Emerald RSL has fundraising sewn up

30 April 2021

This year, Emerald RSL Sub Branch got scrappy for its annual ANZAC Day raffle, raising $5,000 to support local veterans.

Thanks to the talents of local quilter Lorraine Baker, the Sub Branch raffled a beautiful handmade quilt, which the Sub Branch’s volunteer fundraiser Margaret Mallyon says has been named ‘The Quilt of Remembrance’. 

“I was in Peter Taylor’s Sewing Centre when co-owner Lis tapped me on the shoulder and showed me the fabrics she had displayed in her window for ANZAC Day last year,” she says. “They were beautiful pieces of fabric illustrating scenes of our ANZACs and she told me she wanted to donate it to our local RSL to see what we could do with it.” 

Margaret thought of Lorraine instantly and set her the challenge of creating something that would embrace the ANZAC spirit. 

“Peter and Lis Taylor donated all the additional fabric Lorraine needed and it took her well over 100 hours to create,” Margaret says. 

A lifetime of stitching

Seventy-five-year-old Lorraine started making quilts after she retired almost 10 years ago.  

“I’ve sewn since I was eight or nine years old,” she says. “After I finished working, I wanted to do something different. If you’d told me I would sit down and cut fabric up only to put it back together I wouldn’t believe you. But I enjoy the creativity of it all. It is like a puzzle.”  

She says ‘The Quilt of Remembrance’ is in memory of the heroes who fought in wars for our country.  

“I’ve always thought that veterans are our country’s heroes. ANZAC Day was a big day in our family growing up in a small country town, and we would pay respect to the people who had served our country. I hope whoever wins the raffle takes care of this beautiful piece, treasures it and feels what I felt making it.”

Emerald RSL Sub Branch's 'Quilt of Remembrance' raised much-needed funds for veteran welfare

Tickets for the quilt, valued at $2,500 and slightly bigger than queen-size, were sold in the lead-up to 25 April, and the lucky winner was drawn at the Sub Branch’s ANZAC Day luncheon.

“The quilt was won by a young lady, Melanie, who is soon to be married and her husband-to-be comes from a military background,” Margaret says. “He wears his great uncle’s medals.” 

“We had well over 100 people at lunch and it was a great afternoon.” 

opening the door to conversation

Margaret’s husband and Emerald Sub Branch President Noel Mallyon said the raffle was a great way to introduce people to the work the RSL does to support veterans. 

“We have actually signed up a few new members during the time we were selling this year’s raffle tickets,” he says. 

“It wasn’t just about promoting ANZAC Day but an opportunity to educate and inform people about DVA and different entitlements they can access.”