The founder of Aussie Hero Quilts, Jan-Maree Ball and a group of her assistants, descended on Royal Australian Navy frigate, HMAS Darwin with a surprise for the ship’s company.
On the eve of HMAS Darwin’s departure for a significant deployment, every member was presented with a hand-made laundry bag as a gift, courtesy of the wonderfully thoughtful and generous Aussie Hero Quilt team.
The idea for the gifts originated from a conversation between Chief Petty Officer Electronic Technician Ron Palmer from Darwin and Mrs Ball regarding a generous donation to Aussie Hero Quilts by the Ramsgate Returned and Services League of which Chief Palmer is a member.
“We were talking about my close association with Darwin when Chief Palmer mentioned she was decommissioning at the end of the year,” Mrs Ball said.
“When my house burned down back in 2016, I lost all of my quilting equipment and memorabilia, one of which was a framed and signed photograph of Darwin’s crew from her 2014 deployment to the Gulf.
“Commander Phillip Henry, Darwin’s Commanding Officer, was on the phone to me the next day and pledged his crew’s support to contribute to replacing the lost equipment,” she said.
“The money raised from Darwin was enough to replace the lost quilting equipment which was a great relief in the midst of a traumatic time of my life.”
Commander Henry also presented a framed photograph of Darwin’s crew from her 2016 deployment to replace the one lost in Mrs Ball’s house fire.
Mrs Ball said she has a strong affection for Darwin and her crew.
“When I heard she was decommissioning in December, my dedicated team and I wanted to give them something as a show of thanks from Aussie Hero Quilts.”
Darwin is currently participating in the Indo Pacific Endeavour deployment to South East Asia before her farewell visit to the city of Darwin and subsequent decommissioning at Fleet Base East.