High-profile guest marks centenary
Warwick RSL Sub-branch oldest in state
MAJOR General Iain Spence travelled to Warwick to be a part of history on Sunday, attending his first 100-year anniversary of an RSL Sub-branch.
“One hundred years is a great achievement by the Warwick RSL Sub-branch, it should be celebrated,” he said.
“I go to a lot of services on Anzac Day but this is the first 100 years celebration I have been to.
“The work of the RSL Sub-branch to support their servicemen and women and their descendants is just exceptional. I have read part of the history of the Warwick RSL Sub-branch and look forward to reading it in full.”
Warwick RSL Sub-branch president John Skinner said the group had a dinner each year on the first Sunday after Remembrance Day.
“The RSL held the first convention in Australia in Brisbane in 1916, our branch was formed in 1917 and we are the oldest continuous sub-branch in Queensland,” Mr Skinner said.
“We are standing on the shoulders of giants who started this organisation and kept it going for 100 years.
“There was no Department of Veterans Affairs in the early days when diggers came home wounded and in all sorts of distress from the First World War. There was no support but the churches, particularly the Salvation Army, played a part in helping the diggers and the Red Cross took up the cudgels.”
Mr Skinner said he believed the major general was the highest-ranked officer from the Australian Defence Force to visit the sub-branch in living memory.
A crowd of 170 was at the anniversary dinner at Kings at the Warwick RSL Memorial Club.
At the start of the dinner, Mr Skinner paid tribute to four Second World War veterans in the audience; Rex Baguley, David Watt, Phil Agnew and Peter Dixon.
The book, Marching On 100 Year History of Warwick RSL Sub-branch 1917-2017, written by John Telfer, was launched at the centenary on Sunday.
Copies are available at Warwick RSL Sub-branch office at Warwick RSL Memorial Club at 10am-noon each Wednesday.
Warwick RSL Sub-branch president John Skinner, Marion Skinner, Colin Dobie, Mayor Tracy Dobie and Major General Iain Spence at the Warwick RSL Sub-branch anniversary.
John Telfer (Warwick RSL), Col Turner (Allora RSL) and Ken Ashton (VSASA).
District RSL president Max Foot, state RSL president Stewart Cameron and Warwick member Les Nielsen.
Representatives of 17ACU march at the start of anniversary celebrations.