Meet Dave Baker, known affectionately around the club and his mechanic business as ‘Dirty Dave’.
As a Nerang RSL member for nearly a decade, Dave is likely a familiar face to many and shares with us what he gets up to when he’s not at the club and what keeps him coming back, in this edition of Member of the Month.
An avid fisher and regular at the #4211SportzBar, Brisbane Born Dave has lived on the Gold Coast for more than 15 years and says there isn’t anywhere quite like it.
With a love of fishing, some might be surprised to learn he has not been a fishing club member for long.
“I love my fishing. I’ll go offshore or inshore regardless of if the weather permits it or not, but I haven’t been a Nerang fishing club member for long at all, surprisingly only a month,” he said.
“I like being a member of the fishing club because of the people, they have a great attitude and a common goal. I’ve been part of other clubs before but the Nerang Fishing Club isn’t all about the competition, it is just about having fun.”
When asked why other members should get involved he said, “for the love of fishing, of course.”
While he didn’t share all his fishing tips, he did have this piece of advice to offer to newbie fishers: “I can’t give away all of my fishing secrets, but I will say try using a Keeper Hook, you’d be surprised how much I’ve caught with just a Keeper Hook.”
His other passion is cars. Nicknamed Dirty Dave, from his long career as a mechanic, Dave owns and runs Queensland Roadworthy Services in Southport. The business offers all mechanical repairs, log books and, Dave says, “will work on anything with an engine.”
After a hard day at work, you can catch Dave on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at the #4211SportzBar enjoying the raffes.
“The SportzBar has a great atmosphere and the people are great, both the staff and patrons,” he says.
“My favourite meal is the Sunday Spit Roast and my go to drink is the GNO (Great Northern Original). No one calls it that but I’m hoping it’ll catch on and I’ll know I started the trend,” he quips.
His recommended meal for new members? All of it. “Start at the top and work your way down. It’s all great,” he says.
Dave says he was excited to be chosen as Member of the Month as he had never had an opportunity like it before.
So what makes Nerang RSL so special? Having been a member for nearly a decade, Dave says it all comes down to the people and the atmosphere.
“Besides the people, the RSL has recently been revamped, so along with its great location, it looks fantastic too. You just feel comfortable everywhere you go and there’s a place for everyone.”
Congratulations to Nerang RSL staff member and Army veteran Chris Silvester who was recently acknowledged by the Australian Government.
Chris received a letter of appreciation from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and a Veteran Lapel Pin to thank him for his service and sacrifice for our nation as part of the Australian Defence Force.
On behalf of the Nerang RSL we would also like to thank Chris for his service to our country and are pleased to see him receive this important recognition.
We are proud to profile Chris in the March Stentorian, not only to acknowledge his service to our country but also to our Nerang RSL family.
How long have you been working at Nerang RSL and can you share a little about your role at the club?
I will have been working at Nerang RSL for four years in June. I drive the courtesy bus, which runs every hour, and during busy periods I also clear glasses or work behind reception, offering a helping hand when it is busy.
What do you enjoy most about working at the Nerang RSL?
Everything! The job, the staff, the managers. It is a great job – in fact, it is the best job I’ve ever had. I love working at Nerang RSL, meeting everyone and getting to know the members.
You were just honoured as an Army Veteran – congratulations. what does this mean to you?
Thank you. It means a great deal! I have the Pin now, which is an honour to wear and, really, it is just such an honour to be acknowledged.
What has been a highlight from your time at the club?
I have quite a few. I just love meeting everyone – the staff and the members – the learning about all the different areas of the club. I just love everything.
As an Army Veteran yourself, how do you recommend active defence force personnel and Army Veterans get involved at Nerang RSL?
I’d say helping out at the Sub-Branch and getting involved on ANZAC Day.
What are you likely doing when you’re not at the Nerang RSL?
I don’t do much, just relax at home and spend time with my wife, going out for coffee or shopping. We just like to enjoy each other’s company.
Tell us a little about your role at Nerang RSL?
I am the club’s apprentice chef! This basically means my job is to learn how to cook everything – from starters, mains right through to desserts!
Have you always wanted to be a chef?
