RSL celebrates a victory in Anzac Day fight
By PATRIZIA REIMER
A FEW beers at the RSL sounded like a good way to toast the community who helped them win the battle of Woodburn. But for Darryl Pobje it was just good to know the Anzac tradition would live on. The Woodburn-Evans Head RSL Sub-branch's nationally publicised fight to march un- disturbed by traffic on Anzac Day was won by the vocal and grateful executive on Thursday after meetings with the council and RTA. "We've had Gallipoli, we've had D-Day and now we've had the battle of Woodburn," said the RSL sub-branch president. "It's good to win, especially against the big boys. Anzac Day is a special day and there should be no charge. "We've already paid the price once in blood, why should we have to pay again?" The diggers were going to have to pay $10,000 to cover the costs of diverting traffic from the Pacific Highway for the duration of the march. They gained nationwide atten- tion when media giant John Laws and the Australian Workers' Union offered to pay this fee. At a recent meeting they de- cided to move the march to Evans Head rather than take up this offer as they felt no- one should be charged for road closures on Anzac Day. But a meeting with the con- cerned bodies on Thursday re- sulted in a decision to stop traffic for 15 minutes at 10.15am and then again for an- other 15 minutes after the ser- vice at the Cenotaph. RSL Sub-branch secretary John Saunders said he felt vin- dicated by this decision. "We're not jumping in the air and clicking our heals but we feel vindicated," he said. "The uncertainty of where we were going to be has just about put me in the Richmond Clinic." Richmond Valley Mayor Charlie Cox said the agreement had not been signed off yet. "When these arrangements are finalised we'll make a statement but in the meantime I'd like to say it's pleasing to see a positive result which has been achieved through a will- ingness by all parties to work consistently in this matter," he said. "The important thing is the march goes ahead." Locals are also pleased with the result and to celebrate, publican of the Rod and Reel Hotel Daniel Simpson has of- fered to give the diggers a free breakfast on the morning of the march.