RSL NSW Auxiliary Newsletter - September 2023

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August has just flown by, believe it or not I have started making my Christmas cards, yes I know it is early but I have a lot to do, not only ours but for a local charity and another group I am involved with.

Recently I came into the possession of some old newsletters, sadly we can’t find the originals in the system so I’m going to scan them, they are part of our history, which many of you know I think is important to maintain. So many people who went before us did some amazing work and should never be forgotten. It will be a slow process getting them scanned but it will be worth it in the end.

As I do the scanning I will be letting you know what happened at that time. The first one I’ve done is from April, 2009, the late Thelma Crawley OAM was the State President of CCWA and the lovely Robyn McKinnon was Hon Secretary/Treasurer.

At that time we had 192 Auxiliaries with 4, 065 members, for the year ending 31st December, 2008 these wonderful members raised in excess of $250,000 for the Welfare & Benevolent Fund, obviously this doesn’t include the funds donated to sub Branches Isn’t that fantastic?.

It was interesting to read the various activities that was held, raising funds while having fun. Some of these your Auxiliary may still so but they are ideas for others:

Movie Luncheon

Guest Speaker at Meeting

Fashion Parade

Various Demonstrations at Meeting

BBQ /Picnics Raffles

Sewing/Craft Days

Trading Stalls

Games Days (Bingo, Hoy etc) Bowls

Social Lunches

As I said hopefully this will give you some ideas.

MESSAGE FROM PAULINE

Hello everyone, I haven’t actually added anything to the Newsletters since the old CCWA days but I have a wonderful announcement to make.

It is with the greatest of pleasure I can announce that five of our Auxiliary members have been awarded the Certificate of Merit and Gold Badge by RSL Australia It is the highest award that can be made by the League to a person, who is not an RSL Service member, in recognition of outstanding honorary service rendered to the League, Ex-Service personnel or their dependants:

Congratulations to

• Ann-Marie Jacobs

• Christine Frame

• Kaye Brown

• Jenny Leach

• Sue Allen

These members have made an amazing contribution as you will read in their citations below.

ANN-MARIE JACOBS - Ingleburn RSL Auxiliary

Ann-Marie has been involved with the various quilt projects from the start in 2013, I approached her at the time and she advised the best way to proceed. This was to be an inclusive project bringing all the Auxiliaries in NSW together A call out was made to the Auxiliaries and the response was phenomenal, 400 12” x 12” blocks for 8 quilts and 2 cushions.

Those of us who do not quilt do not understand the time and work that goes into making a quilt, together with Christine Frame, Ann-Marie pieced the quilt tops and then herself quilted many of them, which means they had to be backed, stitched and bound. This takes a considerable amount of time.

Ann-Marie pieced and quilted the We Will Remember Them Quilt which was presented to Brendon Nelson as the then Director of the Australian War Memorial at an Auxiliary function held at the AWM Canberra in 2017.

Ann-Marie pieced and quilted the Going Down With The Sun Quilt, which travelled to Fromelles & Poziers in France) before being presented to the Anzac Memorial Hyde Park.

Ann-Marie also contributed and still contributes greatly to the Thank You For Your Service Quilts project, The Homeless Veteran’s project and the Invictus Games project which included quilts and laundry bags and crocheted yellow poppies.

CHRISTINE

Christine has held the following positions at Ingleburn in a 10 year period

During Christine’s term as President of Ingleburn RSL Women’s Auxiliary $42,000 was raised, $25,000 of which was donated to WBI this in turn led to Ingleburn winning the Lady Woodward Cup that year

Worked on ANZAC Day & Remembrance Day

Assisted with sub Branch functions on those days

Sold tokens

Assisted with the arrangements for Auxiliary functions eg: Birthdays, Evacuation of Gallipoli Luncheon, Women at War Luncheon

Auxiliary Raffles, sold tickets, donated prizes

With Ann-Marie Jacobs, Chris pieced the Lest We Forget Quilt and some others in the original quilt project.

Chris pieced the Gallipoli Quilt, which travelled on the Gallipoli 100th Anniversary cruise in 2015 and was included in the book The Gallipoli Journey forwarded by Tony Abbott.

FRAME - Ingleburn RSL Auxiliary

In 2015 Chris herself made the Poppy Quilt which was raffled and raised $28,000 for DefenceCare (now RSL LifeCare Veterans Services).

Chris has also contributed to The Homeless Veteran’s project and Thank You for Your Service Quilt project and the Invictus Games project which included quilts and laundry bags and crocheted yellow poppies.

