Portland RSL sub-branch celebrates 100 years | Photos, Video

Portland RSL sub-branch held a gala dinner and reception to mark 100 years of veteran support at the Portland RSL Sport and Recreation Club on Saturday, February 10. 

The night consisted of mingling, a roast dinner, speeches, cake and supporting veterans. 

The gala dinner was attended by Mayor Stephen Lesslie, Councillors Cassandra Coleman and Steve Ring and Lithgow RSL sub-branch president Ron Murphy. 

Another 50 guests were in attendance, with members and war veterans turning out for the occasion. 

Articles about war veterans and their history from the Lithgow Mercury and Portland Mercury were put on the walls for people to read.

President of the RSL sub-branch Norman Richardson also posted photos from Portland women’s auxiliary that he had found, so that people could write the women’s names on them if they recognised them. 

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Norman Richardson, said the night was important to recognise our war veterans. 

“If we don’t pass on the values to the next generation then they won’t ever come back, history has taught us that,” he said. 

The nights speeches began with the Ode of Remembrance, before a toast to the Queen and the national anthem was played. 

Norman Richardson then gave a speech thanking everyone for coming and for their ongoing support before giving a detailed history of the Portland RSL sub-branch. 

Ian Burrett gave a rousing speech that brought tears to the eyes of many when he read extracts from the 2017 “What ANZAC and Remembrance day means to me” essay competition that was held. 

An entry from Nikera Hann, a 10-year-old Year 5 student from Portland Central School, was particularly well received. 

“ANZAC Day means to me remembering and honouring everyone that has ever played a role in any war. It means recognising the sacrifices that the men and women made for me to have what I have today,” Ian Burrett read. 

Two women from the auxiliary then cut the cake and Mr Richardson spoke about the social good that came from a women’s auxiliary group. 

“We’ve lost them from Portland, it would be a shame to lose them from Lithgow,” he said. 

Mr Richardson said he would like to see the local memorials for those who died amended to include more names of the fallen by ANZAC Day 2018.