Yes! I’ve always had a passion for cooking. As a kid my mum was never much of a cook and while she did provide my brother and I with some very funny stories, neither of us looked forward to dinner time. We both took it upon ourselves to learn a little about cooking and it wasn’t long before we’d taken over cooking right for the family. I’ve always had the desire to learn new things and travel and so I figured the best way to satisfy both was to get a job that could take me around the world while giving me a nonstop amount of things to learn.
What is your favourite cuisine to cook?
Despite not having much experience or training in it, I actually really enjoy cooking and preparing Japanese cuisine! From sashimi to sushi, I find their love and respect for the food is like no other.
What do you like most about your job?
During my apprenticeship I’ve worked in a handful of kitchens, learning off a handful of both sous and head chefs and no one compares to Jason and the club’s sous chefs. The wealth of knowledge they have and passion for cooking is incredible and I’m so excited to be learning from the best!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my free time I’m either sleeping, reading or trying to get better at all aspects of life in the kitchen!
What is something on your bucket list that you’d like to achieve in your lifetime?
I have always wanted to travel the world and experience life in other cultures while learning to cook their food and live like them. Being a chef and with the expert guidance of Jason and the team here I believe I’ll have the knowledge and confidence to do just that after I finish my apprenticeship.
Meet Wayne, or ‘Poppy’, as he’s affectionately called. A nickname that was originally given to him by children of a staff member, safe to say the name has stuck, with old and new staff members alike now calling him Poppy.
A Nerang local for 75 years, Wayne has been an integral part of the club since its inception and he is one of our very first members.
“I’ve been around since the club first started and was one of the first social members. I was allowed membership because my dad was a serving member,” he said.
Wayne said he’s seen some considerable change in the much-loved local venue.
“There were only about 500 members when it started and I knew pretty much everyone,” he said.
“These days the member numbers are much higher and there are so many new faces around, which is great.”
Wayne also served as a Board member in the early to mid-1990s and was heavily involved in shaping the club to where it is today.
His favourite thing about Nerang RSL? While in his earlier days he enjoyed the live bands (and the occasional boogie), Wayne says it’s all about the location, the company and whisky – of course!
“The staff are great and I really enjoy the company of the members. I used to enjoy their selection of Bundy Rum but these days I’m enjoying the Monkey Shoulder Whisky!”
Not only is he a club favourite, Wayne is also a very talented punter, taking away the Punter of the Year Award for 2019.
“The punters club is great to be a part of regardless of the result, and I really enjoy the 1st Saturday of the month when there is a BBQ so we can catch up and see which of the 6 clubs is winning
– we are a little competitive!”
His tips? Go with your gut, says Wayne.
“The secret is to not overthink it. Trust your first impression and back it!”
CONGRATULATIONS to Nerang RSL Functions Coordinator Kerry Muldoon, Functions Supervisor Michael Delforce and our Functions Team who were recently awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the Wedding Venue – Licensed Club Category at the recently held 2019 Brides Choice Awards!
The awards were held at the Marriot in Surfers Paradise and recognise, support and reward those who work tirelessly to bring to life those special days for so many.
Open to wedding businesses across regional areas of Australia, the awards recognise businesses that have ‘excelled and exceeded’ the expectation of their Brides and have become a significant platform for Brides, to help them select a team to collaborate with and deliver their dream wedding.
We’re extremely proud of our Functions Team at Nerang RSL who work tirelessly across a myriad of functions and events and we’re honoured to profile some of our team members in the January Stentorian
Q) How did you get into the functions and events industry and did you always have an interest in this industry?
“I actually fell into the functions and events industry by accident. I was helping our functions coordinator Kerry and saw I had a flare for looking after customers and setting up event spaces, so it took off from there! I’ve been at the Nerang RSL for five years now.”
Q) You’re quite creative – can you share a little about this?
“I like to create centre pieces and features to be used at events or functions we hold at the Nerang RSL. One of the things I most enjoy is creating videos for our events, like our recent Faulty Towers function. I created a video which projected onto the walls and displayed visuals of windows and the English country to give the feel that we were looking out into the countryside. It’s great
fun to create and it adds to the atmosphere at a function or event.”