Chris was the first Auxiliary member to make face masks out of the poppy scarves, she made 400 masks, 200 were sold and 200 given away.

KAYE BROWN - Ingleburn RSL Auxiliary

Since 2013 Kaye Brown has done an amazing job for RSL NSW Auxiliaries, between the various projects, Kaye has quilted approximately 300 quilts, not only is this just a mammoth time consuming effort, the financial contribution is phenomenal, Sue has spoken to a professional quilter and has been advised that to have these quilts, quilted would cost us around $250 each, therefore Kaye’s voluntary contribution is around $75,000, there is no way we could have achieved what we have without her.

Kaye has also contributed to The Homeless Veteran’s project and Thank You for Your Service Quilt project and the Invictus Games project which included quilts and laundry bags and crocheted yellow poppies.

Kaye has also made quilts for Camden Palliative Care and the Lismore flood victims.

JENNIFER LEACH - Toukley RSL Auxiliary

Jenny Leach joined Hornsby RSL Auxiliary back in the early 1990’s, When Hornsby RSL Auxiliary closed in 2005, Jenny transferred to Gosford RSL Auxiliary, due to a move she later transferred to Wyong RSL Auxiliary though retained dual membership with Gosford.

Though Jenny worked hard for which ever Auxiliary she was a member of, her dream was always to re-establish Hornsby RSL Auxiliary, in 2016 she broached the subject with the then Northern Metropolitan Councillor for CCWA Sue Allen.

Jenny started work on it immediately and addressed Hornsby RSL Sub Branch in June 2016, who voted unanimously to re-establish the Auxiliary, from there Jenny went out recruiting members and the very first meeting was held 28th August, 2016, 17 Membership applications were tabled, (5 of which were for Associate Members, Members of other Auxiliaries who wanted to support Jenny) Jenny nominated Hornsby as her Parent Auxiliary and was elected the first President.

Jenny continued to travel down to Hornsby until the Auxiliary was fully established into the thriving Auxiliary it is today, she then transferred to Toukley Auxiliary to be closer to home, where she became the Coordinator. During the Covid pandemic, Jenny made over 1,500 face masks from RSL NSW Auxiliary Poppy Scarves which were sold through a network of members, sub branches and the Sydney War Memorial, which raised over $15, 000 for RSL LifeCare Veterans Services (formerly RSL NSW DefenceCare).

Jenny has also been involved in the Thank You For Your Service Quilt Project.

Jenny always worked hard for Auxiliary she has:

• Sewn, knitted and crocheted items for Street Stalls and Trading Tables

• Donated a Sewing Machine to Gosford RSL Auxiliary

• Worked at Bunnings Sausage Sizzles

• Worked on Anzac Day & Remembrance Day

Sold tokens in the Clubs, Shopping Centres and Railway Stations

• Assisted with Sub Branch functions on those days

• Assisted with the arrangements for Auxiliary functions-Birthday luncheons etc

• Auxiliary Raffles, sold tickets, donated prizes

• Supported other Auxiliaries

• Attended Congress– Delegate Wyong, Delegate Hornsby

• Attended various Area Group Meetings

• Supported various CCWA Projects-Lest We Forget Quilt

• The Invictus Games Project

• Jenny was awarded Life Membership in 2017

SUSAN ALLEN -Toukley RSL Auxiliary

Sue joined Matraville RSL Women’s Auxiliary where she held the following positions:

• Secretary 2008-2015

• Publicity Officer 2007-2015 Recruitment 2012-2015

• Assistant Tour Officer (monthly trips)

• Worked on Anzac Day, VP Day & Remembrance Day

• Assisted with sub-Branch functions on those days

• Sold tokens in the Clubs & Shopping Centres

• Assisted with the arrangements for Auxiliary functions-Birthday luncheons etc

• Auxiliary Raffles, sold tickets, donated prizes

• Arranged and co-hosted a fundraising Trivia Night

• Arranged fundraising Theatre Parties

• Supported other Auxiliaries

• Attended Congress– as Delegate / Co Delegate

• Attended Area Group Meetings - as Delegate / Co Delegate

• Attended Civic Receptions with sub Branch

In 2013 Sue was asked to temporarily fill the position of CCWA Eastern Metropolitan Councillor, at Congress 2014 she was elected to the position until she needed to resign January 2015 when she moved to the Central Coast. She then joined The Entrance-Long Jetty Auxiliary, in 2016 she became the Northern Metropolitan Councillor for CCWA, in that position she attended meetings with all the Auxiliaries on the coast when required, assisted Jenny Leach in re-establishing Hornsby RSL Auxiliary.

