Midwest Times - - FRONT PAGE - Zoe Keenan

Vet­er­ans’ names re­cov­ered

An ex­ten­sive project that took a Drum­mond Cove cou­ple five years of ded­i­ca­tion and ef­fort has cre­ated an in-depth his­tory recog­nis­ing more than 600 ser­vice men and women from the Northamp­ton area.

Elaine Chick, 68, be­gan her heart­felt project in 2011 shortly af­ter join­ing the Northamp­ton RSL to find the names and sto­ries be­hind ser­vice per­son­nel from the Boer War to the Afghanistan War with con­nec­tions to Northamp­ton.

“I did it be­cause when I went to the RSL, the pho­tos hang­ing on the walls just had ini­tials or nick­names and I didn’t know who they were and I thought that’s not good for peo­ple. We need to know who they are,” she said.

“I trudged through the pho­tos on the wall and in the ceme­ter­ies and com­piled a whole list of peo­ple and started re­search­ing.”

With the help of her hus­band Kevin Chick, 82, the two have spent five years ex­ten­sively re­search­ing each in­di­vid­ual so ev­ery­one was recorded.

“I did so many hours of work and of course with your re­search, you’re triple check­ing every­thing and you have to make sure every­thing is ac­cu­rate,” Mrs Chick said.

“Although it drove me nuts, some­times I en­joyed ev­ery minute of it and in some cases my hus­band would know who some­one was, be­ing a lo­cal him­self so it was re­ally help­ful.

“My hus­band was ex­tremely sup­port­ive of me.”

With their hard work and pas­sion Mrs Chick wrote a book ti­tled A Jour­ney Back in Time, cov­er­ing her find­ings, and all pro­ceeds of its sale were do­nated to the Northamp­ton RSL.

Northamp­ton RSL pres­i­dent Be­van Suck­ling said he wanted to show Elaine and Kevin Chick the club’s ap­pre­ci­a­tion of their hard work.

“Elaine started col­lat­ing the in­for­ma­tion, got a pas­sion for it and did an amaz­ing job over the five years,” he said.

“We had the pho­tos be­fore but it was more just word-of-mouth in­for­ma­tion, but now peo­ple have the names, pho­tos and his­to­ries of what they did, so it’s amaz­ing.”

Mr Chick was a na­tional ser­vice­man prior the Viet­nam War in his early 20s and was signed for six years, how­ever, he never went to war.

“His co­horts from Northamp­ton were in­volved in the Queen’s visit in the 50s in Perth where they were train­ing horses and lin­ing the streets for when she did her tour down St Ge­orges Ter­race,” Mrs Chick said.

Due to ill­ness Mr and Mrs Chick were un­able to con­tinue with the project they poured so much love into over the years, but their work did not go un­recog­nised.

The two have been awarded cer­tifi­cates of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from the Northamp­ton RSL for com­pre­hen­sive re­search of the ser­vice men and women from the Northamp­ton dis­trict.

“I thor­oughly en­joyed and it and love that they’ve ap­pre­ci­ated it. They wouldn’t have been able to have the dis­play they do now with­out this ground­work,” Mrs Chick said.

“They have a beau­ti­ful dis­play up there now com­pared to what it was, with jum­bled pho­tos and names.”

Elaine and Kevin Chick with Be­van Suck­ling. The Chicks were recog­nised for their re­search project on ser­vice men and women.

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