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“The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance”


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									                  “The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance”
                The Returned and Services League of Australia
                          Queensland Branch
                  Sherwood/Indooroopilly Sub-branch Inc
                       SECRETARY'S ANNUAL REPORT 2011
                                  m:\dataadmin1\sub branch documents\annual events\annual report\2011 secretary report.doc
 The Annual Report provides the opportunity to record the main activities of the past year and
therefore becomes an important part of the written history of the sub-branch.

                                      MEMBER SUPPORT
 We began the year with 593 members, including Associates, and ended with 591. Fair results
considering 12 members failed to renew their membership, but under the current State law were
allowed to remain on the books. We attracted 33 recruits, had various transfers in and out and
sadly lost 22 to the grim reaper. A total of 13 RSL Poppy Services were performed during 2011.
Our aim remains to increase our total membership and I call on our members to tell the non-
member ex-servicemen and women in the area about the work the sub-branch does for vets.

 Welfare, Pensions & Advocacy Officers
 The pension team, now consisting of Glenn Mostyn, Trevor Hopper, Mick Rockett, John
Cooper, Neil Torkington, Alf Smith and Kevin Doyle (from Centenary suburbs sub-branch)
provided pension and advocacy advice to veterans which necessitated 497 interviews during the
year. This included 130 DVA claims, 20 Veterans’ Review Board cases and 17 compensation
claims. The demand for welfare support continues to rise year by year which keeps the welfare
team of Ken Marmin and John Venning (up to October) fully occupied. The majority of requests
are for help in the home or assisting veterans to relocate to either residential or independent
living facilities. Ken made regular home visits during the year to veterans who were seeking
advice on welfare issues. Most welfare enquiries resulted from the telephone contact program.
The telephone contact program has progressed and is now into its eighth year, with members
over 80 years of age being contacted twice yearly. Peter Pattison and Ian White gave their time
freely making telephone calls during 2011. The benefits to members from the contact program
have been improved access to pension reviews, home help and home maintenance along with
welfare assistance where required. The group of 80 years and above contacted during 2011 was
approximately 205 members. Less happily we have not succeeded in setting up a telephone
contact program specifically for Vietnam and later veterans.

 Home Maintenance Program
 Since the introduction of the Home Maintenance Program we have received 388 requests for
various types of assistance and maintenance advice around the home. However, the numbers of
requests keep falling with only about 10 being recorded during 2011, a significant drop on
previous years. Ross Caddy volunteers his time to this project. The majority of requests have
been mainly for small plumbing, carpentry and painting work. At about the same time as the
home maintenance program began, the sub-branch introduced a program to assist members to
maintain their lawns and gardens. This proved so popular with about 70 members using the
service, so that we had to engage more contractors. However, that number has dropped to about
40 using the lawn mowing service. We now have four lawn-mowing contractors who provide
most garden maintenance with the exception of gardening. It’s very difficult to find gardeners.
The sub-branch will, on most occasions, provide some subsidy if it’s obvious that work carried
out by the Home Maintenance people could cause financial hardship. Members wishing to use
the Home Maintenance Program are invited to contact the sub-branch.

Hospital and Nursing Home Visits
Visits to Greenslopes and other hospitals continued during the year with patients being visited at
GPH by John Venning and the courtesy bus drivers. Ken Marmin and the Home Visiting team,
Peter Pattison and Lola Brewer, continued with visits to members in their homes and in nursing
homes. Unfortunately some on the sick list miss out on a visit, because their family forget to tell
us they are ill.

RSL Community Services & Home Visitors
RSL Care recruits and trains volunteer home visitors who work directly for RSL Care and visit the
ex-service community regardless of whether they are RSL members or not. The sub-branch also
seeks volunteers from its membership to visit RSL members or their widows who live at home or
reside in residential care. We started 2011 with 3 sub-branch volunteer home visitors, Lola Brewer,
Mick Rockett and Peter Pattison, We could certainly use more volunteers for visiting veterans at
home and especially veterans in residential care facilities. We also have veterans who are socially
isolated in the community and require transport occasionally.

Contacting Recent Veterans
The annual Coral Balmoral BBQ, the monthly meetings and happy hours for Recent Veterans
continued with numbers growing slowly. We still believe there are ‘recent’ vets, meaning
Vietnam and later, who need to be ‘reached out to’. Unfortunately the plan to have a team of
‘recent vets’ start a phone contact program for other recent vets has still not eventuated. It needs
to be readdressed in 2012.

