RSL's 90 year celebrations

OVER the October long weekend, Ballina RSL Sub-branch will celebrate 90 years since chartering.

President Mac McCallum said the group was formed from a need to help returned service personnel in the Ballina area.

“The first meeting was in 1918 and was of the view that somewhere was needed so the returned personnel had a place to support each other,” he said. “Most had problems.”

“The sub-branch chartered in October 1919 and was affiliated with Queensland. It wasn't until 1964 that we came under the auspices of NSW. In those days, the club was situated on the corner on Moon and Tamar streets, on the present site of the Ballina Post Office.

“In 1952 Ballina Ex-Services Home was built in Ballina, by all sub-branches across the region, as a holiday home for retired service personnel. We reached a point where we joined with RSL LifeCare to maintain the quality of life that our ex-service people deserve.

“Sub-branches are involved in many aspects of welfare, not just for returned service personnel, but across the community.

“We later elected to build the Ballina RSL Sub-branch youth club, the largest of its type on the Northern Rivers. We believe that we need to nurture young people and help them support each other and develop into great adults.

“The sub-branch enjoys a great working relationship with the Ballina RSL Club Ltd, who provided all our facilities for us - meeting rooms and the museum containing war memorabilia. They do help us in any way they can.”

The celebrations will take place on Saturday, October 3, with a rededication service on Sunday. VIPs attending will include former Warrant Officer II, Keith Payne VC, State RSL president Don Rowe, and State RSL CEO Chris Perrin.

Inquiries to Mr McCallum on 6686 0133.

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