Blanket support for troops
By DAVID BANCROFT
IN just over two weeks, the Australian troops in Iraq will receive a package from the Clarence Valley that its donors hope will keep all 450plus members warm.
Since the start of November, between five and seven members of the knitting group at St Catherine's Villa in Grafton have been spending between two and three hours an afternoon preparing three knitted rugs for the Australian troops. Some have put in extra time in their rooms.
According to St Catherine's Villa activities officer, Sue Dawson, the women, who are aged between 78 and 90, understand they won't be able to physically warm everyone, but hope their gift will be a warming gesture from which the troops will take comfort.
"It was like, 'hey, this is for all of you'," Mrs Dawson said.
"It is a morale type of thing."
Mrs Dawson said the idea for the rugs came from the knitting group members.
After completing pouches for WIRES they were looking for something new to do.
They knew that Mrs Dawson's son, Luke, was a troop commander in southern Iraq and had asked how he was and, when told he was fine but sometimes cold, decided blankets would be their next project.
"It was more symbolic than anything else," Mrs Dawson said.
"A lot of residents had served (during war) and had been through that situation.
"So it was just to say well done to all the troops over there.
"It was a way of saying there are people at home who are supporting them."
The blankets will now be posted off to an expectant Luke Dawson in Iraq who is expected to pass them on to his commander who, in turn, will let troops know of the support from home.
She thanked Ann Morrissey who crocheted the knit- ted squares together.