 I again record our thanks to our Providore Ross Garry, Rhonda and the rest of the team
particularly George Krishna, Des Milmlow, Joyce Adam, Mick Rockett, Alan Russell, Owen
Corry, Graham innerton and John Adam. As well as monthly meetings, the ongoing popularity
of the morning teas, monthly Vietnam veterans’ happy hours, monthly members’ and guests’
BBQ, Xmas Party and the volunteers’ Xmas happy hour have become part of the providoring
team’s busy schedule. The providoring function remains central to the social spirit of the sub-
branch and is greatly appreciated by the committee and all members.

 Women’s Auxiliary
 The Women’s Auxiliary Executive comprises President Norma Graham, Vice President Pam
McElwaine and Secretary/Treasurer Sue Loughton. Together with the other 20 members they
continue to provide excellent support to morning teas, the Christmas lunch and to badge and
poppy selling.

 Drop In Centre and Morning Teas
 During the year Lola Brewer stepped down from convening the Drop In Centre which operates
every Wednesday morning, except for Morning Tea days. The Women’s Auxiliary took over
running the Drop In. Lola continued in the role of coordinating the computer training classes
which have continued to be available on Wednesday mornings with our volunteer trainers, Lee
Asher and Cedric Tyler. Lola has initiated ‘Lola’s lunches’ and numerous raffles as fund-raisers
for the sub-branch, providing an excellent two-course lunch several times a year. Five morning
teas were conducted during the year for members and partners with a sixth taking the form of a
Christmas Lunch for which we thank Brisbane City Council for its subsidy.

 Bus Trips
 This year 70 people enjoyed a day out to Maleny, with morning tea at Caboolture RSL Club
and lunch at Patrick’s Irish restaurant at Maleny, after a stroll through Maleny’s shops. A quick
look at Maleny Cheese on the way home was followed by afternoon tea and a comfort stop at
the Glass House Mountains visitors’ centre on the way home. As always, the price for members
was kept down by the sub branch kicking in with a subsidy.

 Oral History
 Regrettably little progress was possible with the proposed next phase of the oral history which
aims to collect Vietnam era stories for our next Oral History, provisionally titled On Parade 2.
Kevin Alcock will be taking the project up again in 2012.


As in recent years, attendances at our various commemorative services continue to grow.

Boer War:
The Boer War Memorial Service was held on 4th February with Capt Adele Catts of 2/14 LHR
(QMI), as the principal speaker. Specifically remembered in the annual service are two local
Sherwood boys who died at the Battle of Onverwacht Hills on 4th January 1902. Corinda High
School students read a message from the students of Ermelo High School, a South African
school near Onverwacht Hills. As a general arrangement, the two schools participate annually in
a Battle-of-Onverwacht-Hills essay competition sponsored by the sub-branch, although the
South African school has not always been able to participate. At the commemoration service,
the Corinda High School medallion for 2010, was presented by Major General “Digger” James,
Patron of the Australian Light Horse Association, to Ms Zoe Bloesch along with the annual prize
of $100.

Once again the numbers at all ANZAC Day services were generally up. Colonel Mark Plath
delivered the Dawn Service address at the Kokoda Stone, Corinda. Colonel Plath has a
particular relationship with the sub-branch. Being a Boer war descendant he has been attending
the Boer War Service from time to time over recent years whenever his busy schedule allows.
He is a Superintendent of Police as well as an Army Reservist.

ANZAC Memorial Services were held as follows:
   Our Dawn Service is timed so that the march ends and the service commences as dawn is
   Now a firm part of our calendar, a small service was held at the Boer War Memorial at
    Sherwood Cemetery to commemorate the Queenslanders lost in the Boer War.
   Graceville Park was again the major service of the day and again saw crowds increase.
   The service conducted at Keating Park (Indooroopilly) in parallel with the Graceville
    service once again attracted much community support due, inter alia, to good promotion
    by Cr Julian Simmond’s office and to the sight of soldiers from Queensland University
    Regiment, who provided an excellent honour guard supported by the traditional
    catafalque guard from 218 Sqn Australian Air Force Cadets. Because ANZAC Day fell
    on ester Monday this year we were missing the now customary Choral and PA support
       from Holy Family School. We are grateful for the support of marching detachments from
       the BBC band at both Graceville and Indooroopilly and are pleased to be able to
       reciprocate with financial support. Once again we extend our thanks to the Indooroopilly
       Scouts and the Indooroopilly Senior Citizens for their help in keeping the numbers up at
     The Oxley Memorial Park service continues to be conducted most successfully for the
       sub-branch by 218 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets.
Sherwood Services Club jointly sponsors ANZAC Day activities with the sub-branch and we
thank them for their support. As usual, the Queensland Highlanders Pipe Band and the Brisbane
Municipal Concert Band gave excellent support at our various services.