Sue was appointed to the Life Membership Committee and continued to produce the Auxiliary Newsletter (which she had done since approximately 2014, initially this was produced quarterly and went to all Auxiliaries, now it is monthly and goes to all sub Branches not just those with Auxiliaries)

Attended Area Group Meetings, attended and donated to functions with the Auxiliaries in the area.

Sue was elected to Deputy State President of CCWA and worked closely with me helping to coordinate the various quilt projects, looking at recruiting, attending Congress, various functions, representing me where necessary etc.

Sue also stood in as Secretary CCWA for a period of time.

To be closer to home Sue transferred to Toukley RSL Auxiliary, in approximately 2018 she became Secretary of that Auxiliary until changes to the RSL NSW Constitution were made, she then became the Coordinator, a position she held until 2022.

In 2019, Sue was appointed as Deputy State Coordinator RSL Auxiliaries and again has worked closely with me to make the transition as easy as possible for the Auxiliary members, keep members informed and to grow the Auxiliary family.

Sue was awarded Life Membership in 2018

Again, my congratulations, I am so proud of you all.

LIFE MEMBERSHIP

The Application form for Life Membership of RSL NSW Auxiliary members has been updated and is available to download from our website or by clicking this link Life Membership Form

Full information and procedures regarding the application can be found on the form, a couple of things to remember.

Life Membership is an exceptional honour for RSL NSW members, it is not an automatic award given to every member.

The nominee must have a minimum of fifteen (15) years continuous honorary service as an Auxiliary member, at least 10 years of which has to be outstanding service during the membership.

Life Memberships are to be processed by the sub-Branch Secretary in consultation with the Coordinator

AUXILIARY GET TOGETHERS

I hate to use the expression “in the old days” but Auxiliaries getting together for functions was something we all enjoyed “in the old days” for a number of reasons over the last few years this hasn’t happened much and when Auxiliaries have had a function many have not been able to invite other Auxiliaries.

I have said in older Newsletters that invitations should be sent via a sub-Branch but many have either gone astray in the mail or not handed on.

The only alternative is for us to have a contact list of Coordinators, I know I have asked before for contact details but not many Auxiliaries responded, so please email me at auxiliaries@rslnsw.org.au, your Coordinators contact details , I will compile the list and issue each Auxiliary with a copy.

To all our Auxiliary Members who are not feeling the best at the moment, we are thinking of you and sending our love and best wishes

LADY WOODWARD CUP

It’s time to start getting your entries in for the Lady Woodward Cup, the following circular was sent to your sub Branch earlier this month

Circular 53/23 Lady Woodward Cup – 2023 Nominations now open

Circulars

3 Aug 2023

The 2023 RSL NSW Lady Woodward Cup is now open for nominations. This is a chance for sub -Branches to showcase how Auxiliary members contribute to supporting veterans and their families.

To nominate, Auxiliaries must demonstrate excellence in the following three categories:

• Fundraising – Showcase extraordinary efforts in raising funds to support and provide essential services to veterans and their families.

• Supporting the local veteran community – Highlight the diverse range of activities undertaken by the Auxiliary, beyond fundraising, to support veterans and families within your community. Engaging with the local community – Share the impactful activities and initiatives organised by your Auxiliary to promote RSL NSW within the local community.

The Lady Woodward Cup will be awarded at the 2023 RSL NSW State Congress and AGM scheduled for 22 – 24 October 2023.

Nomination details:

To participate in the 2023 Lady Woodward Cup competition, complete this nomination form and submit to support@rslnsw.org.au by Friday, 29 September 2023.

If you have any questions or require assistance to complete the nomination form, please contact your Member Support Team at support@rslnsw.org.au or on 1300 679 775.

The Lady Woodward Cup was presented to the RSL CCWA by the late Sir Eric Woodward KCMG, CB, CBE, DSO during his term of office as Governor of NSW for an annual competition among Auxiliaries.

The cup is now award to the Auxiliary that achieves the highest score across these three categories: Fundraising for Veteran Services (50%), Supporting the local veteran community (25%) & Engaging with the local community (25%).

We look forward to all the entries.

VIETNAM VETERANS DAY

When I came to Australia in 1969, I was 13 and had no idea there was a war raging involving Australia. The school I went to, had many anti war teachers, they handed out pamphlets and moratorium badges, gave speeches and we never questioned anything they told us. Having been taught by nuns for most of my schooling in England, I had learnt from an early age you didn’t question teachers (unlike today), they were the teachers, you learnt from them. So, I really didn’t understand what it was all about.

