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.
The health and safety of our members, their guests, visitors and staff members is our top priority.
The Australian Government’s ban that ‘non-essential’ gatherings of more than 500 people, DOES NOT include the normal trading/operating practices of the hospitality sector, so it’s business as usual for the Nerang RSL & Memorial Club Inc. and we continue to monitor and assess new developments pertaining to COVID-19.
We request that all members, their guests and visitors evaluate their own health and that of people they are in close contact with.
We ask that all members, their guests and visitors stay at home if they begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose.
You must not and are not permitted to attend the club if any of the following apply:
3. You have travelled to another area and are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Please note that our staff has also been requested not to attend work if any of the above apply.
We encourage all members, their guests and visitors to adhere to the following important safety measures that the World Health Organisation has recommended to limit the spread of COVID-19. Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Maintain at least 1-meter distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Avoid physical contact when greeting. Safe greetings include a wave, a nod or a bow. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Immediately dispose of the used tissue.
In addition to the above, we are also putting in place the following important safety measures at our club. Disinfecting registration counters and floors continuously throughout operating hours. Thoroughly disinfecting all chairs, tables, linen and utensils before and after use. Offering hand sanitiser at all check-in counters, on each outlet table and in the bathrooms.
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.