The sub-branch was also represented at the ANZAC services conducted by a number of the
schools in our area. We thank those who do attend because it encourages the students to actively
participate. All report the high standard of these services, some of which are run by the students

Vietnam (Coral/Balmoral) Day:
The sub-branch conducted its ninth annual Coral/Balmoral Day on Saturday 7 May 2011 and
was expanded this year with an invitation to Peacemakers and Peacekeepers. The format was a
BBQ lunch to which any Vietnam vets, peacekeeper or peacemaker we could find were invited,
irrespective of their being members or not. The speaker was our member Graeme Loughton
whose coverage of the logistic withdrawal from Vietnam was well received.

Kokoda Day:
It is the sub-branch’s pleasure and privilege to conduct a Kokoda commemorative service each
year for the 39th Infantry Battalion and 49th Battalion, who were once again present in good
numbers. This year’s speaker was Major General Mark Kelly, AO,DSC, Commissioner for
Repatriation who was invited at the specific request of 39 Bn. He said he considered it an honour
to have been invited and gave an excellent and moving address. This sub-branch has committed
to continue conducting the annual Kokoda Commemoration even when, sadly, the veterans of
the 39th and 49th can no longer attend.

Remembrance Day:
The key speaker at the Remembrance Service was Major Andrew Judd, Officer Commanding, B
Company, 6RAR.

The sub-branch gratefully acknowledges the support we receive at all of our commemorative
services throughout the year from the following:

       Brisbane Municipal Concert Band                BBC Pipe Band
       2/14 LHR (QMI)                                 QUR
       Scouts and Guides                              Padres
       Qld Highlanders Pipe Band                      Guest Speakers
       218 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets       Marshalls
       Queensland Police                              Our local schools
       Our local Federal, State and City

Reunion Dinner (92nd)
94 members, partners and guests attended a successful dinner on 12 November. The principal
speaker was Mrs Julie Attwood member for Mt Ommaney, an RSL member herself, andan
associate member of the sub-branch. She proposed the toast to the League, that was responded to
by Vic Reading, President, Brisbane North District. Vic also presented a Life membership and
Gold Badge to Michael Griffin JP and RSL Women’s Auxiliary Long service awards to Mrs
Veronica Galligan and Mrs Joyce Harvey, the latter in absentia. Committee member, Randall
New, proposed the toast to "Fallen Comrades". This is always the most important toast of the


Support for and by 218 Squadron, Australian Air Force Cadets
The sub-branch continues to provide a home and modest financial support to 218 Squadron,
Australian Air Force Cadets. It has done so since about 1962 when we were both in the original
Croll Memorial Hall in Sherwood, This hall was bequeathed to us by Dr & Mrs Croll. In return
for our assistance the cadets support our annual program of commemorations.

Greenslopes Courtesy Bus
The bus service to Greenslopes Private Hospital has been running since August 2004, taking
visitors to the hospital three mornings a week. The Greenslopes bus picks up passengers from
Aveo Durack, Forest Lake, Inala Civic Centre, Darra Rail Station, Mt Ommaney and
Indooroopilly Shopping Centres, Yeronga RSL and from our sub-branch. The bus returns from
the hospital at 1.00 pm on those days. Greenslopes Private Hospital, having transferred
ownership of the bus to the sub-branch in late 2008, provides a donation each year to assist with
maintenance and running costs. Our thanks go to John Venning as co-ordinator of the service
and to drivers Kevin Alcock, Bill Barker, Owen Corry, Graham Daunt, Terry Devine, John
Faloone, Mike Griffin, Colin Holbeck, Ken Marmin, Glenn Mostyn, Peter Pattison, Bernie
Platzer, Kevin Schmerl, and Garry Swalling.