The war ended, I remember the troops coming home and being treated very badly but had never actually met anyone who had served in Vietnam, so it didn’t personally impact on me. I started working for the Bank of New South Wales, I finally met someone who had been there, on his good days he was the sweetest, nicest man you could meet, on his bad days, he was a drunk and a druggie. I found his complex personality very strange but I was only a teenager, obviously naïve, no idea this had anything to do with his service, PDSD was not something that was heard of in those days.

In 1987, 12 years after the war ended, our troops were finally welcomed home, my Dad went into town to support them, I regret to this day I didn’t go with him, I did watch it on TV and I cried, I cried from start to finish.

I cried again on Friday 18th August, 2023, when at a Vietnam Veterans’ Day service at the Martin Place Cenotaph in Sydney, RSL NSW President Ray James OAM, on behalf of the League in NSW, apologised for the mistreatment of veterans who returned home from the conflict – and reaffirmed the League’s pledge to stand for all veterans now and in the future.

This is Ray’s wonderful speech

“Returning home

“When I returned from each trip to Vietnam between 1966 and 1971, I came home to my family. I was then and still am very lucky to have my family around me – because I also came home to people demonstrating against the war in Vietnam, and against those who served, sacrificed and even gave their lives.

“Many of those we are commemorating today, who served, who sacrificed, didn’t have a community around them to provide ballast amid that public opinion.

“Some were spurned by veterans of previous conflicts, turned away and refused membership by some RSL subBranches in NSW. Those who were turned away were left isolated, without access to key support services or a network of like-minded peers.

“Today, I’m here to commemorate 50 years since the proclamation to end Australia’s involvement in the war in Vietnam. To recognise the service of all Australians in that war, and honour the sacrifices they and their families made.

“I’m here as a veteran of the war in Vietnam who remembers that sacrifice, and I honour my mates today.

“When veterans needed the League the most, the RSL community in NSW let them down. For those injustices and for our misjudgement – we are sorry. To the veterans who have been at the receiving end of hardship and negativity – we are sorry.”

Improving the future

“Today, we recognise the dedication of the Australians who served or were involved in the war in Vietnam. Some 60,000 fought in a protracted and challenging conflict; others never left Australia; all made an indelible contribution.

“These past weeks, I have attended several vigils.

“In Thirlmere Cemetery I joined more than 150 mourners at the grave of Ian James Thomson, a much-loved 22-year -old who was killed in action in Vietnam. Ian’s family and his company commander, who had been by his side when he was killed, honoured his sacrifice and remembered his bravery.

“At a vigil in Rookwood, my wife Pauline and I saw two other veterans, RSL sub-Branch members, placing poppies on the graves of those who had served and lost their lives.

“As representatives of a community of veterans in this state, we are already doing better than we did in the past. But we recognise that we must continue that focus on being better. We must continually work to ensure that the experiences on home soil that tested some Vietnam veterans’ tenacity, rather than offering comfort, are not repeated for veterans of recent conflicts and in the future.

“We know that this apology does not erase the past – but it could improve the future. Together with our charity partner RSL LifeCare Veteran Services, and in collaboration with smaller veterans’ charities throughout the state, RSL NSW provides support and services to benefit veterans and their families.

“RSL NSW above all remains a member-based non-profit, welcoming all veterans.

“But more must be done, and soon. The ongoing Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide shows a stark need for veterans’ support services to be prioritised at a policy and organisational level, and for institutions to improve their management of current and ex-serving personnel at every stage of their careers and lives. The League’s submissions to and reflections on the progress of the Commission reflect our steadfast support for its findings.”

Standing for veterans

“We must not let those experiences of some veterans on their return from the war in Vietnam be repeated for the veterans of today’s generation.

“And so, the RSL in NSW reaffirms its pledge to be and stand for all veterans, no matter the length or nature of their service, and regardless of whether they are RSL sub-Branch members. We will work harder to provide a warm welcome to all veterans and their families, and affirm their trust in the state’s largest ex-service organisation.

“We will do better.

“Many of our 27,000 members are leaders who act in service of their communities. A great many of today’s members are veterans of the war in Vietnam, who we’re here to honour today.

‘Those veterans, our members, have devoted countless volunteer hours – tens of thousands of hours – over the past 50 years to ensure that the League in NSW remains a home and support for veterans and their families.

