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City of Albury RSL Sub-Branch

VETERANS SUPPORT CENTRE

527 Wilson Street Albury             Ph 02 6021 1341

Serving the veteran and service community of Albury and district

THE PRICE OF LIBERTY IS ETERNAL VIGILANCE

Office Hours

Tue

10am - 3.30pm

Wed

10am - 3.30pm

Thu

10am - 3.30pm

ANZAC House

Sub Branch meetings

Are held on the

3rd Sunday of each month at 11 am

Albury war memorial

Incoming President's Report

19th February 2017


    I am pleased to take up the position as your president and look forward to representing you in a number of forums and working with those who are remaining on the committee and the new members over the next couple of years. Everyone as a volunteer offers their time freely to support you, the members.

    It would be remiss of me not to say something about the committee from the past few years and I will comment on some of their efforts during their tenure.

Graham Docksey;

Graham has done a fantastic job as our president and whilst he said he didn't want any accolades, I would just like you to look around this building and recognize the changes that have occurred. The seats you are sitting on, the carpets, the paintwork, the new furniture, the overhead screen you see here behind me are just some of the things resulting from his efforts. More recently of course is the kitchen upgrade. The money for all of these projects has come from grants with very little of our RSL funds used. Graham, thank you for everything you have done during your time as president

Mark Lunnon

Mark is one of those quiet achievers who also doesn't like to be placed in the limelight. However he has not only carried out the duties of secretary in a most professional manner but has always been instrumental (with Jenny) in keeping our grounds looking neat and tidy. Mark has had the happy knack of being able to anticipate the needs of the president and vice presidents and more often than not put the letters for signature in front of us advising us on what he has organized or responded to on our behalf. Whilst he is standing down as secretary, he has offered to take care of our garden/lawns etc and also if approved by the new committee take on some of the projects that we may have. Thanks Mark for your support to the RSL.

Noel Francis

Noel is standing down from the position of assistant treasurer and moving to badge/token and technical "go to" person and has offered to continue in a technical support role.

Thank you Noel for what you have done over the past few years with the website and all of the other duties that you have willingly taken on.

Harry Hacking

Harry has not only carried out the duties of vice president but just as importantly if not more so, been a pensions and welfare officer and is going to continue in those roles.

Jan Francis

Jan is one of those people who has risen to the challenge of not only the treasures role which she has done admirably but also to any projects that have been passed on to her by Graham and the Committee. The kitchen is her latest project and you only have to look at the outcome to see the diligence she shows to her responsibilities. As a treasurer of course she has ensured that our annual audits are well presented and our audit comments that come back are positive. Thank you Jan for another job well done.

Pauline McLeod

As the assistant secretary has been an excellent support and backup for Mark Lunnon and a constant beaver when there is a deadline to be met.

Thanks Pauline, I just know you are going to continue to annoy me until I meet those deadlines.


The three blokes on the desk, Richard, Peter and Barry who ensure that when someone comes through the front door, that person is either given the support required or direct the visitor to someone who can help them.

Trustees

The three Trustees, Marlene, Barry and John who actually own the building on behalf of the members have a particularly responsible job in ensuring that all financial expenditure is in line with RSL NSW by-laws.


We have a catering committee, Yvonne, Jenny and Kaye who always make sure that we are well catered for at monthly meetings and other special occasions such as Rembrance Day and the annual Christmas party.


Behind each of those mentioned is someone who also gives their support to the RSL.


The volunteers who sell our badges are in my opinion absolute gems.

Thank you all for your support over the past years and please continue to provide that support so that we can do what we are here for and that is provide support to those veterans who need it.


Thank you.

Mark Dando

Outgoing president's report

Sunday the 19th of february 2017

Members and guests, today I stand down as your president secure in the knowledge that I leave the sub-branch in far better shape than when I was elected your president four years ago.

My four years in review: 

Upon becoming president I asked the previous secretary ‘was there any asbestos in the building’ and was told that there was none. Not feeling too comfortable about that answer, I arranged for an asbestos inspection, which resulted in asbestos being discovered in several places in the building. The asbestos was subsequently removed and a register was raised.

I also saw several trip hazards, a leaking roof, falling roof tiles, rotting roof timbers and leaking gutters. Simply the building did not fully comply with health and safety requirements. This was a major concern to me as we were allowing members and other community groups to use ANZAC house.

This became my first real challenge as I came to grips with the situation I was now morally responsible for. 

I arranged for a full audit of the building and a detailed report was duly provided. A price to rectify these urgent safety matters was also obtained at this time for the committee to consider. The funding for this project came from several sources including kind donations from the Wagga Wagga and Smithfield RSL sub-branches and the builders contribution.

