted to morning tea and the presentation of 3 quilts. The quilts were well received with lots of comments on how amazing they looked.

The day was humbling with lots of thankyous for what we do and genuine interest about our group. One fellow who received a laundry bag stated he needed to be deployed so he could finally get a quilt. I left feeling that what we do is definitely appreciated and hearing that receipt of their package always a brings to their faces and not only brightens their day but brightens there deployment. 

Jenny W

It was an honour to be invited to participate in the HQJOC ANZAC day Commemorative Service and to join them for morning tea. 

 We were met by a very bubbly WOCDR Lesley Carney who escorted us and looked after us for the morning. It was a beautiful day which had me wishing I had a hat like  Clarissa had.  Jan-Maree had us all there nice and early so we wouldn't  miss any thing, so early that in fact we had time for a cuppa and sing a long before the ANZAC service. Yes a sing a  long and Arthur even tinkled the ivory with a few tunes. After successfully passing through security we were welcomed by Andrew Templeton and Chaplain Garry Hooper and shown to our seats at the Joint Operations Command Memorial. It was a very moving service and I felt very saddened when all 62 names of the fallen were read out.

 Before and after the service we were approached by numerous service men and women telling us about their quilts and laundry bags. It is great to hear their stories and of how the quilts and laundry bags brighten up their day, their deployment and their room. They told us funny stories about the things they requested on their quilts and when they ran around and showed every one when they received their quilt. It was  wonderful to hear first hand how our quilts and laundry bags put smiles on their faces. Morning tea was a wonderful spread of yummy food, and you had to get in quick to get a scone and a sausage roll. My sausage roll went cold as I was too busy talking to people about quilts and chatting with my fellow AHQ members.

The room went very quiet when Jan-Maree presented three very beautiful quilts to be hung in the canteen. There was lots of discussion about the quilts and everyone was wishing that they could sneak them out in their pockets.

I had a wonderful morning being part of a special ceremony and meeting so many lovely and grateful people. Here I was thanking them for their service and sacrifices and they are thanking me for taking the time to make them a quilt and laundry bag. Very humbling and put a put a great big  big smile on my face.

Thank you Jan-Maree for inviting me and thank you HQJOC.

Katie L 

When JM asks you to make a poppy and mail it to Lynn, you are never quite sure where it is going to lead. You can agonise over the right reds and greens, and are my stitches neat enough, but its going to be something special; and you know you are just a small part of the beautiful creation given from the heart.

Yes, Sam (hubby) and I were incredibly fortunate to be invited to the ANZAC Day Commemorative Service with Joint Operations Command at the General John Baker Complex. Moving, heartbreaking but so affirming of what we do as Aussie Hero Quilters. My goodness, we are a lucky lot, quilting for such amazing people.

Seeing the faces of Australian service women and men as we presented the commemorative quilts, and talking to JOC staff, many of whom are past recipients was humbling.

Sam talked to a couple of servicemen. He was pleased to finally confirm that, serving in the Navy, you can have a beard and moustache, but not just one of the two. And also to get a flavour of what the quilts can mean. Apparently, the surroundings at many postings can be quite plain, even drab. Quilts not only lift the recipients, who know that we appreciate what they do, but add much needed colour.

Caroline L

On Monday 23/4/18, I had the great pleasure, along with 10 other AHQ girls and guys, to visit HQJOC for their ANZAC service. Under a sparkling blue sky, and in the sunshine & fresh air of the countryside, we experienced a very moving service. After the service, we enjoyed a sumptuous morning tea whilst Jan-Maree presented 3 beautiful quilts to the personel of HQJOC. During the morning tea we also had the chance to mingle and chat with the men and women of the service. Once again I was amazed and delighted by the response to the quilts and laundry bags we make for these wonderful, selfless people. Many of them just said 2 words, "Thank You". These words mean so much to all of us who sew for Aussie Heroes and although we don't always get a letter from our recipients, know in your hearts people, that that's being said and felt somewhere in the world wherever your recipient happens to be when they receive your parcel. However, I feel it is we who sew for AHQ, who are really saying Thank you for your service, to those who serve in our Defence Forces. A wonderful morning had by all. 



The quilts were gorgeous.   The two poppy quilt tops were pieced by Lynn, using poppy blocks sent in by volunteers.  Once Lynn finished the piecing the quilt was quilted by Keryn.

This gorgeous central quilt was made by Sandy C from Coffs Harbour after collaboration regarding the design with JOC personnel and myself.  Didn't she do a fabulous job.

These three quilts will be framed and then will hang over the doorway that the members of JOC exit through each night. The idea is that each night they will be reminded of our gratitude for their service. 

I look forward to hearing they are in place. 

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

Jan-Maree xx


  1. A wonderful effort, Sandy's quilt a stunning centre piece and our poppy blocks put together beautifully by Lynn as always. Well done all, super job! The thought's of those attending are great to read especially for me Keryn's which for some reason tugged at my heartstrings. Thankyou such a simple word that conveys so much....