SAPPER Jacob “Snowy” Moerland was honoured on the fourth anniversary of his death in Afghanistan as six new RSL independent living villas in Gayndah opened.
Sandra Moerland, whose son died when an improvised explosive device detonated on June 7, 2010, was thrilled the entrance to the RSL living complex for ex-servicemen and women would be named Jacob Moerland Close.
“Jacob has a connection to the residents. Vic Hampson taught him to tie knots, and he (Jacob) would hogtie his sisters,” Mrs Moerland said.
“He would listen to Bill Davidson after church talk about the war; he had great respect for the men.
“It will be nice to know that his name will be spoken.”
Soldiers from Jacob’s regiment, the Australian Army’s 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, arrived ahead of the celebrations to do a “backyard blitz” on Mrs Moerland’s property.
Lt-Col Matt Richardson was proud of his men’s initiative to put up a feed shed and troughs.
“I want to be a part of it, the Moerlands are part of their wider family,” the newly appointed 2CR commander said.
While Lt-Col Richardson said he had not served with “Snowy”, he saw his photo every day – making him responsible for the ongoing legacy of a man who “died in the service to his country”.
As the Lt-Col had served with Sapper Darren Smith and his dog Herbie, who died with Jacob, they brought sniffer dogs with them to yesterday’s celebrations.
He wanted the community to appreciate the role of combat engineers (sappers) and their dogs that look for, and find, explosives and weapon parts.
Proud to be a part of the opening celebrations, Lt-Col Richardson said the Returned and Services League was bigger than Anzac Day, and their reach was long.
“The RSL can potentially look out for me and my family; they provide an advocacy service (and) accommodation,” Lt-Col Richardson said.
RSL VILLAS: Six new independent living units in Gayndah will house ex-servicemen and women. The entry to the complex will be named after Sapper Jacob “Snowy” Moerland who died during service in Afghanistan.
Sapper Jacob Moerland.