A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE KINGSCLIFF RSL (NSW) SUB-BRANCH
The Sub Branch was formed in Kingscliff circa 1946/47. Written historical detail of the early years is non existant in the records. First recorded President was John Rodwell in 1948 with Jack Sanotti as his Vice President and King Brown and Doug Leigh sharing the responsibility for Secretary.
Member’s met in their own homes until they moved into an old seed hall in 1976. The hall fortunately was on government land and was ‘sold’ to the Sub Branch very cheaply. It was very poorly maintained and work led by the Secretary at the time Viv Lofts and fellow member Joe Peoples got the hall into a much more workable condition.
Warren Brown elected President in 1975 and was succeeded by Dr Ken Harbison
Joe Peoples became the President in 1980 and remained in the chair for a record 26 years – he stood down in 2006 and was succeeded by Rod Lees OAM, Don Riley in 2009, Robert Brumfit in 2012 and Hugh Aitken in 2013. Jim McGoogan became Joe Peoples right hand man as Secretary/Treasurer during most of Joes 26 years as President.
Brian Vickery OAM provided the backbone of the club from 2006 accepting the role of senior Vice President and remaining until the current day. Junior Vice Presidents were Brian Massey, Robert Brumfit and John Haskew, Secretaries were Wayne Quested, Bill Binns and Don riley and Treasurers were Tom Quayle, Neville Salmon, Brian McIntosh, Don Riley and Malcolm Smith.
The renewed energy provided by the ‘younger’ management group from 2006 increased the membership by 48%, applied for a number of grants and introduced income streams which previously had not been considered.
Liquidity problems were initially solved for the Sub Branch when, in 1984, the hall was sold to the Kingscliff Bowls Club who generously allowed the Sub Branch an on-going and exclusive use of the hall to conduct its activities under a deed of arrangement. The money was invested and the interest accrual provided a major component of the Sub Branch income.
In the past seven years many new initiatives have been introduced. These include;
- Revision and revitalisation of Anzac Days including introduction of a choir, introduction of highly qualified guest speakers (e.g. GEN Peter Cosgrove AC, MC, CMDRE Nick Helyer MBE, BRIG Rod Curtis AM, MC etc), change of format and provision of a better public address system
- Introduction of a third Anzac Day service to meet the needs of ageing World War 2 Veterans
- Provision of seed sponsorship and revision of practices for Tweedlesea Day Club
- Provision of speakers to provide insight into the ‘War in Vietnam’ into schools
- Organising a visit by Keith Payne VC and coordinating his visit with local High School
- Sponsoring high school student on ‘The Young Endeavour’
- Gaining Surf Club and Local Regional Fire Brigade support to assist on Anzac Days
- Arranging sponsorship for Anzac Days
- Seeking grants and caring for a local memorial walk which was a tripartite arrangement between local nursing home, Tweed Shire Council and Department of Veteran’s Affairs
- Organising the move of the RSL Sub Branch into a room provided by the local Leagues Club to ease the pressure of maintaining an ageing building
- Introduction of bus trips 4/5 times per year to overcome social isolation, and
- Introduction of Information Days to increase members knowledge of benefits, care available and general knowledge