Grati -Tuesday 29th June 2021

Written by ahq_admin

29 June 2021

                                                                          Hey friends!

Like most of the country I am currently working from home and on days like today, when it’s wet and cold in Sydney, I can’t say I’m too sad about that. I hope wherever you are reading from you are safe and well.

Enjoy Alex x

….

Hi Jenny,

Thank you for my lovely quilt.

It arrived just before I discharged and it’s been on my bed ever since.

I particularly like the batik stars and the birds.

As a recipient I now know how others may feel when they receive a quilt I have made them. Having the personal touches really make it special. 

I wish you all the best and maybe we will meet at an AHQ event in the future.

Kindest Regards

….

Dear Heather,

I recently received my amazing Aussie Hero Quilt that you made for me. Thank you so much, it is perfect. When I wrote down my interests, my expectations were that one would be chosen as a theme for the quilt, but to have all of them incorporated was beyond what I had hoped for. Thank you, I honestly smile, every time I look at the quilt.

A little about me; I am from NSW and have lived there most of my life except for a period I spent overseas in Asia (working as a teacher in an international school), and a few years recently living back in NSW. I have been married to my wife for 21 years and we have 3 children; 18 year old son, 17 year old daughter (who has just joined the Navy) and a 13 year old son. I joined the Navy late in life. 

I was 45 when I attended the New Entry Officers Course and it was probably the most physically demanding thing I have ever done. Before joining Navy, I was an Aged Care Chaplain and before that a Senior Minister at Church. I have been in the Navy for 2 years now, and hopefully this will be my last job until retirement at the compulsory age of 60. I really don’t envisage myself doing anything else! 

This deployment with HMAS Sydney is my first sea deployment, it is also the longest I have ever been away from my family, which is difficult. However, technology is at a point now where we can make telephone calls, and even video calls, home just about every day. I can’t imagine what it was like for sailors in the past who were away from home for months and sometimes years without any means of contact.

My interests, as you rightly guessed, resolve around sport. I have been a die-hard one-eye supporter of the Sydney Roosters my whole life. My family and I attend as many home games as our schedule allows. We much prefer the atmosphere of the live crowd in a stadium over watching on TV. I played baseball growing up and started following the Boston Red Sox, which led to following the Celtics in Basketball as well.

I would love to travel to Boston someday to watch a baseball and basketball game live, but also take in the beauty and history of the city. I was planning to fly there on this trip when we had leave as you know, COVID has put an end to that dream. But now it means I will get to do it at a later time with my wife and it will be so much better.

We are currently in the United States and were given permission to leave the ship (under tight COVID restrictions and requirements) to go for a hike in the area. There is some breathtaking scenery and wildlife here. We did a hike 10km in distance and we got hopelessly lost and ended up doing an extra 2.5km along the road back to the carpark where everyone was waiting for us.

We still have a ways to go before arriving back home. I am looking forward to sailing into Australian waters for the first time as part of a returning Ship’s Company. I think it will be one of the proudest moments of my life, so far. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

Thank you again for the quilt and for your support of the Australian Defence Force and it’s people. 

Kindest Regards.

….

Hi there Janelle,

Firstly, let me say a huge thank you for the quilt. It is wonderful and I am so grateful that you took the time to make it for me!

The Kirby is a welcome sight. My mates and I have been avid players of Super Smash Brothers – a multiplayer Nintendo game from back in the day that we regularly played during our university years. Pink Kirby was my go-to character. I like to think I was pretty good against them, particularly after a beer or 2 🙂 I sent them a photo of your quilt and they’re completely jealous!

Not long now till I am back home. I am looking forward to returning home to my wife, and 2 dogs in Queensland. Maybe even getting some leave before another promotion course. 

Thank you again. 

Kindest Regards.

….

Thanks so much for the quilt you and your team arranged for me. It’s fantastic. You guys do amazing work.

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Good Afternoon Sonia,

Along with the rest of my team currently deployed, I have just received a laundry bag which is much nicer and more practical than my Coles plastic bag hanging up in my locker.

I just wanted to reach out and thank you for your time and effort you have put into making each and every one of these bags and reassure you that your work does not go unnoticed and is extremely appreciated.

Thank you for giving us all a lasting memory that I am sure we will carry throughout our careers and lives.

Regards.

….

Good Evening Lyn,

I cannot thank you enough for your time and effort in creating my beautiful quilt and laundry bag. 

I just posted off HMAS Melville and arrived in NSW for my Hydrographic Survey Course which is where your creations were sent.

The quilt will be a fantastic addition to my couch during the winter and both brighten my cabin when I return to the ship at the end of the year.

Dolphins are gorgeous animals. I grew up in a small fishing town, which is known for wild dolphin feeding. The local dolphins are very friendly and often come up to boats/ kayaks etc. when you are out in the water. 

I worked for a couple of years on whale watching boats running out of QLD which is where my love of whales flourished, although my passion for the ocean was unavoidable thanks to my yachtie parents and our water orientated upbringing. 

50 quilts is an amazing achievement, I cannot imagine the hours you have dedicated to creating them but I know how grateful we are to receive them.

Thank you again, I really appreciate your works of art.

Kind Regards

….

Hi Clarissa,

I wanted to thank you (and AHQ) immensely for the amazing quilt and laundry bag that you have made for me. I am humbled by the messages that came posted alongside it.

It is evident through the quality of the quilt that I have received, that you are really enjoying these quilts and laundry bags with Jan-Maree (and friends). They feel like they are made with so much love! It was very exciting day when one of the organising members off our boat told us that we were going to be receiving these! Everyone went around comparing each other’s designs to one another. 

A month prior to ordering them, I was actually electric shocked by 240v whilst conducting a repair on our boat. Hence, the reason why I chose Thor as my character theme. I am very thankful that I had only received a sore finger, stained jocks and a new respected for safety!

I previously lived in NSW for about 1.5 year. I am 24, and have been in the Navy for about 7 years this year. I hold the rank of Leading Seaman. I was born and raised in Queensland and have ended up back here in order to be closer to my friends and family and my girlfriend. I have an older sister (26) and a younger brother (15) who lives with Mum. Dad lives in QLD too with his wife. Since joining the Navy in 2014, I have lived in VIC, NSW, and QLD. I quite enjoy my career thus far as it has enabled me to go all over Australia, not to mention being able to conduct Humanitarian aid in the South Pacific, and in NZ. Additionally, I travelled to United Kingdom for 2 weeks to verse them in Soccer – we got smashed unfortunately, as I had expected.

Since moving back to Queensland in 2017, I purchased my own home and in 2018 moved in with my girlfriend and two good mates from school, and my two dachshund pups who are little fluffballs of energy. 

Since then, I have been posted conducting Operation Resolute. At the end of this year, my girlfriend and I will be moving to ACT as I have decided to take a lean into a different aspect of the Navy and we are both looking forward to it. I am currently planning on selling my house and I am stressed about doing so, as I have never done this before and don’t know what to expect. We are well, and healthy and COVID hasn’t really affected normal life up here as it has down the east coast.

I’ve got to run now, I must start prepping our dinner. 

Sincerely,

….

All the best for a great week, stay well, and keep sharing our stories!

Happy Stitching Friends

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