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Army November 10, 2011
FLOOD-affected communities in
Queensland and Victoria were treated
to free concerts and fundraising by the
1 Regt RAA band and the Australian
Army Band Melbourne (AAB-M) last
AAB-M musicians hosted three
concerts in Swan Hill, Robinvale and
Keran, in north western Victoria from
The concerts included a cheque
presentation to the Red Cross Disaster
Relief Fund for $4500 raised by units
based at RAAF Base Williamtown in
AAB-M music director Maj Glenn
Rogers said the band members enjoyed
hosting the concerts, which were sup-
ported by Rotary and the local councils.
"It gives us so much pleasure to give
back to communities which have sup-
ported the great work Defence does and
to show our own support to the people
by providing an enjoyable family expe-
rience through music," he said.
"The warm reception we've received
from the local communities has been
overwhelming. It's great to see so many
smiling faces and people having fun at
Meanwhile, the 1 Regt band did
an eight-day concert tour of commu-
nities throughout western and central
Queensland, including Roma, Theodore,
Emerald and Bundaberg.
Bandmaster WO1 Steve Mee said the
concerts aimed to build on the strong
bonds forged between soldiers and the
local residents during the floods.
"Our tour provided the Army with
a rare opportunity to reconnect with
residents who had suffered greatly as a
result of the floods," he said.
"The spirit of these people creat-
ed a wonderful atmosphere and made
delivering a night of free entertainment
enjoyable and rewarding."
Making music: AAB-M singer
Cpl Deb Cotton performs for
the crowd during the Kerang
flood relief concert. Inset,
1 Regt bandmaster WO1 Steve
Mee, left, presents a hand-
made rocking horse to Emerald
family Alan and Rebecca Grant
with four-year-old Samson
and three-week-old Nathan
alongside BSM WO1 John
Franklin. The rocking horse
was made and donated by
Vietnam veteran Java Jones.
By Cpl Melanie Schinkel
AN ARTISTIC Army wife has
unveiled her detailed painting of
5RAR's beloved former mascot,
Cpl Quintus Septimus Sabre.
The massive acrylic on canvas
portrait of the Sumatran tiger was
revealed by rising artist Chloe
Blanchard at 5RAR's soldiers' club.
Mrs Blanchard runs a full-time
personal training business but start-
ed painting in high school. It took
Mrs Blanchard about 120 hours to
paint Cpl Sabre's portrait.
"I wanted to give the soldiers
something to remind them of Cpl
Sabre. Particularly for those sol-
diers who were deployed when he
died," Mrs Blanchard said.
"This painting was derived from
a photograph of Cpl Sabre."
Mrs Blanchard's husband,
5RAR rifleman Pte Craig
Blanchard, said he was extremely
proud of his wife's efforts.
"When the curtain dropped,
everyone went silent -- they were
just in awe. All of a sudden, they
erupted with applause. The whole
battalion was there so it was really
loud," Pte Blanchard said.
"It's overwhelming what she
has done and the painting was well
received by the boys. I think she
just wanted to do something nice
for the soldiers when they got back
Diagnosed with severe arthri-
tis and kidney failure, Cpl Sabre
was euthanised at the age of 18
at Crocodylus Park in Darwin on
September 17 last year. The battal-
ion is on the prowl for a new tiger
cub to take on the mascot role.
CO Lt-Col Andrew Forbes said
the tiger remained an important
icon to 5RAR's soldiers and offic-
"The tiger symbolises the cour-
age, loyalty and fighting spirit that
defines the fiercely proud 5th Bn,"
Lt-Col Forbes said.
"In light of 5RAR recently
returning from operations as part of
MTF 2, it was an appropriate time
to draw back to our roots and take
stock of the unit's achievements to
date by unveiling this painting."
Unit spirit captured on canvas
Big cat: Pte Craig Blanchard and his wife, Chloe, are happy with 5RAR's reaction to Mrs Blanchard's
portrait of the unit's former mascot, Quintus Septimus Sabre.
Photos by Cpl Hamish Paterson
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