When the old carpet was being torn-up it was discovered that white ants had been eating away at the floorboards in several places including later the kitchen. To our horror we were told that electrical wiring under the old carpet was a potential fire hazard and the building was at real risk of fire. A grant was obtained to rectify these critical matters.

I also considered that the layout of the offices was not functional. For example the two vital positions of president and secretary were operating out of separate offices. I applied for another grant for new office and meeting room furniture and moved the secretary and assistant secretary into the same office as the president and vice president. This has been very successful and allowed for the smooth running of the sub-branch with both positions being fully up to date across all day-to-day issues. 

The treasurer and assistant treasurer were then given the secretary's old office. Then when the new carpet was being laid we refurbished the reception office in a more functional layout.

We have repainted the building both inside and out, put up new signs on the front of the building and next to the front gate. We have re-done the foot paths and front ramps that had been poured covering the under building vents which would later have been a major issue.

We have established new gardens and an outdoor commemoration area. New outdoor furniture will be ordered from money from a grant.

A lot of grant funding has gone into refurbishing the building including, solar panels on the shed, provided power and lighting to the shed that had not been considered when erected, a shade sail for sun protection, ceiling fans in the meeting room, kitchen and outdoor area, an awning over the side door, a cover over the side ramp, the overhead projector and screen, speakers in the ceiling and a new sound system. New kitchen equipment and a new flag pole. We also had new doors and security screens and doors fitted.

What is in progress over the next couple of weeks.

A new awning along the eastern side of the building and covering the BBQ has been ordered.

But, the project that I am most proud of, is the $64k for the long over due refurbishment of the kitchen.

This project was vital to the growing needs of ANZAC house with more community groups using the facility. I have asked if the minister for veterans’ affairs when he is here in may for the rsl state congress could formally open the kitchen after all it was his $64k.

Two years ago and after a lot of procrastination over some ten years, we produced the history of the sub-branch written by Howard Jones.

Through another grant we have been able to print, publish and distribute an additional newsletter for our members with additional information.

I estimate that over the last four years we have received close to $180k in grants and donations.

I am proud to say that we make sure that we attend far south western district council meetings and the annual state congress to ensure that your voice is heard and we remain up to date with matters as they effect the sub- branch.

Whilst our older members are passing on, we are still attracting new members both service and affiliate, but need to continue to attract younger veterans. This is the challenge i leave for the new committee.

We continue to provide an RSL eulogy at funerals when requested by family members.

Last Wednesday and again on Friday I delivered a eulogy at both funerals.

Through strong lobbying and in conjunction with Albury city council we have managed to attract the state congress to Albury for the next three years.

For several years now, I have been working towards major improvements to the Albury war memorial. As most of you are aware detailed plans have been drawn up and were put out to the community for comment.

The plans were approved last Monday night at the planning and environment committee meeting so now go to the full council meeting on the 27th of this month.  As a councillor I will be pushing for council to approve these plans and to cost them into the budget.

My one regret is that I was not able to complete the project of awarding certificates of appreciation to members that have provided outstanding service to the sub-branch. This I now pass to the new committee for them to complete.

In conclusion, I thank you all for your loyalty and support over my four years as your president and to those that have supported the annual badge and-poppy days appeals.

I take this final opportunity to thank my committee members. I will not name you all one by one but each of you know just how hard you have worked for not only me but for the sub-branch. I sincerely thank you.

 I leave the position of president in the full knowledge that the sub-branch is in very good shape and is in a very sound financial position.

I wish the new committee the very best as the sub-branch continues to go forward in the support of veterans.

My final words of wisdom are simply that the new committee must work together as we exist for the veteran community and not ourselves.

Thank you.

Graham

Graham Docksey, OAM, JP

Out going President

  Greetings and a warm welcome to the warmer and longer days as we move quickly into summer and the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors lifestyle.


    Your Committee through small is dedicated to work very hard for you  to make the Sub-Branch a vibrant, safe and well-functioning organisation. This year has seen the continuation of the refurbishment program to bring ANZAC House up to a high standard making it safe, attractive and friendly for the many groups that use the facility.


    At present we have two Work- for-the-Dole men working at ANZAC House for six months. They have completed some much needed concreting work in the back area and are now continuing with painting tasks inside.


    Applications for grants are applied for and if successful further works will continue to be undertaken.


     Monthly meetings are still being very well attended and many members are staying for the luncheon and the fellowship afterwards. Every second meeting there is a Guest Speaker.

    Speaking of volunteering, we need additional volunteers:


This is not time consuming, it is therapeutic. It will give you a purpose and a reason to get out of the house.


