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Supporting wounded warriors

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Beryl Leek with some of the ‘Australiana’ laundry bags she has made. Photo – Helen Tatchell

By Jessica Howard

The Bacchus Marsh RSL Women’s Auxiliary have helped to create hundreds of laundry bags in support of Australia’s servicemen and women.
The laundry bags depict Australian themes and will be presented to athletes involved in the 2018 Invictus Games – an international multi-sport competition for serving and former serving military personnel who’ve been wounded, injured or become ill during military service.
The laundry bag project was instigated by the Central Council of Women’s Auxiliaries New South Wales State President, Pauline James, and involves the creation of 550 handmade laundry bags for participating athletes.
Bacchus Marsh RSL Women’s Auxiliary President, Bev Kummerlowe said the community group was more than happy to be involved in the project.
“When it was decided that the Invictus Games would be held in Australia this year, the head office asked if auxiliaries in Victoria and New South Wales would help make the bags for the athletes and of course we said yes,” she said.
“We have about six volunteers making the bags from home and they can be as creative as they want, as long as the bags are a certain measurement and have some sort of Aussie theme, like vegemite or a wombat.
“One lady in particular, Beryl Leek, has put in a lot of hours and she is just craft crazy. She’ll bring one of her new designs in and all the ladies will ask her where she got the pattern, and they’ll go home and make another design. It’s a real team effort, all the volunteers are phenomenal”.
The Bacchus Marsh RSL Women’s Auxiliary have made in excess of 100 bags so far.
“Our ladies have been committed to creating the bags for these diggers who have been to war and got hurt,” Ms Kummerlowe said.
“It’s little token of gratitude for those diggers and it’s what being part of the RSL is all about”.
The laundry bags will be presented at the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney, which will run from October 20 to 27.