October 2021 – Toukley RSL Sub Branch President’s Report:
The wooden back fence at Diggers’ Inn was replaced with a new colourbond one a few weeks ago. The old one was dismantled by Sub Branch volunteers and the back neighbour, and I would like to thank those who put up their hands to assist in making the job a lot easier and quicker. The Sub Branch will be in a position to consider the viability of erecting a shed across the back for multi-purpose use, and this will be an Agenda item for our first General Meeting in the new year.
Due to the lengthy Covid restrictions in place this year, the Sub Branch had to cancel our Wellbeing Function (Christmas in July) and several bus trips, for which money has been paid. I feel that the easiest way now is to refund all outstanding moneys paid and start afresh. This will make it easier for everyone and we will commence these refunds as soon as it is viable.
At the next General Meeting we will also be taking bookings for our Wellbeing Function (Christmas Party) on Sunday 19 December 2021. Please also be advised that the latest information from The Ary Management is that we will be able to have a maximum of 60 members, partners and guests at any time in the upstairs Celebrations Function Room. If you would like to attend, it will be first in/best dressed, with names and money. Tables of eight can be booked, but names and money (8 x $20.00) must be given at time of booking. Some members will miss out, unfortunately, but these are NSW Government Rules and we, and The Ary, must abide by them.
Revised Remembrance Day planning is almost complete. For those wishing to attend, please take note of the following:
Regrettably, a maximum of 50 members, partners and invited guests only will be permitted within the boundaries of the cenotaph. One entry only, through the Carpark near the Sub Branch bus. The Main Road entrance will be cordoned off and manned. QR code check in and masks are mandatory on entry. All attending must be fully vaccinated against Coronavirus (double jabbed). Proof will be required to gain entry. No entry to those unvaccinated.
The Remembrance Day service will commence at 10.50am and will be scaled down. If the Government changes its policies on outdoor events, we will, of course, relax or tighten in accordance with their directions.
Remembrance Day flowers were planted during the week thanks to Club Limited. Photos show the new plantings and also the new permanent shrubs which are looking strong and healthy. All should be looking good by Remembrance Day and once again a place of pride and respect for our community.
Toukley RSL Sub Branch’s planning schedule for Remembrance Day this year is totally dependent upon the Regulations that will be in place with the NSW Health Service Regulators.
We are hopeful of some restrictions being lifted by this time, but fully realise that there will be limitations.
For those who wish to attend our Remembrance Day Service at the cenotaph, please take note of the following:
Regrettably, we envisage that a maximum of 50 members, partners and invited guests only will be permitted within the boundaries of the cenotaph. One entry only, through the Carpark near the Sub Branch bus. The Main Road entrance will be cordoned off and manned. QR code check in and masks are mandatory on entry. All attending must be fully vaccinated against Coronavirus (double jabbed with documented proof). No entry to unvaccinated people.
We are taking names of Sub Branch members and their partners for entry to the service. Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org email address to register your intention to attend. All attendees will be checked off on entry.
The Remembrance Day service will commence at 10.50am and will be a shorter than normal service, due to the fact that we will not have any school pupils, Army cadets or Air League participating.
Following the service refreshments will be served in Celebrations Function Room upstairs in The Ary. Sixty Sub Branch members and their partners will be permitted to attend, but again with the same restrictions as the Remembrance service.
This has been difficult to organise, two months out from Remembrance Day, and based on information that we know now, but please know that we must comply with regulations and some members may be disappointed.
Should restrictions and limitations on numbers be still in place on Remembrance Day, there will not be a general service, and only the Sub Branch Executive will be in attendance, representing all members and paying their respects, with a minimal memorial service and laying of a wreath.
We realise that these arrangements can change at a moment’s notice, so please remain flexible, watch our Facebook page and web page for updates.
Stay Safe & Best Regards,
Sub Branch President
September 2021 – Toukley RSL Sub Branch President’s Report:
August was a relatively quieter month for the Committee due to the continuation of the lockdown. However, we continue to work from home and out of Diggers’ Inn on a Thursday to carry out essential work, ie ensure that accounts are paid and attend to mail and correspondence. Having Diggers to work out of has been a blessing in disguise. Previously, we retrieved all necessary laptops, files, etc from the Main Office in The Ary prior to the lockdown commencing, and set up on Main Road. This arrangement is working well and we have been able to keep up to date on the majority of Sub Branch matters, whilst at all times complying with the Covid restrictions.