Become part of the solution and become involved in the functioning of your Sub-Branch.

 

    The Sub-Branch now has four trained Welfare Officers able to assist you if and when necessary. Just give ANZAC House a call if you require a visit.


    Our Pensions Officer is also available for interviews at ANZAC House. Just give Harry a call.

    Please remember that your committee is here to assist you.


Kind Regards,


Graham.

PRESIDENTS CORNER – WINTER 2016


Welcome to the winter edition. Thank you Jan for your work in pulling together the newsletter.


All executive positions will be declared vacant at the AGM in February with known vacancies being for President, Secretary and Assistant Treasurer. Appointments are for three years. If you are you thinking of nominating seek details from present executive members. This is your Sub-Branch so get involved.


I am pleased to say that the Sub-Branch is in a very sound financial position and is able to pay all operating expenses and the up keep of ANZAC House. We are presently looking into a refurbishment of the kitchen which is long overdue. War Widows  now meet at ANZAC House as does the RSL Day Club members both having recently relocated from Legacy House. Pension claims and reviews have remained steady throughout the first quarter. Welfare, Hospital and Nursing Home visits have continued to increase in line with our aging membership. Let me at this time thank Peter Jansen, Harry Hacking and Barry Howard for their commitment and hard work with regards welfare, pensions and visits throughout the year.


The Sub-Branch is active with continued improvements to the Albury War Memorial and is working closely with the Albury City Council for further works to continue over the next couple of years.


ANZAC Day 2016 was very well attended with one of the largest crowds turning out to watch the March. Both the Dawn and 10am Services were also very well attended and drew many very positive complements.


Planning is already underway for the 2016 Remembrance Day Service to be held in St Matthew’s Church Albury. Monthly meetings continue to be very well attended and most productive with many members remaining for the luncheon afterwards and a friendly chat. So come along you are most welcome.

The Sub-Branch continues to support DVA sponsored activities such as Veterans Health Week.


On a final point, the Hyde Park Inn in Elizabeth Street Sydney is half price for Sub-Branch members including Affiliates. I stay there on most occasions when I am in Sydney. Great value and a great location.


Best wishes to you all.

Graham, May 2016     

PRESIDENTS CORNER - SUMMER 2016

Executive positions remain unchanged as appointments are for three years. The present total membership is 240.

I am pleased to say that the Sub-Branch is in a very sound financial position and is able to pay all operating expenses and the up keep of ANZAC House.

Pension claims and reviews have remained steady throughout 2015. Welfare, Hospital and Nursing Home visits have continued to increase in line with our aging membership. Let me at this time thank Peter Jansen, Harry Hacking and Barry Howard for their commitment and hard work with regards welfare, pensions and visits throughout the year. We now have a new member to our welfare team Isaac Adams, a young veteran fully qualified in welfare.

The year 2015 was busy with maintenance work at ANZAC House continuing as outside grants become available.

A new Memorial Garden at the rear of ANZAC House for the conduct of smaller services has been established through the hard work and foresight of your committee.

The Sub-Branch is active with continued improvements to the Albury War Memorial and is working closely with the Albury City Council for further works to be commenced prior to ANZAC Day and continue over the next couple of years.

ANZAC Day 2015 was very well attended with one of the largest crowds turning out to watch the parade. I thank Vice President Mark Dando for coordinating the ANZAC Day activities whilst I was absent in Turkey for the Centenary Services at Gallipoli.

The 2015 Remembrance Day Service was held in St Matthew’s Church Albury for the third year and was standing room only with some 300 attending. Many of the local schools attended the service. This was again an outstanding success and the service will continue to be held in the church into the future. The advantage clearly being that the Sub-Branch no longer needs to provide chairs, umbrellas, lectern and a PA system thus saving the Sub-Branch funds and effort better spent elsewhere. This venue provides shelter from those very hot days or when it is wet.

Monthly meetings continue to be very well attended and most productive with many members remaining for the luncheon afterwards and a friendly chat. Many meetings have a guest speaker to provide information to members on topics such as: hearing, vision, Police and safety, DVA, to name but a few topics.

The Christmas function was very well attended with a great spread being provided for members and guests.

The Sub-Branch was active in the recently conducted Veterans Health Week family activity in conjunction with DVA Victoria. This year we combined with Soldier On with over 100 attending even though it was a wet day. It was good to see younger veterans attending with family members.

The Sub-Branch continues to support DVA sponsored activities such as Veterans Health Week.

In conjunction with VVCS, the Sub-Branch hosted a two day course in July.

On a final point, the Hyde Park Inn in Elizabeth Street Sydney is half price for Sub-Branch members including Affiliates. I stay there on most occasions when I am in Sydney. Great value, great location.

