While the massive overhead fans generated a cooling breeze in the Gallipoli Barracks gym, Brisbane, in the early evening of November 6, 10 relay teams from the 6th and 7th Brigades set off on what was to become an epic 42-hour fundraising event.
Together they pedalled 6992km, ran 927km and pack-marched 563km around the clock in honour of our fallen, raising more than $22,000 for 42 for 42.
42 for 42 is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the 41 Australian service personnel who lost their lives in the war in Afghanistan and the 42nd representing all Defence personnel that have died in training or have taken their own lives after serving in Afghanistan. The main goal of 42 for 42 is to construct a war memorial in the form of a garden in the grounds of the Anglican Church at Milton near Suncorp Stadium.
Over the past few years, the 6th Brigade’s 6th Engineer Support Regiment has participated in the event at Suncorp Stadium, but with COVID-19 restrictions, Officer Commanding the regiment’s 20th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron Major Taylor Luxford-Sanderson was determined to find a COVID-safe solution.
“This event is about so much more than just raising money for the Memorial Garden, it brings veterans and the families of the 42 fallen together to remember and reflect,” Major Luxford-Sanderson said.
“Having participated in the 42 Hour Challenge in 2019 and realising firsthand the positive impact the event has on our veterans and their families, we were committed to ensuring the event could take place in 2020.”
Having the support of Army and, in particular, 6th Engineer Support Regiment, means the world to us.
Major Luxford-Sanderson said the money raised by all the teams blew him away.
“The teams and individual participants were amazing,” he said.
“They created an excellent atmosphere and were determined to raise as much money as they could over the 42 hours.”
42 for 42 Board President and former Australian Army Combat Engineer Sean Mulqueen said he was grateful for the 10 teams and everyone who got behind them.
“We were over the moon with the effort they put in to the weekend,” Mr Mulqueen said.
“To see the young soldiers in particular, some of whom haven’t been to Afghanistan, show so much respect for what we’ve being working toward over the past five years, means a lot to everyone at 42 for 42, especially the families of the fallen.
“Having the support of Army and, in particular, 6th Engineer Support Regiment, means the world to us.”
Now one step closer to building a Memorial Garden, Mr Mulqueen said they were hoping to commence the initial construction works early in the new year.
“All the individual plaques have been made, the statues are ready and the artwork is nearly ready,” he said.
“It’s been a hard year but we’re ecstatic with all the support we’ve received.”
For more information about the 42 for 42 Memorial Garden, visit www.42for42.org.au