Sam pledges to help others heal through leather work
PAUSING to remember those who fell protecting the country, the Hatton Vale community congregated in Memorial Park this morning for a special Anzac Day service.
For Sam Kavanagh, attending an Anzac Day service is a habit he's held his entire life.
"I can't remember the first service I went to, but I would have been only five or six,” he said.
"Both my father and I served in the military and my family and I remember those who served and gave their lives to fight for our country.”
After serving on the army for 18 years, Sam joined the reserves in 2016.
He said it was on a particularly difficult day he realised he wanted to set up a program to help others and that, one of his favourite pastimes - leather work - had played a role in his own healing.
He launched Bootstraps, a veterans charity, which offers classes in leather craft to current and ex-service members.
"It's a way to deal with any mental or physical injuries they may have got,” he said.
"I was having a particularly hard day myself and was pissed off there was nothing around, but I thought, instead of whinging about it, I thought I should do something about it.”
Since he was a teenager, Sam has been practising leather work, having learned from his father.
"My dad, who was ex-Vietnam, taught me leather work as he used to use it as an out for himself,” Sam said.
"It just stemmed from there and I started teaching my son how to do it.”
Bootstraps currently runs out of a shed in Hatton Vale and classes are offered three days a week.
Sam hopes to expand the program to offer three different levels of classes.
For more information on the group, contact Sam on 0405044205.
Photos from the Toogoolawah Anzac Service and March:
Photos from the Gatton Anzac Service and March: