Re­mem­ber­ing ‘Snowy’

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Shirley Way shirley.way@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

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.

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