Best wishes for a great 2016.

Graham, February 2016

PRESIDENTS CORNER - AUTUMN 2015


Welcome to the autumn 2015 Newsletter of the City of Albury RSL Sub-Branch.


Executive positions remain unchanged as appointments are for three years. Present Membership: Life Members 3, Life Subscribers 2, Ordinary 202, and Affiliates 33 with the total membership being 260.


I am pleased to say that the Sub-Branch is in a sound financial position and is able to pay all operating expenses. Pension claims and reviews have remained steady. Welfare, Hospital and Nursing Home visits have continued to increase in line with our aging membership. Let me at this time thank Peter Jansen and Harry Hacking for their commitment and hard work with regards pensions and visits throughout the year.


The past period has been busy with repairs and upgrade work at ANZAC House continuing as outside funds become available. The Sub-Branch is active with continued improvements to the Albury War Memorial and is working closely with the Albury City Council for further works to be completed prior to ANZAC Day.


ANZAC Day 2014 was very well attended with one of the largest crowds turning out to watch the parade.


During the year we were audited by a team from State Headquarters which resulted in a sound report.


The 2014 Remembrance Day Service was held in St Matthew’s Church Albury for the second year and was standing room only. The Guest Speaker was a Navy Captain from Navy Headquarters in Canberra. All local schools participated. This was again an outstanding success and the service will continue to be held in the church into the future. The advantage clearly being that the Sub-Branch no longer needs to provide chairs, umbrellas, lectern and a PA system thus saving the Sub-Branch funds and effort better spent elsewhere. This venue provides shelter on those hot days and when it is wet as it was last year.


Monthly meetings continue to be very well attended and most productive with many members remaining for the luncheon afterwards and a chat. Most meetings have a guest speaker to provide information to members on topics such as: hearing, vision, Police and safety, DVA, research to name but a few topics.


The Christmas function was well attended with a great feed being provided for members and guests.


The Sub-Branch was active in the recently conducted ‘Great Race’ in conjunction with DVA Victoria.


The Sub-Branch continues to support DVA sponsored activities such as Veterans Health Week.


In conjunction with VVCS, the Sub-Branch hosted a one day course during the year and will be hosting a two day course on the 29th and 30th of July.


On a final point, the Hyde Park Inn in Sydney is half price for Sub-Branch members including Affiliates.

Best wishes for a great 2015.

Graham

Graham Docksey, OAM, JP President  

3 March 2015     

CITY OF ALBURY RSL SUB-BRANCH REPORT 3 AUGUST 2014


The City of Albury Sub-Branch elected a new executive in February including President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. With the death of one of the three Trustees a new Trustee was duly appointed. The two other Trustees remain unchanged.

Present Membership: Life Subscribers 24, Ordinary 223, and Affiliates 31 with the total membership being 278 which is an increase of 12 since the last report.


Pension claims and reviews have been steady. Welfare, Hospital and Nursing Home visits have been increasing in line with our aging membership.


The year has been busy with restoration works at ANZAC House being undertaken following the approval of several grant applications. New and additional workstations have been installed along with new carpet, electrical wiring upgrade and new data terminals for the new workstations. A painting project is presently planned subject to further grants. Of concern was the discovery of asbestos and white ant damage in the building. Repairs to the leaking roof have now been completed along with the replacement of the two cement access ramps at the front of the building. The removal of the asbestos material and the white ant damage to the floor is now complete.


The President is a member of the Centenary of World War One Committee and is also a member for the Federal Members Grants Committee. The Sub-Branch is awaiting several grant applications before further projects can commence. Also a new flag pole has been installed at the front of ANZAC House.


The Sub-Branch is active with upgrades to the Albury War Memorial and is working closely with both the Albury City Council and the NSW War Memorials Trust for further works to be completed before ANZAC Day 2015. The President is also an Albury City Councillor.


Remembrance Day was held for the first time in St Matthew’s Church due to inclement weather. This was an outstanding success and the service will continue to be held in the church into the future. The advantage being that the Sub-Branch no longer needs to provide chairs, umbrellas, lectern and a PA system thus saving the Sub-Branch funds better spent elsewhere. This then provides shelter from the hot sun and wet weather.


ANZAC Day was very well supported including the addition of 650 serving Army Members in uniform participating in the parade.  The Dawn Service attracted a large number of attendees and was a perfect start for the day. The street parade attracted one of the largest crowds seen in recent years.


Monthly meetings have been very well attended and most productive with many remaining for the luncheon and a chat.


The State Congress was again extremely informative and productive and was this year attended by the President, Vice President and Secretary.


