Apr 01

RSL Women’s Auxiliary





 2017 was a busy and productive year for the Auxiliary which is now in its 89th year of service and support to the Sub-Branch and the community.


The Auxiliary met at the RSL Club Hervey Bay on the second Tuesday of each month and average attendance was 18 members.


Four new members were welcomed during the year, increasing membership to 28 but two resignations due to ill health have now been received. Growing the Auxiliary’s membership will be a priority again during the coming year. 


The Auxiliary’s support is limited mostly to assisting with memorabilia sales for ANZAC Day, Legacy Badge week and Remembrance Day, and the distribution of programmes and flags at the two ANZAC Day Services. Our members volunteered readily on each occasion.


The Auxiliary was represented at the ANZAC Day, Vietnam Vets Day, Remembrance Day and TS Krait services, and wreaths or flowers were placed at each service.  The President and Secretary also attended the TS Krait Passing Out Parade and the Cadets’ Inspection Parade.  A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to the Auxiliary for its continued financial assistance to the Naval Cadets Unit, and we are pleased to be able to provide this support.

The Auxiliary was also represented at The Belgians Have Not Forgotten Exhibition in February.


This was very much a team effort once again, especially the tombola which was brought forward to June in 2017.  The considerable effort needed to prepare tickets, collect prizes and obtain publicity was rewarded by increased attendance and profit.  The change of date to a quieter time of the year was also a factor.  The assistance we received from the staff of the RSL Memorial Club and the use of Hervey House was very much appreciated. 

Our participation in the monthly Lucky Numbers Raffle at the RSL Club continued to be rewarding, and the in-house raffles at meetings provided regular funds for the Social Account.  The ANZAC Day commemorative crosses are also a valuable contribution to the Auxiliary’s funds.  Donations to non-profit community organisations in and around Hervey Bay were made mid-year and in November.  It is gratifying that the funds raised can be used to assist organisations in our community. 


These were introduced in 2016 and were well received by the public again this year.  350 crosses were provided for $2.00 each and they made an impressive and moving display in the ground below the flagpole during the ANZAC Day services.  The crosses were stored and will be made available again in 2018 in the foyer of the RSL Club. 


The Auxiliary is participating in the Invictus Games Laundry Bags Project, an initiative of the Central Council of Women’s Auxiliaries RSL NSW, which aims to provide 500 laundry bags to the athletes competing at the Invictus Games in Sydney in October 2018.  Together with auxiliaries from New South Wales and Victoria, we are able to be part of a national/international project that is both innovative and practical.  To the specifications provided, ten laundry bags have been very well made by Cosetta Stumer and Dorothy Kelso with assistance from Joan Hawkes and Barbara Roberts.  We are grateful for their expertise and time and are proud of the contribution the Auxiliary will make to the project.  All materials needed were purchased in Hervey Bay.


The President was the Auxiliary’s Delegate at the Annual General Meeting held in Brisbane in June.  This is an opportunity to learn about the work of the other Queensland auxiliaries during the past year, to gain an understanding of the support available from the State Council and the State Branch of the RSL and to meet with other Delegates.  Members were encouraged to retain archival material as a valuable record of the history of their auxiliaries and also to recognise the service of their members by applying for Long Service Awards and Life Membership.  The 2018 Annual General Meeting will be held in Cairns in June.  It is good that the Auxiliary is now represented each year.


The Auxiliary continued to provide information for its page in each edition of “The Branch” the quarterly newsletter of the RSL Sub-Branch.  We reported on our meetings and activities and took the opportunity to invite new members to join us.


The first bi-monthly bus trip in March was cancelled by Cyclone Debbie but in May we finally went  to the Maryborough Markets and the Hospital Museum.  We also enjoyed trips to Childers, Woodgate Beach, the Australiana Cottage Crafts and Herb Farm, Takura and a “mystery” trip, without a set itinerary, that took us to parts of Hervey Bay and Riverheads most of us had not previously seen.  We also enjoyed lunch together after monthly meetings and at local restaurants and the Miners’ Arms Hotel, Torbanlea.  On 8 August we celebrated the Auxiliary’s 88th anniversary.


The health and welfare of members remains a prime concern and is monitored closely with a report given at each meeting by our Welfare Officer.  Members continued to advise of any problems so that contact could be maintained, and this system works well.


Advice of monthly meetings was provided to the “Hervey Bay Observer” and was printed on most occasions.  The “Observer” and Radio Station FM107.5, of which the Auxiliary is an associate member, also gave much appreciated coverage to the ANZAC Day commemorative crosses. 


2017 was another busy and enjoyable year.  The strong spirit of friendship and co-operation within the Auxiliary has been maintained, enabling us to work well together, and the new members welcomed during the year have made valuable, willing contributions.  I am grateful for the support and guidance I have received from the committee and our members, and for the support of  the  President, Secretary and staff of the RSL Sub-Branch. We can look forward to another good year when we hope to increase membership and continue to make a worthwhile contribution to the work of the Sub-Branch and to our local community.



BARBARA CAMPBELL                                                                                                     


February 2018