President Lee Tet Fong, Secretary Lyne Mooney and Treasurer Sandra Smith are the 2018 office bearers of the Port Macquarie RSL Women’s Auxiliary. The Auxiliary will enjoy its 65th anniversary on May 2nd this year, with members planning to enjoy a special luncheon to mark the occasion. It’s historically been the role of RSL Women’s Auxiliaries to support servicemen and their families through fundraising and catering – which has definitely been the case over the years locally …
What can you tell us about the history of the Port Macquarie RSL Women’s Auxiliary?
In 1953, a group of ladies assembled to raise funds for the RSL. The group comprised only nine members then, and three of them became President, Secretary and Treasurer.
Why did you join the Women’s Auxiliary?
Some ladies were married to returned servicemen, while others joined simply to relieve stress and boredom, but mainly to help the RSL raise funds to help and assist veterans and their families through war caused conditions, which have affected their return to civilian society, and assist with medical costs.
One of our oldest members is Pat Maybury, who served as a signaller in the Army during WWII.
What are some of the ways in which you raise funds – and what upcoming activities are on your calendar?
We raise funds through selling badges, poppies and various other items which relate to all wars, from WWII to Afghanistan. The selling days are mainly ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day, and Vietnam Veterans’ Day, and we also hold various craft markets/raffles throughout the year.
We are celebrating our 65th birthday on 2nd May, with a celebratory lunch at a fancy restaurant.
When does your group meet?
Our group meets on the second Monday of each month, when we discuss upcoming events and allocate duties for our ladies to undertake.
Luncheons are held on the first Monday of each month at various venues in Port Macquarie. This activity is for our ladies to socialise and enjoy each other’s company, and also to check on the welfare of our older members, as our average age is 88 years.
Who can join the Women’s Auxiliary – is membership open to any woman?
At the present time we total only 20 ladies, so we are always in need of some younger members. Anyone interested in joining should contact the Port Macquarie RSL Sub Branch on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday between 9am and 11:30am on 6583 2748.
Interview by Jo Robinson.