Q) What is one of your favourite functions or events you’ve worked on at the Nerang RSL?
“I really enjoyed the events we held for Pink Ribbon – I remember one year I did a drag number and the next year we got a number of staff members together to dance and film a music video, all in support of raising awareness for a great cause.”
Q) What do you most enjoy about being part of the functions team?
“We’ve got a great Functions Team at the Nerang RSL who really know what they’re doing. We’re all very supportive of each other and everyone is really hands on and ready to put in the hard work. The team I work with are great and I really enjoy being a part of it.”
Q) What is one of your favourite things about working in the Functions and Events industry?
“I love seeing the function or event come together – you essentially start with a blank canvas and it’s so satisfying to watch it evolve through the stages and look absolutely amazing when guests walk through the doors.”
Q) Can you share a little about the events and functions process at Nerang RSL and what are some of your key tasks as part of the functions team?
“Kerry, Michael and Gennie liaise with our customers and identify their requirements for each wedding, event or function. From there, the team works with the customer to plan and create the visions for the specific event. The functions team then sets up the event and there’s usually a graphic or a visual from which we work off in order to bring the vision to life in the event space. As part of this, some of my key tasks include setting up the event and packing down to serving behind the bar and waitressing.”
Q) What’s it like to be part of the functions team at the Nerang RSL?
“It’s a very supportive team and we have some great fun. I absolutely love being part of the functions team and working at the Nerang RSL.”
Q) Is there an event or function you’ve worked on at the Nerang RSL that stands out to you?
“Absolutely! I love working at our Faulty Towers functions… they’re extremely funny and everyone has a great night.”
Q) How long have you worked at Nerang RSL and what’s your role as part of the functions team?
“I started working at Nerang RSL at the start of 2018, just after U finished my final year of schooling. Kerry took me on board and I’ve really enjoyed working as part of the team at Nerang RSL ever since. Lately, I’ve been given the opportunity to be in charge of functions a little more and my tasks include anything and everything! I help set up event and function rooms, call service when it’s time to bring the food out and I also waitress, work behind the bar and help with the cleaning and housekeeping side of events.”
Q) Have you always been interested in this industry and how did you get into it?
“Working as part of the functions team at Nerang RSL is my first proper job so it’s quite different to anything im used to and is a really diverse job, which is great. I love being able to work across a different range of events from weddings and birthdays to work parties. There’s so much variety in this role and working in the functions and events industry is something I’ve recommended to other people!”
Q) Is there a task you enjoy most as part of your role at Nerang RSL?
“I enjoy most aspects, but do really enjoy bar tending. I had always wanted to get my RSA so once I had my qualifications it was great to get behind the bar and learn how to do everything. It’s lots of fun and I really enjoy working at the RSL – it’s provided me with lots of opportunities to meet new people and the team is fantastic to work alongside.”
Q) If you could work at any function or event across the globe, what would it be?
“I did recently watch the wedding of Married at First Sight couple Jules and Cam, and it looked absolutely amazing. I think it would be great fun to work on large scale weddings!”
Neville Maher us Nerang RSL’s first Member of the month for 2020 – mainly for his super efforts ‘driving’ our popular social golf club.
An avid golfer when he gets the time, New Zealand-born Neville has only been living on the Gold Coast for a few years, but almost instantly started getting along famously with our friendly members at Nerang RSL.
He is our Social Golf Clubman of the Year for 2019 and was awarded a trophy at the club’s presentation last year for assisting in the running of the golf club, and organising players on game day. Neville introduced the match play idea to the club, also volunteering his time on Thursday nights throughout the year to sell raffles and raise funds for the club.
“I’ve been a golfer for many years but let my club membership lapse following the arrival of our kids, as I was no longer able to get to the golf course enough to warrant a membership,’ he said.
“Being a member of the social golf club at Nerang RSL allows me to enjoy my favourite pastime on a fortnightly basis, and keeps a good balance with family life.”
Neville said the RSL’s golf club was full of colourful characters who were all great to have a round with, while also enjoying activities at the ‘19th Hole’.
“A lot of people make it work with special efforts put in by Stretch, Ben and Nev T,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun – even for a hacker – so make sure you bring your sense of humour with you.”
