REMEMBRANCE Day 2017 will feature the resurrection of the Aberdeen RSL Sub-Branch after a decade-long absence.
The organisation recently reformed with a mix of age and gender – three women and two men – from a background of Army, Navy and Air Force service.
And, the group’s aim is to promote the RSL and support fellow veterans.
The newly-elected executive includes Private Doug McLeod, infantry 1RAR Australian Army Corps (president); Flight Lieutenant Gail Little, Special Duties Branch Royal Australian Air Force (vice-president/trustee); Sapper Sandy Morrison, combat engineer RAE Australian Army Corps (secretary/trustee); Sapper Adam Morrison, combat engineer RAE Australian Army Corps (treasurer/trustee); and Able Seaman Melanie Bell, communications and information systems sailor Royal Australian Navy (trustee).
“We’re all Defence Force veterans now living in Aberdeen,” Mr McLeod said.
“Apparently, the previous Sub-Branch closed in 2006 because it didn’t have enough members – you need a minimum of five.
“I remember, I tried to locate other military people when I moved to town.
“Then I met Gail and eventually Adam and Sandy but there was no representation here.
“I thought ‘we’ve got an RSL Club in Aberdeen, we should have a Sub-Branch’.
“So, after talking to the others, we decided it was time to bring it back.
“Our charter was to be presented on September 1 by RSL State president James Brown, however this was unavoidably postponed,” Mrs Little added.
“But, the new Sub-Branch had its first meeting on October 10 at the Aberdeen RSL and Citizens Club.
“Now, we’re encouraging other ex-military personnel to join us.
“We’re keen to foster the [military] legacy, for past and serving members and their families, as well as mateship.”
The Sub-Branch’s initial priority is commemorating Remembrance Day at the Aberdeen RSL Club on Saturday, November 11.
“We’re hosting a small ceremony from 10.55am, but we’re hoping people arrive 20 minutes earlier,” Mr McLeod said.
“Then, afterwards, we’ll have a morning tea for the local residents.
“It will be the first of many things we’re planning to do within the community.
“On top of important events, such as Anzac Day and Long Tan Day for example, we’re aiming to get out to schools in the area and looking to implement advocacy programs, too.
“We’re here to be their [Defence Force veterans] voice – a family within a family.
“And, for newcomers in town, the Sub-Branch is a starting point to meet other people.”