Legacy left by passing of Blue

RETIRED BLUE: Sergeant Ridgeleigh Blue the III, with his adopted owner Priscilla Treloar at Millicent’s ANZAC Day march in 2022.

Caroline Hammat

Two days before Christmas, a local family said their final goodbyes to their family pet.

Priscilla Treloar had cared for ’Blue’ for four years after adopting the blue heeler in 2019.

Blue’s official title was MA505 Sergeant Ridgeleigh Blue III and for nine years he served as a mascot with the Australian Defence Force 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR).

As Blue approached 10, an email was sent out to the members of his regiment looking for his retirement home.

Through family links, the Treloar family were made aware of the situation.

“We completed an application for the once of a lifetime opportunity and were honoured to receive the news that our application was successful,“ Ms Treloar said.

“Blue discharged from the ADF and marched out on November 23, 2019.

“The transition for Blue serving with the ADF to civilian life was not an easy journey for either Blue or us.

“It was very much a learning experience but with consistency, love, patience, guidance and trust, he settled into farm life and we became family.“

Blue eventually became firm friends with the family’s little dog Mandy and Benji the cat.

Retirement did not come easy and Blue would check boundary fences every few hours, alerting his new family to any movement.

No birds were allowed to land on the ’parade green’ and hanging with the ’lads’ or helping in the mechanical sheds was a must.

Blue actively attended the local ANZAC Day service and march, Remembrance Day and made guest appearances at local events including veteran days and was always a striking figure in his uniform.

He was known by many in the local community and had a strong support network in the ADF community where, through his own Instagram page, his regiment was able to keep up with Blue’s life after retirement.

“We have been humbled by the many messages of support that we have received and the stories and memories people have of Blue,“ Ms Treloar said.

At his time of passing Blue was 14 years old and he has been laid to rest at the family’s property.

“We were extremely lucky to be selected as Blue’s family and retirement home, he is dearly missed and will be for the years to come,“ Ms Treloar said.

“He has sure left a big hole in our family but his legacy will live on.

“Ease springs, targets down Blue. Your duty is done. May you rest in peace.”

In memory of Blue, Ms Treloar is making replicas of the felt poppy he wore on his collar along with his rank slide.

The poppies in red and purple, to remember animal victims of war, are being sold to raise money to support veterans.

Blue’s family are thankful for the ongoing care and support received from Millicent Veterinary Clinic and the regular laser treatment he received from veterinarian Ben Black.