Neville fits right into the returned servicemen environment here at the RSL – employed by Legear and Australian Defence Apparel (ADA), who supply uniforms and other personal equipment to a range of industries, including defence.
ADA is one of the Australian Defence Force’s most trusted partners and is one of the country’s leaders in manufacturing and supplying cutting-edge uniforms, protective clothing and
“We are actively involved in the defence, law enforcement and fire segments, amongst others, and im lucky enough in my role to contribute heavily to that activity,” said Neville.
“We are active supporters of the Mates4Mates and police legacy movements, and I’ve been very fortunate to mingle with some great people and listen to their stories, including multiple Victoria Cross recipients.
“The work or our defence personnel, first responders and the various volunteer personnel cannot be understated, particularly in such trying times as those our country is currently experiencing – they are heroes and day to day activities are undertaken with minimal fuss.”
Neville said he was honoured to be recognised as Member of the Month amongst so many active and passionate members at the Nerang RSL.
“In a club with so many great contributors it’s an honour to be appreciated in this manner,” he said
“I just do my bit to help where I can and assist the golf club – in particular with fundraising.”
While he has only been at our club for a short while, Neville has long been a member of interstate clubs and he believes RSLs are a ‘godsend for the local community’.
“They bring family and friends together and offer a place of solace when you’re looking to enjoy some downtime,” he said.
“My wife and kids generally know where to find me if I’m MIA at home – curse mobile phones!”
Beer guru and Nerang RSL member, Darryl Sweeney, has played a huge role in making sure our club can continue to pour some of the finest craft ales in the country, so we can’t think of a better reason for him to be named Member of the Month for December!
A former brewer himself, Darryl is Queensland and New South Wales Regional Sales Manager for the popular craft brewery, Pirate Life Brewing. Those with a keen eye for the 0beer would have noticed the Nerang RSL sets aside a fair bit of tap and fridge space for this delicious drop!
Darryl brings a wealth of experience in all things ales as a former Carlton & United Breweries ‘Beer Ambassador’, helping to ensure that Nerang RSL not only offers quality beer but equally as importantly, our staff knows how to serve it.
“I used to be a brewer at a New Zealand craft brewery and have worked in various beer-related jobs all my life – I actually don’t think I could handle a real job, come to think of it,” he said.
“At Nerang RSL, I love doing all the beer nerd stuff – from training their staff on how to serve, store and talk about beer, to hosting beer appreciation and education evenings for the club’s members.
“I’ve been to a lot of RSLs and other clubs over the years and Nerang RSL is really breaking the mold in terms of serving top-notch craft beer at great prices.
“Most clubs usually stick to the traditional, mainstream commercial beers – and while Nerang offers these as well, the Club takes a few risks and provides a much wider selection, getting behind hop-forward beers and big stouts like those brewed by Pirate Life Brewing.”
Darryl has seen his fair share of pubs in his time and reckons the Nerang RSL is up there with some of the best in the country.
Darryl grew up in the Nerang area and his family are part of the fabric of the Nerang RSL community – with his wife, Nadia, and daughter, Paige, both working in the Club’s restaurant and café.
“What I love about the Nerang RSL is it’s just a great community club, and my family and I are proud and happy to be a part of it,” he said.
“There’s nothing pretentious about the Club at all, which in this day and age is something to be admired – it’s all about great people, great food, great entertainment, and of course great beer.
“I’ve always had a close relationship with Andrew McInnes, and regularly enjoy having a beer or two with him and many of Nerang RSL’s colourful and friendly members.
“I must say, you also can’t go past that massive five-metre screen for watching sport while having a beer or two in the #4211SportzBar!”
The gift of giving has put big smiles on many faces at Round 26 of Community Fund Donation presentations held at the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club recently, recognising the range of sponsorships and donations made by the Nerang RSL to the local community.
The Community Fund Donation program supports community groups and individuals of all backgrounds and has done so since the Nerang RSL established the initiative in 1996.
The program has also enabled the Nerang RSL to further strengthen ties with the local community and forge new relationships with groups like the Gold Coast Volleyball Club.
