A GUIDE TO CELEBRATIONS
GRADUATION BEGINNING OF PARTNERSHIP
TWO men celebrated a major milestone, graduating with their companions in a ceremony hosted by Guide Dogs WA.
The Babbingur Ceremony was held at the organisation’s base in Victoria Park on June 22 and featured Eric Seery and Roger Jones.
Guide Dogs WA supporters, volunteers, donors, sponsors, puppy raisers and staff attended the ceremony to celebrate the union of the two life-changing guide dog partnerships.
Guide Dogs WA chief operating officer Debra Barnes said the organisation hosted several guide dog graduations each year because they were a wonderful opportunity to share stories of each journey from puppy to working dog.
Mr Seery was matched with his guide dog Sundae in November.
“From the start, I had a strong, positive feeling about Sundae,” he said.
Mr Seery has been blind since he was a child, diagnosed with Stargardt disease at just eight years old.
“My vision loss was sudden and unexpected; one day in Year 3 I was able to read the blackboard from the back of the class and the next day I couldn’t,” he said.
Mr Jones said he had found a new lease on life since being matched with Chelsea in 2016.
“I’m getting out of the house a lot more; I pick up the harness and Chelsea gets excited to go for a walk,” he said.
The ceremony is referred to as a Babbingur Ceremony, a Nyoongar word that describes loyal and devoted friendship.
Roger Jones with his guide dog Chelsea.
Eric Seery with his guide dog Sundae.