Anzac quilt honours WWI veteran

By Holly Tregenza

COUNTLESS hours of careful stitching and the vibrant red of a poppy have led Rosalie Mulcahy to recognise a grandfather she barely knew.

On Thursday, Ms Mulcahy unveiled her finely detailed Anzac memorial quilt to the members of the Kyabram RSL sub-branch, to whom she has donated the quilt.

It comes after months of painstaking work on the project which honours her late Tongala grandfather, or ‘pop’, David Irvine Morris.

He served in WWI in Gallipolli, becoming a soldier at 25 and giving up four years of his life for the conflict.

Born in Scotland, he settled in Tongala as part of the land handout given to returning servicemen. There, he had two boys with his wife — one of which is Ms Mulcahy’s father.

And although Ms Mulcahy was just two when he died, honouring his past has somehow brought him closer.

‘‘I get a bit teary talking about it now,’’ Ms Mulcahy said.

‘‘It really all kicked off when mum and dad went on a trip to Canberra and came home with all this information about pop and his service.

‘‘My dad said that his father never really talked about his service, but he does say that he was quite an old dad — he was almost 30 by the time he returned home and could start a family.

‘‘It just really hit me how brave the servicemen and women were in that era, and I wanted to do something to say thank you.’’

The quilt has taken about eight months to make and incorporates the ‘For the Fallen’ ode written by Laurence Binyon as well as a full history of David Irvine Morris’ service history.

Ms Mulcahy decided to donate the piece to coincide with the Kyabram RSL sub-branch’s 100th birthday this year.

‘‘I just really believe they will value and appreciate it and its history,’’ she said.

With Anzac Day coming up, she’s encouraging everyone to support the Anzac Day appeal and pay their respects at a local remembrance service.

‘‘We’ve got the men and women that served to thank for everything we have today,’’ she said.