Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

Founding Member General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD

Sunday, 16 November 2014 11:10

Ben Hirsh Retires From Board

Written by Judy Landau

Awarded VAJEX Australia Meritorious Award
For Decades of Service

Due to his outstanding service, at this year's luncheon we paid homage to Ben Hirsh. Our 1st Vice President, Immediate Past President and Life Member tendered his intention to retire from the committee taking effect from the close of the Luncheon. With decades of service to VAJEX Australia, Ben gave his all and more, at times burning himself out and going beyond his limits for the sake of VAJEX. To say “thank you” is completely inadequate but there are not enough words to tell Ben of the esteem and respect he has earned from myself, VAJEX and the wider community. It was Ben who began the process of bringing VAJEX out of what he termed the “horse and cart era”. It was a brave step to take when some of the members were against embracing the new ways. At our last committee meeting, I tabled a vote of thanks to Ben for his devotion and dedication, the like of which is rarely seen.

Ben already had all the awards that VAJEX had to offer, so I had to create another one just for him. It is called the VAJEX Meritorious Award. The definition being: deserving reward & praise for a life time of meritorious service & conduct; exemplary & deserving; having worth of merit & value; being honourable & admirable; virtuous & commendable; a worthy fellow.

In Ben's response he said, "Thank you, Judy, for this beautiful award. When the returned Diggers of WWI formed the Jewish Returned Soldiers’ Circle in 1929 and were later joined by returning members of the armed forces who served in World War II, this Association peaked in membership. Sadly, with the passage of time, our ranks have been reduced; but we still meet to honour the fallen and those who pass away. After 85 years we are still here. I am confident that we will continue in this way for many years to come. It was a great privilege for me to do whatever I could during those 24 years. Thank you for this award, I feel very humbled.

We all wish Ben a well earned rest.

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