ANZAC Appeal under way in Shepparton

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Filled with pride and patriotism, Bruce Davis works hard to co-ordinate the local Anzac Appeal each year.

Having served in the Australian Defence Force for 12 years, from 1973 to 1985, Mr Davis said the lessons and experiences would stay with him forever.

‘‘It’s been part of my life all the way through,’’ he said.

‘‘Once you’ve been, you never forget the values, the comradeship and the mateship — it’s second to none.’’

Since retiring, Mr Davis has been involved in advocacy work for Shepparton RSL, supporting returned soldiers and their families in the local area.

In 2014, he was elected to the Shepparton RSL board and is vice-president.

With the support of fellow board member and wife Sandy, the pair works hard to co-ordinate the Anzac Appeal each year.

‘‘Anzac Day is a soldier’s day and it’s a time to reflect on the ADF members and their allies in times of conflict and theatres of war,’’ Mr Davis said.

‘‘It’s also a time to honour those soldiers who served and didn’t come back and those who served domestically to defend Australia.’’

The Anzac Appeal helps the Returned and Services League of Australia to provide specialist services to help current and former servicemen and women and their families with crisis accommodation, financial assistance for families in need and employment support.

Mr Davis said one of the best parts of the cause was knowing 100 per cent of donations went to such services.

Co-ordinating about 10 to 12 volunteers each year, Mr Davis has also enlisted the help of his grandchildren at the stall.

‘‘My family is heavily invested and they back me 100 per cent,’’ he said.

‘‘They come out and sell every year.’’

Mr Davis said there was no set target on how much the appeal hoped to raise, but said the community was always quite generous, with this year no exception so far.

‘‘People have been very generous,’’ he said.

‘‘Thank-you to the public and to the volunteers for giving up their time.’’

The appeal started Friday, with stalls set up until April 24, selling badges, pens and other merchandise at various businesses across Shepparton.

The appeal will finish on April 25, with merchandise sold at the Anzac Day football match between Shepparton United and Mooroopna at Deakin Reserve, Shepparton.