On the 24th of June VVCS held a one day Safe Talk course at ANZAC House. Another similar two day course is planned for next year.


If all Sub-Branches permitted access to their email address this would allow for a free flow of information about courses and other activities happening across the FSWDC membership. This includes Welfare Officer Courses that could then be held locally thus saving Sub-Branches money and time.


Graham Docksey, OAM, JP

President       

City of Albury RSL Sub-Branch President's Annual Report

To the Annual General Meeting held on Sunday the 16th of February 2014.


It is with much pleasure that I provide the President's report for the year past. A year that has seen many changes within the Sub-Branch, not only to the make-up of the committee, but more importantly, to the commencement of a much needed refurbishment program for ANZAC House. This will continue throughout the year.

The make-up of the new committee has been vital to the continued successful operation of the Sub-Branch. Your committee have carried out their duties with distinction and pride across all areas of the operation of the Sub-Branch. I remain most grateful.

The Sub-Branch has been very successful with its grants application program with the following grants being approved during the year:

$25,000 from the NSW Government for new and replacement office furniture, projector screen and audio equipment, and $6,000 from the NSW Government for upgrading the landscaping and new paths at the Albury War Memorial on Monument Hill.

Other sources of funding have included:

$10,000 donation towards to refurbishment of ANZAC House from the Joss Group,

$10,000 donation towards the refurbishment of ANZAC House from the Smithfield RSL Sub-Branch.

I have sent letters to several other well-resourced RSL Sub-Branch's across the state seeking their support towards the refurbishment of ANZAC House Albury.

I will continue to pursue every opportunity for grants rather than asking to use Sub-Branch funds.

Presently there is an application with DVA for another $6,000 grant for work in the garden here at ANZAC House.

There is also another grant application about to be submitted to the Farrer Electorate Centenary of World War One Committee for a figure of around $11,000 for further work at the Albury War Memorial.

Throughout the year I have been the Guest Speaker at many functions, and have been invited to attend many others. Being President is a privilege I very much enjoy.

As an important part of the operation of the Sub-Branch we as a team have conducted many RSL Tributes at funerals when requested to do so by families. This has often included attending funerals of non-Sub-Branch members. In the past twelve months we have conducted 22 RSL Tributes at funerals when requested by families. Occasionally a family may for whatever reason not wish an RSL Tribute and that is their choice. This year I have already conducted two tributes.

ANZAC Day 2013 saw a number of changes tried mainly because of previous complaints and discussions. Not all were widely accepted and these will be reviewed in the lead-up to ANZAC Day 2014. However, that said, we all need to remember that ANZAC Day is all about the veteran. From the very first service conducted, only veterans attended, and families only later in the day invited to join the veterans.

In May Mark Dando and I attended the RSL State Congress in Coffs Harbour. This was an excellent opportunity to meet with, and mix with the staff from State Headquarters, the National President and the NSW Deputy Commissioner for DVA.

In October we held a Younger Veteran's Forum which proved to be most successful and as a direct result of this success we plan to hold another forum later this year.

The 2013 Remembrance Day Service for the first time was held in St Matthew's Church due to the wet weather. This proved to be a most fitting venue and was overwhelmingly applauded by those attending. Not one complaint was heard or received. The Sub-Branch meeting on the 19th of January approved the motion that the annual Remembrance Day Service will continue to be held in St Matthew's each year.

There is a continuing plan for the refurbishment of ANZAC House for this year as there are still a number of concerns that must be addressed to make the house safe, attractive and welcoming.

I continue to ask the membership for your assistance with a number of projects across the operation of the Sub-Branch. We need support from members that are retired or working part-time to assist with welfare, inventories or the front desk. Without your support we cannot continue to function.

On Sunday the 2nd of February, accompanied by Mark Dando, Mark Lunnon and Marlene Sullivan attended the Far South West District Council meeting in Holbrook. This meeting draws some 14 Sub-Branches together. The District Committee meets twice a year and on each occasion this Sub-Branch submits a report.

The Sub-Branch membership continues to grow with some 276 members now being on the books, but sadly there are a lot, too many that are not financial.

I remain most grateful for the support freely provided by the committee and also the ladies that readily assist in the kitchen.

I congratulate you all for your attendance at the monthly meetings. We reintroduced the January meeting with some 50 turning up and around 45 staying for lunch. This all goes well for the Sub-Branch as members and guests are mixing and socialising.

Too few are doing too much. So please put your hand up and get involved, it is your Sub-Branch.

In summary, a very busy year, but a very fruitful year for the Sub-Branch.

I submit my report for your kind consideration.

Thank you.  

Graham Docksey

President