The Volleyball Club approached the Nerang RSL seeking a major sponsor and, to help the club continue its contribution to the community, the Nerang RSL gifted the club with a $5000 sponsorship at the recent Community Fund presentations.
The Gold Coast Volleyball Club, established in 2017, has over 200 members and provides an opportunity for all people, regardless of age or skill, to get involved through skill development and social competitions. It also has an Elite Athlete Program in place to assist athletes in the transition to a national and international level of competition.
Gold Coast Volleyball Club President Brett Bennett said the club, which is entirely run by volunteers, is extremely thankful for the sponsorship.
“The Gold Coast Volleyball Club is ecstatic to receive this donation from the Nerang RSL and it will greatly assist to get our coaches, who are all volunteers, upgraded to Level 3 accreditations,” said Brett.
“It’s quite expensive to do and often, coaches have to cover their own expenses on top of what they already pay for in terms of travelling for coaching and competitions not only locally but state wide.
“We’re very lucky to have amazing coaches which is a major benefit to our club and players, so it’s very important to support these people to be the best they can be.”
Brett said the Gold Coast Volleyball Club also looks forwardto having the Nerang RSL as its official ‘home base.’
“We’ve supported the Nerang RSL and held presentations at the RSL before, so we’re grateful to have formed this new relationship and have the RSL as a home base and somewhere we can come back to after training or competitions, and for awards nights and social nights,” he said.
“This sponsorship by the Nerang RSL ultimately enables us to continue to grow our Club and it’s nice to see community groups supporting each other.”
Also among the list of donation recipients was Nerang State School, which received $4823 to assist with the purchase of 13 ipads and headphones for use by the Year 3 cohort.
The purchases will increase the equipment available to facilitate purposeful engagement of students in the digital world and will enable all students to adequately participate in programs like online NAPLAN.
Young local and Nerang Pony Club’s Nathan Moynihan was also presented with a $250 donation to assist with travelling to Sydney and representing Queensland at a five day event involving dressage, show jumping and cross country.
In the spirit of Christmas, the Nerang RSL, alongside Councillor Peter Young, has supported the Nerang Celebrates Committee for numerous years – with 2019 being no exception.
The RSL presented the committee with a $3300 donation to assist with the annual Christmas Carols at Bischof Park held by the committee each year, bringing the local community together for a fun afternoon of food, rides, stage performances from young artists and singers, and much more.
The donation assisted the Committee to purchase prizes for an Art Competition run in conjunction with the Christmas Carols, which encourages local school children to submit an artwork themed ‘What Christmas means to you.’
In the past, the art competition has received over 600 entries and the donation by the Nerang RSL will assist with prizes across junior and senior school categories.
Q) How did you come across the Nerang RSL and can you share a bit about yourself?
“I was fortunate to hear about the Nerang RSL and the opportunity for a job due to a mutual good friend who already worked at the club. They encouraged me for some time to make a move as I had been a stay at home parent for over 12 years prior – I’ve been employed at the Nerang RSL for around 14 months now and really enjoy it. I have a work experience background in the industry
having completed an Associate Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management at TAFE in Sydney back many moons ago, when I finished my final schooling (I won’t mention the year). I initially started work at the Epping Club in Sydney, which was my home town growing up, as the Gaming and Safe Supervisor and moved on to working on the table games at the Sydney Harbour Casino when it first opened (this was where I met my partner for life, Michael!). I also went on over the next 20 years to work in the tourism industry expanding my work experience at other major
organisations including Flight Centre and Virgin Airlines. I have now come full circle in my career and am back in the RSL community here at Nerang and loving it.
Q) Can you share a little about your role at Nerang RSL?
“I absolutely love my new role at the Nerang RSL as a Gaming Attendant and have realised since working here, that it is a very community oriented place to work. I assist members and visitors on the floor with gaming payouts, poker machine questions, beverage and food orders (and exceptional customer service of course!). I love to ensure each and every member feels welcomed and has a positive and memorable experience at our Club.”
Q) What are some of the promotions held in the Gaming Lounge at Nerang RSL?