“And still, with all that they do, our members ask me –‘how can I help?’.

“It starts with a promise, and it starts today; I promise that RSL NSW will not repeat the mistakes of the past. I encourage all veterans, whether you are a member of the League or not, to be a part of this commitment.

“Start with a promise of your own – to continue your service. Where you once served your country, you now serve your community of fellow veterans. Embody the League’s principles of mateship and camaraderie by lending a helping hand to your peers.

And I encourage the wider community – the friends, relatives and colleagues of veterans – to take up this promise. Reach out and connect the veterans you know with support and services available to them at their local RSL subBranch.

“The Returned and Services League in NSW strives to be a place of protection and safety, of camaraderie and union, where every veteran is welcome and no one is left behind. We all have a part to play in achieving that.”

Paul Large (Pauline’s cousin) from Coolah in rural New South Wales departed for the Vietnam War on his 21st birthday. He was killed in action 10 weeks later at the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966.

Paul was the last Australian killed in action during the last minutes of the Battle.

This poem was written by Paul’s eldest sister

ONE MUFFLED DRUM

A little boy, so brave and strong; we didn’t get to keep him long. He was our treasure and our light, but he had to go away and fight. A fight he fought so far away, and we could only hope and pray, That GOD would guard him every day, and bring him home to us to stay. It happened on a rainy day, D Company went to show the way. When through the jungle at Long Tan, ten thousand strong the Viet Cong ran! A human wave, no care at all, their aim to make the Aussies fall. But Australian soldiers are the best: they really proved it in that test. Their hearts were beating hard and fast, just how long would their ammo last?

The Viet Cong closing all around; no cover they had, as they lay on the ground. They were outnumbered ten to one: it was a job that had to be done. The battle went into the night; our soldiers did not lose the fight.

The Viet Cong tried to break the hold, but our sons hung on, so brave and bold And fought them back, wave after wave, until at last, the Viet Cong gave. Back into the juggle they slunk away to try again another day.

A handful of boys fought at Long Tan: Each proved himself to be a man. A broken body on the ground, dead and wounded lying around.

Eighteen boys were killed that day; the price of war they had to pay.

A Viet Cong bullet sped through the air and hit our boy – we know not where.

Twenty one years of pride and joy is all we have left of our darling boy. Our hearts stopped beating when we read the telegram: “YOUR BOY IS DEAD”. What can we do? What can we say to ease the pain in our hearts today?

Our memories of our darling boy are treasures time cannot destroy.

He will not suffer grief or pain; we’d just love to see him once again.

A mother’s heart is torn in two; a father’s heart is broken too; Five sisters who adored that boy; a fiancée who is left alone; His many friends are stunned and quiet: all wishing they could have helped that night. Our only boy has gone away, but now we have him home to stay.

One muffled drum and marching feet, slowly going down the street, Only the bravest and the best, to lay our soldier boy to rest. A flag draped coffin, and a hat, a bayonet, and a part of us, Was buried on that fateful day: the price of war we had to pay.

Dedicated to my brother

PTE Paul Andrew Large

12 Platoon D Company 6 RAR

We will always love you.

Your sister, Patricia

LEST WE FORGET

Paul was not the only family member Pauline lost in this dreadful conflict.

William Wayne Donnelly killed on the 24/11/1968 age 19 he joined the army because his Brother Larry was called up ‘

William served in the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and died at the 24th US Evacuation after being shot during a contact in May Tau Hills on 24th November 1968.Age 19, his brother Larry brought his brothers body back and Larry died of a heart attack age 37

Private Michael Noonan, aged 21, from Gilgandra, was the manager of a spare parts outlet prior to being called up for National Service in 1967. He was posted to 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR) and sailed to South Vietnam in May 1968.

During Operation Hawkesbury 1 in Long Khan Province on 13 September 1968, 7 Platoon entered a large enemy bunker system which appeared to be unoccupied. As the lead section moved among the bunkers they came under heavy fire from a North Vietnamese Army unit and in the ensuing fire fight, Michael was shot and killed.

Pauline’s family was certainly affected through the Vietnam War and this is why she does what she does, working hard for our remarkable veterans and their families.

LEST WE FORGET

Our thanks to the War Memorial for selling scarves and mask, which has generated $3,970to RSL Lifecare Veterans Services

SYDNEY CITY2SURF

Over 100 current serving members and veterans of the Australian Defence Force took on the world's largest fun run CIty2Surf this morning. Standing strong as the largest veteran and family member team this year, Team RSL NSW illuminated the track like a beacon of shared purpose.

