78yo RSL auxiliary winds up

THE Tamworth RSL Women’s Auxiliary has wound up, but the women aren’t hanging up their fundraising hats just yet.

WOMEN THANKED: RSL Women’s Auxiliary members, from left, Bub Parkes, Judy Carey, Emily Herden, Elizabeth ‘Tup’ Michell, Vanessa Bourne, Jenny Parkes and Mel Wilson have called it a day. Photo: Barry Smith 270414BSE02

WOMEN THANKED: RSL Women’s Auxiliary members, from left, Bub Parkes, Judy Carey, Emily Herden, Elizabeth ‘Tup’ Michell, Vanessa Bourne, Jenny Parkes and Mel Wilson have called it a day. Photo: Barry Smith 270414BSE02

Auxiliary president Emily Herden said the women had loved their work helping the Tamworth RSL Sub-branch, but many were elderly and could not do what they used to.

The oldest member of the group, Elizabeth Michell, turns 94 this year and has served the longest; most of the others are in their 80s.

“They’re willing, but they can’t do it,” Mrs Herden said.

“So, at our last meeting, we decided we would close. We all became affiliate members of the sub-branch and I’m still in charge of the badges and raffles.”

The auxiliary started in 1936 in Tamworth and has been a major fundraiser for the RSL sub-branch.

It’s not all over for the group, though, with all the women becoming affiliate members of the RSL, which enables them to continue their fundraising work.

“I enjoyed it, enjoyed meeting people around town and it was always very nice that everybody of all ages would stop and buy a badge or a pen from us. We appreciated it,” Mrs Herden said.

“It’s a wonderful organisation when you realise where the money goes.

“My husband and I are not returned people, but I wanted to help the poor people who came back from war and had nobody to give them anything.”

Mrs Herden had held the position of president since 1997, except for a break of two years.

When the branch folded this week there were only seven members left, and only four of them could turn up to meetings.

The Tamworth RSL Sub-branch thanked the women with a bouquet of flowers each and a luncheon in their honour.

Mrs Herden continues to serve the women’s auxiliary at a state level as the North West New England councillor.

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