Donations Program
 This year our donations were cut back a little, but $14,660 was donated to over 20 charities and
deserving organizations. This included, the Brisbane Municipal Concert Band, 218 Squadron,
citizenship awards for local schools, and many others deemed to provide direct or indirect
benefits to sub-branch members and their families. The program was trimmed again this year in
view of the effects on our budget from the Global Financial Crisis, but like the decision about
member benefits, it was deemed appropriate to keep up a level of support to our long term
recipients of donations.

Internet Café and KPU Computer Lessons
The three computers in the computer training room used for the Wednesday computer lessons
are also available for members and families to use as a free Internet café. The main use seems to
be as a back up for members whose home computer is temporarily down. Two of the computers
were provided by the Federal Government’s ‘Senior Kiosk’ program. Mike Griffin, Alan
Ferdinands and John Parfitt used the facility to conduct several eight week computer training
courses for outpatients from the Keith Payne Unit at Greenslopes Private Hospital, as part of
their Occupational Therapy.


Monthly General Meetings
Good attendances continue at monthly meetings, averaging around 40 across the year. The
pattern of preceding the meeting with a BBQ every second month, alternating by having a guest
speaker on the non BBQ nights, continues to be popular. The monthly meetings seem to strike a
good balance between informing members of what is going on and leaving time for a social
drink or cuppa without it being a late night. If any member requires transport to and from the
meetings, please contact the committee.

Committee Meetings
Finances continued to be a major theme of Committee business through the year as the effects of
the Global Financial Crisis continued to impact on the sub-branch. The Committee continued
with the policy of tightening the belt moderately in terms of member services and prices, but
taking a long term view by accepting that some loss of reserve capital would be inevitable.
Other matters the committee dealt with included the annual income tax exemption status review
(as required annually by the Tax Office) which was found still to be valid.
The Committee Executive met nine times with the Financial Adviser, to make provisional
decisions about the management of the investment portfolio. These decisions were then ratified
by the full committee and reported to the next general meeting.

The two Committees continue to meet twice yearly to keep each other in touch with goals and
progress. Although the two organisations are completely autonomous (ie separate legal entities)
we continue to work closely in mutual support of each other, particularly with commemoration
activities. We are most grateful for the Club’s support.

District Matters
Senior Vice President Kevin Alcock and President Ron McElwaine, our Delegates to Brisbane
North District, continue to travel many kilometers each month to ably represent the sub-branch.
Kevin delivers a detailed report at the sub-branch monthly meetings.

Keeping In Touch is mailed or e-mailed three times a year to all members, to adjacent sub-
branches and to our supporters and to those widows who elect to receive it. The three issues are
timed to provide key information for ANZAC Day, Kokoda Day, Remembrance Day
and the annual reunion dinner. Major RSL and sub-branch news items are also covered to keep
everyone advised of sub-branch activities, especially for those of you who cannot get to
meetings. KIT, as our major publication is edited by our Member Support Officer, Ken Marmin,
who mails out both KIT and Member Support News. The latter is published four times a year to
go out about midway between each KIT. It focuses on the member support activities that are
coming up at the time, along with any other topical news. Members’ contributions are welcome
to both newsletters.

Web Site
Thanks to the hard work of Brian and Anne Wade who maintain the sub branch web site at a
very high standard. The web site can be found at www.sherwdipillyrsl.org.au. Along with other
information, it gives the sub-branch program for the year and more specific detail for the next
two months. It lists the library’s holding of books and videos and it provides links to other useful
sites. You should put this web site in your favourites and get into the habit of checking it

Memorabilia Displays
It is most pleasing to see most of our memorabilia now on display and thanks go to Glenn
Mostyn and his team of helpers and Ron Aumann for their efforts in increasing and improving
our displays.

Sales of Anzac Badges and Remembrance Poppies
ANZAC badge sales achieved $27,300 ($3,000 decrease on 2010) and Remembrance poppy
sales $28,700 (increase of $1,600 on 2010). These were still good results and, as ever, due to the
efforts of our badge and poppy sellers at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre. Thanks also go to the
good efforts of Terry Eleison and Lenore Cusack who sold at Acacia Ridge and Calamvale
Shopping Centres, as well as the Women’s Auxiliary who again sold outside Woolworths at
Sherwood Central. We thank the Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, Morgan Griffin, the owners of
the Woolworths’ site, and the centers at Acacia Ridge and Calamvale, for their support and, as
usual, a huge vote of thanks to the coordinators, John Venning, Colin Holbeck along our many
volunteers (40 plus) who sacrifice their valuable time to raise very necessary funds for the sub-
branch. The schools’ sales results continue to progress although some schools do less well than
others, for no apparent reason.