Comprising runners and walkers - with ages spanning from 1 to 83 – Team RSL NSW Sport supported each other to complete the 14 km course from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach, followed by a celebratory lunch at the North Bondi RSL Club in collaboration with the North Bondi RSL Sub-Branch

The City2Surf is a great example of how the RSL NSW Sport & Recreation Program is bringing veterans and their families together, and fostering mateship and camaraderie while connecting them to the services and support they need.

Thank you so much for our Auxiliary members from Forestville and Bundeena who went in to ANZAC House

Auxiliary members helped with folding and sorting out of 110 t-shirts for our team participating in the City2Surf.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE QUILT.

THE BIRTH OF THE THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE QUILT

The Thank you for Your Service Quilt project has become a huge part of RSL NSW Auxiliaries, it’s our way of showing our appreciation to Service Members, who have given exceptional support to RSL NSW & RSL NSW Auxiliaries. In saying that, we have made the odd exception and awarded quilts to non Service Members who have also given exceptional support. Many people will not know how this project came about, yes it was Pauline’s idea but to be honest it came about by accident.

Back in 2018 when Sydney was getting ready to host the Invictus Games, you will remember Pauline came up with the idea to have quilts for each country competing, laundry bags for every competitor and yellow poppies for all the supporters. 18 countries participated in the games, but we also awarded quilts to some of the organisers, we actually needed about 30, from our amazing members and support from Auxiliaries in other states we received over 80 quilts, what do we do with the surplus?

At the following Congress our guest speaker was former Commando Mick Bainbridge , anyone who was there will remember there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

For those of you who don’t know of Mick, his story is amazing, ABC featured Mick on Australian Story, you can watch it by clicking here When The War Is Over - ABC News, Mick’s speech was the light bulb moment for Pauline and Mick was awarded the very first Thank You For Your Service Quilt.

At that time neither of us realised how big the Thank You For Your Service Quilt program would become.

Obviously the quilts we had couldn’t last for ever so we began sourcing materials, yes it was originally Paulines idea but we couldn’t do what we do without the help of our fantastic sewers now the project goes on.

We are very grateful to every member who has contributed to the project and we are delighted to see some Auxiliaries now establishing their own projects, it’s a wonderful way of saying Thank You.

Congratulations to the lates recipients'

Richard Wills - Ballina

We received this lovely letter from Dick

20th July 2023

Mr Ray James OAM JP GAICD President RSL NSW Mrs Pauline James OAM RSL NSW Auxiliaries State Coordinator Email rjames@rslnsw.org.au; Auxiliaries@rslnsw.org.au Dear Ray and Pauline, I write to apologise for not being able to attend your presentation on the 4th July 2023, of the thank you certificate, and quilt that Pauline and the auxiliary team had made for me. Unfortunately, as mentioned to Ray by telephone, I had tested positive to COVID that same morning.

From the photos of Ray and Ballina RSL sub-Branch President Tony Tartaro displaying the quilt, my first impression was “Wow” that is beautiful. Then the realisation of the significance, the kindness, and thoughts, most importantly the time and efforts of the Auxiliaries team to produce such a wonderfully crafted quilt. Tony intends to present me with the certificate and quilt at the next sub-Branch meeting on 23rd August. I will send you photos afterwards, also for Reveille and local publicity. As I write this letter, both Colleen and I are again isolating due to a rebound of COVID. In between isolations, Colleen and I have been able to see the quilt, we are both in awe of this beautiful quilt, the crafting and artistic reflections of the Air Force theme. I struggle to understand, why me? All I ever ask for my efforts, is a simple thank you. Your thoughts, your friendship and now this presentation is far beyond any thank you I ever expected. Thank you, Pauline, and the RSL Auxiliaries team, the quilt is magnificent. Thank you, Ray, and RSL NSW for the recognition of my service, for me, my service is a privilege, for being able to give some time and effort for our members. Yours thankfully R. (Dick)

Little Patti OAM

From entertaining the troops in Vietnam to her continuing support of RSL NSW

Tony Toussaint - Merimbula Bob Lunnon - Forestville Derek Leslie - Chair of the District Presidents' Council,

We were delighted recently to receive the following email from Geoff Irvine of The Lions Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook,

“I have been referred to you by Martin Clark of the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney regarding a WW1 memorial artwork donation.

I’m a member of The Lions Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook, which is in its 59th Year of continuous of community service.