Now that the current lockdown has been extended until 10 September, unfortunately, we will not be able to have a September General Meeting. We will recommence General Meetings as soon as Covid restrictions allow, and will keep you updated via the usual means. Everyone is looking forward to getting back to some sort of normality in the near future – be able to meet up with friends and family and do the things we enjoy.
The back fence at Diggers’ Inn is planned to be replaced in mid-September. The replacement has had to be delayed because two plovers have taken up residence in the backyard and are protecting four eggs. Once the area is declared safe, work can go ahead. We can then look more closely into the possibility of having a multiple-use shed erected at the back of the block.
The mural on the Police Station fence at the cenotaph is progressing well and we are hopeful of it being in place for Remembrance Day this year. I believe that, when in place, it will further enhance the work carried out to date.
All of the recent plantings in the Memorial Gardens, although still only small, are continuing to look healthy. To date, we have the ashes of 419 deceased Sub Branch members interred in the gardens, with three interment services to be held when we are able to do so, within compliance regulations.
In my last report, I mentioned that the Sub Branch has in its possession a number of donated original medals from WWII which required attention. I am now pleased to report that these medals have been received back at the Sub Branch, refurbished and mounted, and placed on display boards ready to be homed in the Memorabilia cupboards at The Ary, according the respect they deserve. A very good outcome. In the future, the Committee will assess the condition of other donated medals already on display and possibly have more refurbished, if required.
The refurbished medals with names
A suggestion has been made to recognise the service of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with a plaque to be attached to our cenotaph. This is supported by the Committee and will be put to the members at the next General Meeting for approval and endorsement. In the meantime, we are making enquiries on ideas for an appropriate plaque.
We have been advised by NSW State RSL that, due to Covid restrictions, the Annual State Congress, originally planned for 11-12 October 2021, has now been re-scheduled to 6-7 December 2021 at Newcastle, for delegates only. This means that only one representative from each Sub Branch will be authorised to attend. Therefore, I have registered to attend as Toukley RSL Sub Branch representative and will be providing a report for the members at the February 2022 General Meeting.
NSW State RSL has also advised that they have now moved into a new temporary ANZAC House, located on Level 11, 175 Pitt Street, Sydney. The Board has noted its intent to keep exploring options for a future permanent ANZAC House.
This month marks 76 years since the end of World War II, which lasted for 6 years from 1 September 1939 to 2 September 1945. On September 2 1945, US General Douglas MacArthur accepted Japan’s formal surrender aboard the US battleship Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay along with a flotilla of more than 250 Allied warships. At this time, we especially remember all who served their country and, in particular, those who lost their lives.
I hope that you and your families have remained safe and well during the past nine weeks, and look forward to seeing your happy, smiling faces once we are able to re-commence our Sub Branch meetings and activities.
Stay safe and well.
Toukley RSL Sub Branch
Toukley RSL Sub Branch today laid a wreath and had our flags at half mast, as a mark of respect to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day, on the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in 1966. We remember the sacrifices of those who died and say “thank you” to almost 60,000 Australians who served during ten years of our involvement in the Vietnam War.
Lest We Forget
Toukley RSL Sub Branch”
Lost and found – These medals were found resting individually, incomplete and un-loved in the bottom of a cardboard box at the Sub Branch office for who knows how long. Once rescued, they have now been beautifully restored to give them the respect that they are due.
It wasn’t just a simple matter of sticking some medals on a board. Each medal was examined to determine the rightful recipient. On-line research by the Sub Branch President and his assistant revealed that the sets were incomplete. Some of the medals were also in a sad state. After consultations with the Committee, the President organized for incomplete sets to be completed in accordance with Commonwealth records. That done, he has mounted them in a manner suitable for display in our memorabilia cabinets. On the reverse of the mounting boards is information pertaining each of the recipients and their medals.
He is no doubt getting bored during the COVID-19 lockdown, so we are going to have to find something more for him to do. Anyone got any suggestions? No – just kidding; he has ample Sub Branch business to keep him busy every day.
Neither rain or snow, or sleet or hail, will ever stop this intrepid male. If you wonder how the flags at our cenotaph get raised and lowered each day, here’s the answer. Many thanks to our flag marshal Tom Hobbs!
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions the bus trips previously scheduled for 12th and 19th August have been cancelled. We look forward to seeing you again as soon as the restrictions are lifted. Be safe and well.
Toukley RSL Sub Branch,