Thursday 17 August 2017, on the eve of the Battle of Long Tan, Beaudesert Lodge No 379 hosted a memorial dinner for 60 members of the community.
Beaudesert Lodge is incredibly proud of their veteran members. They pride themselves on being valuable members of the community and their veteran members have shown a level of commitment to their communities and countries second to none. Their veterans may not be the ANZACs referred to in the tales of Gallipoli, but they stood up when their countries needed them in all conflicts in living memory. For that reason, they were honoured at a Long Tan Memorial Dinner held at The Centre, Beaudesert.
After welcome drinks and canapés, Captain Owen Sulistio, a serving Army Officer in the ADF accompanied by his drummer, piped through the guests to dinner. Once grace and the welcome address was delivered, Bro. Shaun Winson presented the tribute of the Fallen Soldier Table, followed by VW Bro Jim Ritchie PAGSW, Worshipful Master of Beaudesert Lodge, giving the Ode and Freddy Fenton playing the Last Post on the bugle.
The Lodge had organised a surprise presentation for three of the guests; RW Bro David Cowan PGSW, VW Bro Jim Ritchie PAGS) and Wor Bro Dennis Lutton, all whom are Vietnam Veterans. Barbara and Bill Kenney travelled from Boonah to represent Quilts of Valour and to present the three veterans with quilts in recognition for their service. Quilts of Valour Australia’s mission is to present quilts to service members and veterans of the Australian Defence Force ADF in recognition of their sacrifice for Australia while deployed on combat operations. The recognition is also extended to the families of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. The quilt is a powerful gift of love. It brings warmth, comfort, peace and healing to the recipient.
During the delicious dinner, the pipes and drums played an enjoyable medley, which ended with Jim Ritchie giving the toast to the piper. The whole team at Beaudesert Lodge organised an incredibly enjoyable evening, which successfully raised $820 for Camp Quality, a charity that diligently works to create a better life for children living with cancer. The donation will assist Lodge Junior Warden, Bro Ed Orszulak, a serving Major of the ADF and veteran of East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, towards his personal fundraising target of $4000 for the charity.