Who’s Who in 2022, Inspiring People: Karen Hemers

Published 12:45am 14 December 2022

Who’s Who in 2022, Inspiring People: Karen Hemers
Words by Moreton Daily

Redcliffe RSL Deputy President Karen Hemers pays tribute to our fallen Diggers by helping to plan commemorative services for Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.

Karen works diligently behind the scenes to ensure the services run smoothly, and no veterans are forgotten.

Every weekend before Anzac Day, Karen and the Redcliffe RSL host a special ceremony at the Redcliffe Cemetery to remember the bravery and sacrifices of the region’s fallen Diggers who are buried there.

“This service is a not a sombre occasion, but rather a celebration of people’s lives,” Karen told Moreton Daily in April.

“In the Redcliffe Cemetery alone, there is almost 1000 servicemen and women there, so it is important we honour those who have served for our country.”

Members of the Redcliffe RSL, along with those from ex-service organisations and local place flags on the graves of the servicemen and women.

The following day, during the service, the flags are removed and replaced with handmade poppies.

It’s a tradition that is unique to the Redcliffe peninsula.

“The Redcliffe RSL has been doing this special service for more than 20 years,” Karen said.

“It’s very unique, and we don’t know of anyone else who does this.”

About Karen Hemers

Karen Hemers is the Deputy President of the Redcliffe RSL and an instrumental person behind a number of commemorative services held on the peninsula to honour our veterans.

Karen served in the military herself, in the Australian Army from 1975 to 1981 when she left after having two children.

The day she joined the Australian Army was a significant one for her and her family, as it was also 25 years to the day after her father’s military career began.

Her father served in Vietnam twice, Borneo and Laos, and was also heavily involved in the Redcliffe RSL after his military service.

Each year, Karen works diligently behind the scenes to ensure the Redcliffe RSL’s annual services for Anzac Day and Remembrance Day all run smoothly.

In the lead-up to Anzac Day, Keren also helps to host a special service that honours the bravery and sacrifices of the region’s fallen Diggers who are laid to rest at the Redcliffe cemetery.

The service entails pacing flags on the graves of all servicemen and women the day before the commemorative service is held (usually the weekend before April 25).

The following day, the flag will be removed and poppies that have been handmade by Redcliffe Legacy Laurel Ladies are then placed on each grave.

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