A GALA members’ night was held at the RSL rooms last Friday evening to acknowledge and celebrate the Foster RSL Sub-Branch’s centenary. Seventy members and guests filled the recently enlarged and renovated premises and enjoyed an evening of fun, music and food to commemorate this special occasion.
The club president, Bruce Lester opened proceedings with the beautiful words of The Ode of Remembrance, which remembers the fallen in all wars: “They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old, age shall not weary them nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. Lest We Forget.”
Bruce welcomed everyone present to the evening, and thanked them for coming, also acknowledging musician and singer Geoff Sparkes. Geoff provided a special aspect of the evening with songs and music relevant to the occasion.
And being the celebration of an historic happening 100 years ago, it was only fitting to have a presentation of the club’s history as well.
This was aptly presented by the club historian, Mike Heal. Mike has spent a great deal of time and effort researching the club’s beginnings from the scant records available, due to a fire at the RSL rooms years ago.
Despite this lack of information, Mike’s extensive research enabled him to come up with the names of the original members and office bearers and some excellent detail of the establishment of the Foster RSL.
Originally known as the Foster Sub-Branch of the RSSAILA ( Returned Sailors’, Soldiers’, Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia), its first president was Roy Patterson, a returned soldier from WW1, who had served with recognised distinction in the Eighth Lighthorse. Mr Patterson had lived at Fish Creek, Foster and at Yanakie and was well known and respected. He went on to become a capable and trusted figure at the helm of the Foster RSL and later enlisted and fought in WW11. He survived that war as well, but was tragically killed in a car accident some years later.
An overhead photographic display added to the effect, and acknowledgement must go to the Foster Historical Society for their assistance in sourcing photographic material.
The evening continued with delicious finger food, drinks from the bar and lively conversation.
The 100 club draw was won by Brian Mellor, while raffle winners Karen Rathjen, Heather Curtis, David Pye, Amanda Afflito and Bernie Morgan got to take home meat trays or other goodies.
The club’s formal celebration to mark its centenary year will be a dinner, with entertainment by the Pacific Belles singers, to be held at the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre on Saturday, November 16. Members of the community are welcome to attend this event at a cost of $50 per ticket, payable prior to the event. No BYO as a bar will be operating on the night. Bookings at the RSL or by phoning 5682 1489; Janne on 0468 376 961 or Rick 0407 717 100.
Publicity Officer, Foster RSL Sub-Branch Inc.