“We have a variety of promotions ongoing and new ones that come up throughout the year. We have daily promotions during the week such as pick a box, our Members Draw, raffles and funny money as well as larger promotions which I have seen being a $10k giveaway and also a Car giveaway. These days and nights are a huge success and attract large crowds to the Club.”
Q) What is one of your favourite memories or a highlight of your time at the Nerang RSL?
“There is always a wonderful mix of people to work alongside of and so many amazing people and members to meet – it has been eye opening and so rewarding coming back to work after so many years. I also recently experienced the Remembrance Day ceremony at the club which was extremely moving. Some of my family members have previously served in the Armed Services, so it was nice to see everyone come together on the day.”
Q) What are you likely doing when you’re not at the RSL?
“Having my three kids, Christian 13, Georgia 10 and Hannah 9, I am kept exceptionally busy with appointments. Most of my spare time is looking after and making sure they are resilient, happy and content. My elder two kids have a rare condition called Usher Syndrome – they were born profoundly deaf and are now living with the progressive eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), ultimately causing very fast vision loss. Our life as parents now focuses on giving them the best opportunities before their vision deteriorates more. they have never travelled so we have a good looking bucket list for them. My two eldest are now classified as legally blind having only 10 degrees peripheral vision. Unfortunate yes, but most days we try to look forward, despite the obstacles, look to the positive and always have a very “can do” attitude. You’ll see that in my smile and happy spirit every day at the Club.”
Q) Do you have any hobbies or talents that your colleagues don’t know about?
“Being a mum to three young children, with the kids having so many talents themselves and extra challenges, I find myself as the typical mum running them around like a taxi driver when I am not working. My special talent is juggling all three with their school and extracurricular activities and affording to pay for it all. Thus a big reason for returning back to work. Haha!”
Q) How long have you been working at Nerang RSL and can you share a little about your role?
“I’ve been working at the Nerang RSL for just over four years now and absolutely love it. I’m a Senior Steward in the 4211 Café and work upstairs as a Senior Steward in the restaurant of an evening. I work under our Head Chef, Jason, and from his direction, look after the cafe and make sure everything’s running to plan!”
Q) Have you always had a passion for the hospitality industry?
“When I was younger I travelled quite a lot with my dad, which meant I got to experience a lot of different hotels and restaurants. I loved it and thought I’d like to be involved in the hospitality industry one day, so when I left school I worked in hotels for a few years and it evolved from there. I really enjoy my role at the Nerang RSL and I work with a great bunch of people which makes it even better!”
Q) You recently travelled to Sydney for a food and wine festival to get inspiration for the new 4211 café menu – can you share a little about this?
“I went to a food and wine festival in Sydney for the day with Head Chef Jason, to test a whole range of food and get some inspiration for the new 4211 café menu. It was a fantastic day
and Jason and I were able to bounce ideas off each other and learn about different products. It was really eye-opening and we walked away with some great ideas for the new menu.”
Q) What are some of the key aspects to consider when creating a new menu?
“There are a lot of things to consider when creating a new menu, but for our 4211 Café, we definitely focussed on incorporating dishes that we’re able to produce efficiently using the equipment that we have. It’s not only important that we’re able to cook a nice dish, but also to ensure we can deliver the food on time especially on our busy nights. Another aspect to consider is clientele – it is very important to be practical as not every dish will appeal to every person.”
Q) What is one of your favourite dishes on the new menu and why?
“I have lots of favourites! But I’d have to say the Karaage Chicken Sliders. They were special on our menu a few months ago and our guests absolutely loved them, so we’ve kept them on the menu. It’s just a tasty dish overall and the three sliders are the perfect amount – not too much, but enough to fill you up!”
Q) When you’re not at the RSL, what are you likely doing?
“I enjoy fitness and I’ve run a few half marathons, so I’m usually out running! I also really enjoy spending time with my family and we usually like to visit different restaurants, especially tapas restaurants, or visit gin bars and just enjoy time as a family.”
Our Nerang RSL and Memorial Club’s Sub Branch President, Mr. Stewart McGettigan, has been at the helm of Nerang RSL’s Sub Branch since 2015 and is a long-standing member of the Club since 2003. Stewart has played a momentous part in making the Sub Branch and the Nerang RSL the special place it is today and we’re proud to profile him in this month’s edition of The Stentorian.
