Honouring every sacrifice

Joy Daymon (Damjan Janevski). 399637_01

Beneath the spectacular, evocative setting of the Mount Macedon Memorial Cross, people from across the state will gather for one of Victoria’s largest dawn services and to hear the story of a Woodend North veteran.

Braemar College school captains will be there to share the story of 98-year-old Joy Daymon.

Joy said she remembers she was sitting with her family having a Sunday roast in her hometown in Western Australia when there was an announcement over the radio that the Air Force was recruiting girls.

“I remember the day it came over the news. My Dad said to my sisters that none of us were allowed to join,” she said.

“I originally wanted to be a driver but they said they had too many. They asked me to be a flight mechanic instead.

“Oh gee did we have some study and exams. And then, oh wow, did we get greasy.”

Travelling from Western Australia to Victoria for her advanced technical training, Joy spent three or four days sharing a passenger carriage with seven other females.

“Two on the floor, four in the bunks and two in the luggage racks. This was comfort compared to the male servicemen who did the same trip in cattle trucks.

“When I arrived at Ascot Vale, I had to do all my medical checks and I was given a hessian bag. I asked what I was meant to do with it?

“I was told to go to the hay store, fill the bag with hay and that was my mattress. We were billeted in the horse stall. I think I was there about six months. Gee it was cold.”

Joy said she was relieved when she was posted to the much-warmer climate of Geraldton on completion of her training.

She recalls that after the mechanics worked on an aircraft, one of them had to go up when the aircraft was being tested to deter espionage. Joy was eventually chosen and was told to get a parachute.

“I went to get the parachute and the fellow slapped it on the counter, a great big thing, nothing like they are now.

“He said to me ‘If it doesn’t open you can bring it back and I’ll give you another one!’.”

The dawn service will commence at 6am and runs for approximately an hour.

Access is via bus only and attendees are encouraged to book a seat on one of the free bus services that will operate from towns across the Macedon Ranges and Sunbury.

Details: bookings.organscoaches.com.au/anzac/ or (03) 5422 1788.