By Clyde Mooney
Launching for the fourth year last week, the VB Raise A Glass campaign will this year build on $4.7 million in funds already raised for Legacy and the Returned Services League.
Running March 1 to June 1, the campaign calls on all Australians to Raise A Glass and share with their mates the stories and experiences of diggers past and present.
In 2012 organisers are attempting to bring together the families of a group of twelve Australian diggers captured in a photograph taken in Egypt during WW2 (pictured below), which has been the enduring image of the Raise A Glass initiative.
This ‘reunion’ idea was prompted by two Australian families who believe they have identified their relatives in the photo: Harold Gold (back row, second from right) and Henry Rollinson (front row, second from left).
The campaign is backed by an emotive new television commercial featuring General Peter Cosgrove and Legacy widow, Bree Till, who was pregnant when she lost her husband Brett in Afghanistan in 2009.
Filmed at Cronulla beach, where Brett and Bree were married and where Brett’s remains now lie, the TVC encourages Australians this Anzac Day to consider the bravery and dedication of all our troops, and remember those left behind when servicemen and women die for their country.
This year VB is donating $1 million to partners Legacy and the RSL, helping these organisations continue to provide vital care to the service community. Trade donations can be made here.
Retailer support material:
• A2 poster featuring blank text area
• Tap & fridge wobblers
• Pallet toppers and Hot Spot header card
Key facts about the photo to help identification of those depicted:
• The diggers were part of the 13th Platoon, D Company in the 2nd/1st Machine Gun Battalion, Egypt 1941
• The battalion was formed December 14, 1939, as part of the 6th Division. In May 1940 it sailed with the 18th Brigade to the Middle East, but the convoy was diverted to Britain to help bolster defences
• At the start of 1941, the battalion moved into camp at Ikingi Maryut and undertook desert training
• In February 1944, the battalion returned to Australia and spent 14 months in Tenterfield in Petrie near Brisbane, and Kiari near Tologa on the Atherton Tableland. During this time it became associated with the 7th Division