Families stitch remembrance into an Anzac quilt

_CE19487St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School Holsworthy has made a unique gesture to the Centenary of Anzac Day in the form of a school community quilt.

The quilt contains a patch from each class as well as memorial patches from families for loved ones who have served in past wars.

It was presented at the schools’ Anzac Day ceremony attended by parents including those currently serving and retired from the military.

Over 10 per cent of students have parents in the Australian Defence Forces.

“There really was a stitch and a heart in each of those patches,” said the schools Family Educator, Veronica Leva.

The canvas quilt with a dark green camouflage backing was a collaborative effort by the school’s mothers led by Mrs Leva, Cheryle O’Neill the school’s Defence Services Aid and Religious Education Coordinator, Brianna Buggy.

Mrs Leva said it was started in March and there are spaces on the quilt for other families to contribute a patch over time.

“It involved a marathon 8 hour pinning day,” said Mrs Leva commenting on the time involved and number of families.

“I just stitched the (red) ribbon on the outside and the poppies,” she added with a smile.

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St Christopher’s Family Educator, Veronica Leva Photo: Kitty Beale

She said the idea for the quilt arose from an Anzac Day competition and linked with a suggestion by Cheryle O’Neill, the schools’ Defence Transition Aid.

Ms O’Neill, whose job is to support the school’s defence forces families, decided she wanted something special that combined the whole community.

Major Julian Amos, whose family contributed a patch to the quilt read a tribute at the Anzac ceremony where the quilt was unfolded. His father in law Sergeant John Douglas served in World War II and later in Vietnam. Sergeant Douglas’ grandson Kai is in Year 1.

Brendan Walker-Munro then gave a tribute on behalf of himself and his wife Catherine who have both served in the army and contributed two memorial patches.

Their daughters Olivia and Isabel are in Year 2 and Kindergarten.

The patches were for Mr Walker-Munro’s father Lieutenant Colonel Brian Gardiner and the other for Sergeant Michael Donohoe, Catherine’s grandfather. Both served in the Army.

“The reading of the ode and the playing of the last post are probably the most emotional part of any service – and where their loss is most keenly felt,” Mr Walker-Munro told the service.

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