Stewart’s outstanding commitment to running the Sub Branch and also his role as Pension and Compensation Advocate has seen him oversee several Anzac Day, Remembrance Day, Vietnam Veterans Day and other ceremonies while offering a strong network of support for veterans and their families.
He understands the importance of making support networks available to veterans and their families first hand as prior to his roles at the Nerang RSL Sub Branch, Stewart served for 29 years in the Royal Australian Air Force and was stationed in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and all across Australia. Able to connect and draw upon his own experiences, Stewart is also the Nerang RSL Sub Branch’s Wellbeing Advocate and trainer and mentor to the team.
He is a passionate supporter of the Nerang RSL and says the support from the Club has been instrumental in creating a dynamic Sub Branch.
“We wouldn’t exist without the tireless support from the club and the hard work they undertake every day,” he said.
“With the efforts of Andrew McInnes, Nerang RSL’s General Manager, and his talented team, the Club has gone from strength to strength in recent years and it’s no secret that it’s a top spot for the local community to enjoy.
“All the hard work the team puts in is directly responsible for keeping the Sub Branch going and ultimately allowing us to help more and more families in the veteran community.
“You couldn’t possibly meet a better group of staff who are always willing to have a conversation and help with anything you need.
“On Fridays, I get together with the boys and have a few beers, and it’s always a pleasure to take part in the warm and inviting social atmosphere at the Club.”
Stewart is looking forward to this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony, where he will be giving a special opening address, and says it will be a touching tribute to those who fought and lost their lives in honour of their country.
“It’s an incredibly important day in which we gather to pay our respects to fallen servicemen and servicewomen who helped shaped the country for what it is today,” he said.
“This historic day is significant to not only servicemen and veterans, but to all Australians who are lucky to call this wonderful country home.
“We hope to see a large turnout this year of the back of last year’s terrific event, and look forward to honoring our servicemen and servicewomen, past and present.”
Nerang RSL Remembrance Day ceremony takes place on November 11, commencing at 10:30am at the Club.
Elma Wilkinson has visited the Nerang RSL every Friday for a spin on the pokies and a spot of lunch for an impressive 26 years running and was honoured on Friday, October 18 at the club ahead of her 100th birthday at a special morning tea with her nearest and dearest.
Andrew McInnes, General Manager of Nerang RSL, says Elma is a much-loved member of the club.
“It’s long-time members like Elma that truly exemplify what it means to be part of an RSL,” he said.
“By taking an active role in her local community for close to three decades, it’s amazing to see the sheer amount of friends she has made and the connections forged with all the staff.
“She is very much adored by everyone and is truly part of the furniture.
“Elma has visited every single Friday for a total of 26 years running, and we couldn’t be more honoured to celebrate such a huge milestone in someone’s life.
“The morning tea was our way of saying a huge thank you to Elma, and we hope she has an amazing 100th birthday celebration with her friends and family.”
Born in Coraki, New South Wales on October 19, 1919, Elma moved to the Gold Coast with her husband Christopher in 1942, who sadly passed away six years ago.
The couple spent 71 years in marital bliss and after Christopher’s retirement bought a Volkswagen Kombi Van and spent time around Australia fossicking for gemstones.
Elma is the proud matriarch of a large and close-knit extended family, including her children Christine and Robert, seven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and two great, great-grandchildren.
Elma’s daughter Christine said the 100th birthday celebrations extended over two weeks, culminating at Evans Head for a 60-strong family gathering.
“We wanted to make this mum’s most special birthday yet,” she said.
“It was fantastic to see the Nerang RSL hold this wonderful event for mum and she is adored by several staff members and local visitors.”
Christine says Elma still spritely hops on board the Nerang RSL courtesy bus week after week, and is out and about every day on her own.
“She is an utter free spirit who is completely independent and doesn’t want to be cooped up at home,” she said.
“Everyone in the family jokes that if you want to see Elma, you better make an appointment – she’s never home!
“She knows everyone and is incredibly social for a woman of her age.”
We just had to share a couple of snaps from Elma’s Birthday Bash!