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Hawthorn RSL and AWU Victoria join forces

April 24, 2020

Anzac Day 2020

Australia wide Anzac Day services have been called off and in its place  there is a campaign to have Australian’s mark their own commemorations at home, in a ‘light up dawn’ service from a driveway, backyard or verandah.

In the lead up to Anzac Day there has always been a steady number of veterans and volunteers selling badges and poppies to raise much needed funds.

As Covid-19 is causing us all to stay at home and avoid  social contact, this has had an impact on the RSL clubs and how they go about raising funds from afar.

The Hawthorn RSL is a traditional sub branch, and it is run entirely by volunteers, including former and current serving members and their families.

A community group mainly including post-Vietnam veterans, it has a younger membership than most RSL’s and still almost 100 years down the track remains a haven for veteran welfare.

This year the AWU Victoria and the construction members have assisted Hawthorn RSL in selling badges on work sites throughout Melbourne.

Their contribution raised an incredible $26,500.

All the money raised will go directly too assisting veterans and their families. Lucas Moon president of the Hawthorn RSL said “I hope this is the start of a long term relationship with the AWU and construction members, I see a lot of similarities between the way the military works and construction, it comes down to mateship and looking out for each other”. He continued “This money goes a long way, every cent raised is patriotic funds and can go toward helping one of our own.”

 Approximately 30-40 construction workers are members of the Hawthorn RSL and it was through the suggestion of AWU delegates and HSR’s that the fundraising on sites began, AWU delegate John Keys said “ Once the AWU shop stewards found out that the vets couldn’t sell the badges in the shopping centres and railway stations due to Covid-19, we were jumping out of our skins to help in any way, shape or form, we are proud of what we have achieved, but it was a small gesture from us for what they have done for our great country. We are all keen to campaign next year and do it bigger and better”.

Though Covid-19 has caused us to hit pause on any social gatherings in person, this doesn’t mean that they can’t happen online. Mr Moon and the Hawthorn RSL has organised a Zoom video call on Anzac Day from noon onwards that will be available for members and supporters to join in and keep the spirit of the Anzacs well and truly alive.

Donations are critical for the Hawthorn RSL and its ability to look after those who have served our country, or are still serving.

 

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