2019 has been an eventful year in the history of our sub-Branch. In July we celebrated the centenary of the formation of our sub-Branch in 1919 by returning WW1 veterans first meeting in the basement of the Cambria Theatre in Beecroft Road Epping; with its earthen floor it was affectionately identified as the ‘dug out’. Over the years, whilst much of Epping has changed, the old theatre building is still there but since refurbished as shops.
Then in October, at the Annual General Meeting of the RSL NSW, following some 2 years of extensive consultation with sub-Branches, the new constitution of RSL NSW was approved and to come into force on the 1st December 2019.
To complement the new constitution there have been prepared Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), which set out the procedures by which each sub-Branch will undertake its daily operating responsibilities.
Whilst the Returned and Service League, NSW Branch, was created by an Act of the Government of NSW of 1935, it was in September 2018 that this act was replaced by a new Act which restructures the operation of a new RSL NSW State Branch.
Now with the new Act and with its new constitution in place the restructured State Branch and the operation of its sub-Branches, can meet the changing world of today. A world that allows all members of its societies an instantaneous connection, where the individual’s opinion and values can be assessed, and ideas exchanged, and action determined very promptly.
Today, some of the long-established welfare responsibilities for serving and ex-service personnel, historically part of the RSL, have been overtaken by smaller specialised groups, many of which are often the focus of an ex-service association. The end effect being that, across the extensive welfare community, the volunteer hours and financial support have been spread much more thinly across the benefits available to veterans.
This year, 2020, is the first year of our new RSL and will be the beginning of our challenge of the next 100 years. We, its members, have been handed the baton from those veterans of history, and our forebears, to ensure the success of the RSL into the next century. The challenge is a personal one and with such a wealth of ability within our ranks, we can meet the trials of tomorrow.
Our sub-Branch will be holding its Annual General Meeting in February 2020 and this will be the commencement of the next triennial term of office. At this time all executive and committee membership positions will be vacated. I ask you all to consider the future of our sub-Branch and its growth into the future and to consider volunteering to take on a position in the management of our sub-Branch. Our sub-Branch’s proud history and position within the league has been achieved by the many years of efforts by its members. The next 3 years will be an important time as we build and evolve the new RSL.
Consider the future and the role of our sub-Branch in its community, please contemplate a role in the future of our sub-Branch.
John K Curdie OAM