For your information, our club has been commemorating the Spirit of Anzac since our founding in April 1964. We believe we are the only, or one of the only service clubs in Australia that specifically dedicates one of its Dinner Meetings to the remembrance and sacrifice of Anzac . For this year's dinner on the 24th April, we received a donation of a beautifully hand-made Wall Hanging dedicated to the memory of the ALH in WW1.

Our Club believed, at the time, that this artwork could be auctioned or raffled to raise some funds for Legacy to benefit a needy veteran. However, there were indications that there wasn’t sufficient interest at that time.

The Donor, my good wife, Marie, who was the creator, architect and maker of this Wall Hanging ( see photos below) as a tribute and in loving memory of her late Grandfather, Corporal Les Cameron who served in WW1 in the Middle East, mostly with the 11th & 12th Light Horse. Les served the war effort for 3 years and 323 days.

One of his most important actions was on the 31st October 1917 when his Unit was part of the British Empire's Egyptian Expeditionary Force's attack and capture of the Yildirim Army Group garrison at Beersheba, which he fortunately survived, although 67 of our troops died and 36 were wounded. This was the last great cavalry charge in military history. By all reports, Les was an exceptional horseman & was proud to serve his country.

Perhaps you may be in contact or know of, one of your RSL Sub Branch's or Auxiliaries who would be interested to receive this donation and either exhibit it or raise some funds for Legacy etc.

If this can happen it would achieve our Club’s original intentions. If the Hanging ends up being placed in either someone's home or in a public space, it should or could create interest in an important aspect of Australia’s WW1 war history.

If you know of any RSL organisation who would be interested in accepting this donation that would be great. I look forward to your contact in due course..”

It was wonderful when Geoff came into Anzac House and presented the wall hanging to Jeff O’Brien, we are very grateful to him, The Lions Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook and of course Marie Irvine for her beautiful work

AROUND THE AUXILIARIES

CITY OF PENRITH AUXILIARY

CASTLE HILL AUXILIARY

Auxiliary member Cheryl Hill is the first female President in 90 years of Castle Hill and District RSL sub-Branch history.

With 35 years of unwavering and voluntary dedication to supporting veterans and their families, Cheryl's visionary leadership and commitment have earned her the respect of fellow members. She's inspiring positive change and fostering a close-knit, inclusive community, promising a bright future for the sub-Branch.

This month, Castle Hill sub-Branch started weekly Art classes which are held in the Castle Hill Bowling Club and being run by local artist, Jan Mullan. Great efforts from first students, These classes are free for our Sub-branch and Auxiliary members to attend and will continue through to the end of the year.

As you know quilts play a huge part in RSL NSW Auxiliaries, we were delighted to hear that members at Castle Hill have made their Quilts for Service, the four recipients are:

Mal Botfield Army, Phill Everden Army, Paul Harris Walker Air Force, Ray James Navy

Congratulations to them all and a wonderful job ladies, hopefully this will inspire other Auxiliaries to do the same. Not all people can sew, we understand that, but most areas have quilting groups and you never know talking to them may bring new members as well as quilts.

OLD BAR AUXILIARY

Mateship and camaraderie hitting the bullseye!

Members from Old Bar Beach RSL Sub Branch, Nabiac RSL Sub-Branch, Wingham RSL sub-Branch, and the Foster RSL Sub Branch brought their families along for a social darts competition. This is just one of the many activities that are happening in communities across NSW

Auxiliary member Teresa down promoting RSL Sport and Recreation this morning. Tennis or Cardio Tennis anyone?

Jeff and James buying Saturday morning meat raffle tickets from our Auxiliary ladies Jan and Vickie

Congratulations to Old Bar Beach RSL sub-Branch for taking out the inaugural RSL NSW Sports & Recreation Orienteering and the Lower North Coast Challenge Cup!

The event brought together 95 RSL NSW members, Auxiliary members and their families from Nabiac, Wingham, and Old Bar Beach sub-Branches, showcasing the power of unity and camaraderie.

Air Force veteran Shane done a wonderful job leading our Auxiliary ladies in making more pottery poppies today. What a wonderful job! The they are looking beautiful. These will be going on sale soon for Remembrance Day.

DOYALSON WYEE

Members have been very busy at both Bunnings Charmhaven and Northlakes Shopping Centre sell tickets in their Father’s Day Raffle. Over $1,700 was raised, congratulation to all involved.

