The days of leaving the front door open when you ducked-out to the shops, or putting money on empty milk bottles to pay the milko may be a thing of the past, but honesty and community are still thriving in country Victoria.
Vietnam veteran and lifetime RSL member, Bruce Jeffrey has turned back the clock in an effort to raise funds for his charity. The 71-year-old veteran cannot go out and fundraise for his beloved RSL because he has “crook lungs” and the pandemic is too big a risk. But that hasn’t stopped him reaching out.
Bruce set-up his fundraising table – with badges and other bits – on his front verandah and simply leaves it up to the honesty of passers-by who come up and grab a badge.
“They just drop their money in the tin and take their badge,” he said. “Only thing is they can’t get change.”
With the COVID-19 shutdown Bruce knows that funds will be tighter in coming months. But the need will not be any less.
Bruce says the support the RSL provides veterans in his community ranges from helping those diggers who are “doing it tough” with food vouchers, household bills and other essentials, through to making sure that no one who served our country ends-up in a pauper’s grave. He has been involved in 300 funerals over the years, two of which were for veterans who otherwise would have been laid to rest unrecognised and unheralded. Bruce’s tireless work over the decades to help veterans saw him awarded an OAM in 2017.
While every community doesn’t have a Bruce, every community can help veterans by donating or getting Anzac Day badges and memorabilia through Diggers Tribute