Civilians can join RSL sub-branch

THOSE who have not served in the military, but support the ideals of the Tamworth Returned and Services League, can officially join the sub-branch from this week.

In the biggest change in the Tamworth organisation for many years, civilians are now able to join the RSL Sub-branch as affiliate members.

The change was instituted yesterday at the sub-branch’s meeting, which was followed by the annual general meeting.

Re-elected president Bob Chapman said there had been no opposition from members.

“I haven’t heard one whimper of opposition,” he said.

“The good news is that we’ve already had a number of enquiries from people wanting to assist us.”

Anyone wanting to join, can visit the sub-branch office from tomorrow at 9am to pick up an application form.

This year will see other changes to major events on the RSL’s calendar, with young people a focus of the organisation.

“We are rewriting the annual pilgrimage of our memorials (held just before Anzac Day) and are hoping to have a school host it,” Mr Chapman said.

“The RSL will still run it, but we want students to talk about the memorials as part of the pilgrimage presentation.” 

He said they wanted to get more schools involved, with schools appearing to want to get involved in services and commemorations.

Mr Chapman said they also wanted to the younger service personnel to join the sub-branch, but understood they worked, so couldn’t devote a lot of time to volunteering.

This year August 4 will be marked with a special ceremony at the Anzac Gates, marking a century since the start of World War I.

The RSL Sub-branch will launch a book, written by new vice-president Sandra Lambkin, and a calendar of World War I personnel and families from Tamworth.

At the AGM, Mr Chapman was re-elected president, Jayne McCarthy was re-elected secretary and Max Hyson returns as treasurer, all unopposed.

Sandra Lambkin is a new vice-president and Errol Bourne returns as vice-president.

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