Queensland law requires that incorporated associations review their public liability insurance
cover annually and report to each AGM on whether they have such cover and at what level. As
a ‘Tier 1’ association (annual turnover over $100,000) we are required to have at least $1.1M
public liability cover. We take this opportunity to report that all insurances were reviewed in
2011 and covers are as follows:
   Public Liability                              $20,000,000
   Harry Dalziel VC Centre (Clewley St
          Fire & perils – Buildings              $720,000
          Fire & perils – Other Items            $451,000
          Accidental damage                      $250,000
          Theft                                  $15,000
          Glass/Signs                               Replacement/ $2,000
          Motor Vehicle                          Market Value
          Loss of profits/ costs of working       $50,000
   Volunteers’ personal accident                 Up to $100,000 &/or weekly benefits

Committee, Staff and Volunteers
 Committee members were:
    President           Ron McElwaine, RFD, ED              Member             Mike Griffin, JP (Qual)
    Snr V President     Kevin Alcock                        Member             Ron Aumann, JP (Qual)
    Jnr V President     Glenn Mostyn                        Member             Randall New, JP (Qual)
    Hon Secretary       Garry Mitchell                      Member             Brian Wade, AM
    Hon Treasurer       Graeme Loughton, AM, DSM            Member             Ian White
    Member              Ross Garry, JP                      Member             Colin Holbeck, OAM
    Member             John Venning, RFD, ED
    (Asst Treasurer)
    Non Committee appointments were filled by:
      BND Delegate          Kevin Alcock                 Computer Trg        Lola Brewer
      BND proxy             Ron McElwaine, RFD, ED       Tel Contact        Peter Pattison
      Member Support                                     Tel Contact        Ian White
       Co-ordinator         Ken Marmin                   Funerals Officer   Colin Holbeck, OAM
      Advocate              Trevor Hopper                Funerals Officer   Kevin Alcock
      Advocate              Glenn Mostyn                 Funerals Officer   Ross Garry, JP
      Advocate              Kevin Doyle                  Funerals Officer   Peter Pattison
                            (Centenary S/Bch)            A/Treasurer        John Venning, RFD, ED
      Case Officer          Mick Rockett                 Hospital Bus Co-
      Pensions Officer      Neil Torkington               ordinator         John Venning, RFD, ED
      Pensions Officer      John Cooper                  Library            Ron Aumann, JP (Qual)
      Welfare Officer       John Venning, RFD,ED         Memorabilia        Glenn Mostyn
      Hospital Visitor      John Venning, RFD, ED        Hall Bookings      John Venning, RFD, ED
      A/Providore           George Krishna JP            Bus Drivers        See main report above
      Home Visitor          Lola Brewer

    From 2003, the sub-branch has recognised the ongoing support given by the following people
    by formally designating them as holding sub-branch honorary positions.
     Honorary Padre            Geoff Reeder             Honorary Bugler      Stewart McKenzie-Fowle
     Honorary Solicitor        Doug Stockley            Honorary Auditor     David England
     Honorary Architect        Craig Cornish

Administrative services were provided on contract by Graeme Loughton and member support
services by Ken Marmin and also in part by John Venning as he also volunteers his time three
days each week.

I extend my thanks and gratitude to all of our volunteers – which includes the members of the
Committee. Without their dedicated work there would be no sub-branch.


    We salute the memory of the following comrades who died during the past twelve months:

     Frank Goodman              Wally Bloomfield                   Ron Graham
     Malcolm Gore               Ernie Doessel                      Brian Bishop
     Gerry Brummell             Bill Hilton                        Tom Lyons
     Constance Crotty           Rick Taylor                        Geoffrey Rockett
     George Hunt                Elizabeth Cross                    Cyril Unwin
     Allan Hughes               William Wallace                    Len Barker
     Doug Trigar                Harvey Pincott                     Kath Douglas
     Michael Bourke

    "We will remember them"

    G K Mitchell

    Honorary Secretary
    26 March 2012


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