RSL State Congress & AGM 2024

The State Congress & AGM was held on the 22 June at the Royal International Convention Centre.

There were 187 voting delegates in attendance & 21 apologies submitted.

Several motions were presented and carried.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Day DSC AM was elected by the voting members as State President for an additional three years.

Mr John Edwards, President RSL Marian Sub Branch and Deputy President of RSL CQ District addressed the Congress and spoke about Comarradie within their Sub Branch and community.

His address as follows:-

We are a small but passionate Sub-branch; we are based in the heart of the sugar growing area 30 kms west of Mackay.

 Our Sub-branch was established in 1946, and we currently have 33 service members, and 6 non-League members.

We are active in our community, but there is one specific activity we do that I’d like to share with you today, to illustrate how we foster camaraderie with veterans from our Sub-branch and the other local sub branch’s within the community.

That activity is an ANZAC DAY Rugby League match between two teams in the Mackay region.

As we all know, ANZAC DAY is a momentous occasion; a day of remembrance and a time when we reflect the values of courage, mate ship, and resilience— values that are deeply woven into the fabric of our nation and our communities. These values are also perfectly embedded in the spirit of Australian sport.

In 2018, our sub branch sought to combine these two events in a commemorative game of Rugby League. As I am on the committee at Western Suburbs Rugby League Football Club Mackay, we forged ahead with plans for an ANZAC DAY match, and in 2019 we hosted the first game.

We have continued this event and developed the tradition each year. We hold an ANZAC DAY service prior to the game, where the players are led onto the field by bagpipe players and the captains of each team lay a wreath in honor of passed veterans.

This year we introduced the Best & Fairest Award in memory of a WW2 Veteran, Corporal Noel Costigan who was awarded the MM and was MID.

Our Sub- Branch takes part in the design of the jerseys for the West’s players to wear, these jerseys are presented by members of the Sub -Branch before the game. One of the players, Andrew Dunkley, is an Afghanistan veteran and a member of the RSL.

Unfortunately, in the first week of April this year, the ANZAC DAY jerseys were stolen. We weren’t sure if we would be able to go ahead with the game without the jerseys, as they are such a big part of the commemoration aspect of the day.

We investigated getting a new set of jerseys printed, but the cost and time required to get them to us before the game was a concern.

Fortunately, RSL Queensland heard about our misfortune and our predicament, and contacted us with the offer of a lifetime. State Branch offered to pay for the production and delivery of the new jerseys so the game could go ahead, they arrived two days before the game.

The opportunity to combine our National pastime with our National Day of Remembrance is a privilege that would not have been possible without the generous assistance of RSL Queensland.

This year’s ANZAC DAY match went ahead and attracted a crowd of 2,000 people. Veterans and their families received free admission, and by all accounts, it was a great day out in the community.

This year members of Walkerston/Pleystowe Sub Branch were involved, the game was between West’s Tiger and South’s Sharks. Members of Marian RSL Sub -Branch and Walkerston/Pleystowe RSL Sub -Branch presented jerseys to the players of both teams.

We will continue to be involved with this opportunity to build camaraderie between other veterans and RSL members.

The efforts of all involved in this event enriched our ANZAC DAY commemorations and strengthened the bonds of unity and respect within our community and the ranks of the RSL. When we get involved in our community’s and fosters camaraderie it is returned to our veterans two—fold.

Comments are closed.