Have you ever wondered how much work goes into running an RSL sub-branch?
It is a lot, and the hardworking members of the Portland RSL sub-branch have worked to keep theirs going even when it was on the verge of closing.
Portland RSL sub-branch members comprise of ex-service people and members of the community who are proud of their ancestors' service.
The Portland RSL sub-branch is a separate entity from the Portland RSL Sport Recreation Club Ltd and raises its own funds to conduct its activities and commemorative services.
Apart from assisting veterans and their families, the main function of the sub-branch is to help keep 'The Spirit of Anzac' alive in the Portland and district community.
They do this by liaising with schools and other community groups to organise Anzac and Remembrance Day services that honour local heroes who have served in all conflicts in which Australia has participated.
It was these people who helped create Portland and gave us the peaceful lifestyle we all enjoy today.
Between 2017 and 2019 the sub-Branch was in danger of folding for two reasons.
The first was that they did not have members capable of fulfilling executive positions.
With the assistance of treasurer, Ian Burrett, most of the presidential and secretarial functions were performed by Norm Richardson.
This workload was too much for one person to handle and during 2019 Jan Cullen took on the secretary's role which relieved a lot of pressure from Norm. Jan's father was a World War II commando.
The second reason which put the sub-branch in jeopardy was problems encountered at RSL NSW state headquarters.
This resulted in the sub-branch having to surrender its Charity Fundraising Licence which meant it could not raise funds by selling badges, poppies and other tokens prior to Anzac and Remembrance Day services.
At its most recent annual general meeting, Danny Coffa was elected as president.
Danny, who moved to Portland a few years ago, served for over 20 years in the RAAF where he reached the rank of Flight Sergeant.
A vote of thanks was extended to Norm Richardson who, without his efforts, the sub-branch would have ceased to exist.
Jan will continue as secretary whilst Ian was re-elected as treasurer. Norm was elected as vice-president.
John Moss, who recently returned to live in Portland, will also be elected as vice-president in the near future.
Ray Woodin joined the committee as the pensions & welfare coordinator whilst Rob Houlison joins the committee as commemorations coordinator.
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