HARRINGTON/CROWDY HEAD

1 September 2023, at Club Harrington celebrating with one of our RSL Auxiliary member, Donna Hanson 60th birthday. Hope you had a great day Donna

HORNSBY AUXILIARY

All welcome, for more information or to book please call Kerry Vivian on 0416 095 560

RSL LifeCare Veteran Services

Many people don’t know who or what RSL LifeCare Veteran Services is.

It is the partner charity of RSL NSW specialises in supporting veterans and their families with various services that focus on providing a lifetime of wellbeing.

RSL NSW sub-branches donated $3.1 million to these charities this year to ensure that veterans and their families have access to the essential services and support they need.

RSL LifeCare Veteran Services help:

• Veterans

• Current serving ADF members

• ADF members transitioning from service-to-civilian life

• Family members, partners and spouses of veterans

RSL LifeCare Veteran Services include:

• RSL Veterans’ Employment Program

Offers free career support services veterans, and partners and immediate family members of veterans and current serving ADF personnel, find a rewarding job.

• The Spur Equine Program:

Healing with Horses, designed by veterans for veterans to promote wellbeing and recovery.

• Homes for Heroes:

Can offers a range of support services to help assist with access to safe and secure long-term accommodation, secure existing accommodation or transfer to a more stable home environment.

Financial Assistance, help eligible veterans by applying for assistance for rental bills or bonds through suitable sources. Help paying rental bills or bond payments, assistance to purchase essential household appliances.

Homelessness assistance -Homes for Heroes has a transitional program, which gives access to safe, secure and stable accommodation if veterans are at risk of homelessness.

• The Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre

A veteran-centric community-focused program offering a variety of wellbeing services for veterans and their families. With the support of RSL NSW, Veteran Wellbeing Centres (VWC) are being developed in locations across NSW near Defence bases where veteran families reside.

Offers an extensive range of personalised services to help remain living safely at home with help, including light housework, laundry, meals, gardening, moving, quality companionship and more. Home Nursing Care, Personal Care, Transport, Allied Health Services, Dementia Care, Post Hospital Care, Pet Care, Respite Care, Restorative Care, Palliative Care

• Retirement Villages and Aged Care Homes

One of the most important services RSL LifeCare Veteran Services offers is access to Specialist Claim Advisors for Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) claims and appeals.

All the services on offer, are free and give veterans and their families access to advocates who will navigate the often-complex DVA processes. These advisors can liaise with the DVA collate evidence, complete applications and give advice.

For more information click on the link Read this brochure about RSL LifeCare Veteran Services,

Also you can check out the Facebook page

POPPY BALL UPDATE

I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to advise that the tickets for the Poppy Ball which is being held on Saturday 11 November 2023 on HMAS Adelaide- docked at Garden Island are SOLD OUT, the response has been phenomenal, our thanks to everyone.

If you would like to contribute to the event, details for purchasing a virtual seat is below and of course we are still on the look out for knitted or crocheted red poppies , see July Newsletter.

A SEAT OF SUPPORT a virtual seat $100

Purchase 'A Seat of Support' for those who are unable to attend the event. Donations will be acknowledged with your name on a digital seat displayed at the Poppy Ball. Donations can also be made anonymously. Tax deductible.

To book tickets please click this link The Poppy Ball | TryBooking Australia

• Homecare

GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE

BARBARA STUART -GLOUCESTER AUXILIARY

Barbara who had been a member since 2006, passed away on the 18th July 2023.

Barbara was very involved with Gloucester Sub Branch and Auxiliary, As well as the community. Girl Guides, Brownies, Gloucester Charity Book Shop, Museum, Gloucester RSL Board of Directors, just to name a few.

Barbara will be sadly missed.

Sue Heard

Co ordinator Gloucester

Auxiliaries with Facebook

Pages:

Ingleburn

ANZAC House RSL NSW

Auxiliary – St George

Bundeena

Leeton

Port Macquarie

Woonona Bulli

Doyalson Wyee

Toukley

For those of you who use Facebook, do you know that we have both a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group, why not pop over and join us?

Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/ groups/163434587113422

Facebook Group www.facebook.com/groups/3455036824555520

Battlefields of WWI , Gareth McCray OAM has regular posts, poems from Bill Charlton, so much more.

We are aware some Auxiliaries have their own Facebook Pages/ Groups, if you do, please let me know so that I can add the details to the next Newsletter and other members will be able to follow you.

Heicke Keefe has set up a Facebook group for all of us crafters, Helping our Veterans Craft Group, pop over and join, some great ideas to help raise funds. https://www.facebook.com/ groups/3455036824555520

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