Anzac Day helpers are in for their busiest time of year

WHAT A DUO: Bathurst RSL Women's Auxiliary member Dorothy Campbell and president Shirley White have raised funds for more than 20 years to help Diggers. Photo: NADINE MORTON 042117nmanzac1
WHAT A DUO: Bathurst RSL Women's Auxiliary member Dorothy Campbell and president Shirley White have raised funds for more than 20 years to help Diggers. Photo: NADINE MORTON 042117nmanzac1

SERVING during a war can leave scars that can change a person, Bathurst RSL Women's Auxiliary member Dorothy Campbell says.

In the lead up to the auxiliary’s busiest time of year, Anzac Day, its members are out in force to help raise funds for Diggers.

Mrs Campbell said she has seen the scars that can impact someone’s mental health after serving in a war.

“I’ve seen first-hand how it can change people,” she said.

“I know someone who never used to drink, now they drink. It changes them into a different fellow.

“He’s only one of thousands [who are impacted], and this is why we fundraise money.”

Mrs Campbell has volunteered with the auxiliary for the past 10 years, while president Shirley White has volunteered for 24 years.

The duo said the need to support Diggers was as vital now as it was during conflicts many decades ago.

“Where would we be without them,” Mrs Campbell said of the Diggers.

“The need is just as great today as it was after World War I or World War II.”

The auxiliary raises funds throughout the year that directly go to support veterans with a range of needs including mental health.

He’s only one of thousands [who are impacted], and this is why we fundraise money.

Bathurst RSL Women's Auxiliary member Dorothy Campbell

Mrs White said Anzac Day was the busiest time of year, and members have knitted more than 700 poppy badges that will be sold on the day to help raise funds.

Similar poppies were knitted to raise funds for the centenary of Anzac Day in 2015, on this occasion Mrs Campbell knitted more than 1000 herself.

During the next few days, auxiliary members are also co-ordinating dozens of volunteers to sell Anzac badges and other items across Bathurst.

“We do it because we know it’s going to a good cause,” Mrs Campbell said.

Following Tuesday’s Dawn Service, auxiliary members will cook up a giant community breakfast at Bathurst RSL Club.

Mrs White said the auxiliary was in need of new members, and has encouraged anyone interested to contact them to find out more.

“You get to help people and get into a social group and make new friends,” she said.

Contact Bathurst RSL Women's Auxiliary secretary Pamela Stuart-Brown on 0437 270 618.