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News from Mackay

16 May, 2023
L t R Peter Zahra, Kevin Casey, Guest Speaker John Edwards, Councillor Laurence Bonaventura and John Murphy.

The Catholic Men’s dinner was held on Monday 24th April. Chairman Kevin welcomed a good number of members, also the Guest Speaker John Edwards from the RSL. The guest speaker was due to be up early the next morning to organize a 4 am Anzac dawn service at Marian so dinner was then served.

It was an honour to introduce John especially because the next day was Anzac Day, a busy day for John who is President of the Marian Sub Branch and District Deputy President. His busy day beside Marian included a trip to Nebo to represent the RSL. John recently was awarded the RSL Australia Meritorious Service Medal. This medal is the highest award that can be made to an RSL member over and above Life Membership.

John spoke about the history of the RSL which is the oldest and most respected national organisation. It was formed in 1916. At this time there was a lack of repatriation facilities and medical services after world war 1. John also spoke about the various wars since the Great War.

A friend asked John to join the RSL in 1996. He thought he would help out for a short period, instead, he has been in the RSL for 27 years. He enjoys visiting veterans, assisting them with various services, eg. Social Services and generally giving support to many throughout the district. Most Australian communities have an RSL branch and assist in many ways.

Many questions were posed to John who showed much knowledge of the RSL and what Anzac Day is all about. For someone who needed to leave early for an early start the next day John was generous with his time. Many of our members knew John and mentioned his care and concern not only for RSL but for others in the communities of the Pioneer Valley.

Once again another enjoyable night. The next dinner will be on Monday 29th May at the Boomerang Hotel Nebo Rd 6.30 pm for 7 pm start. Male parishioners in the district come to our dinner and check it out. You may enjoy the night, Visitors are always welcome.