RSL sub-branch to mark milestone

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
Mt Barker RSL Sub Branch past president Michael Bartlett and president Maurie Draper.
Camera IconMt Barker RSL Sub Branch past president Michael Bartlett and president Maurie Draper. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Only three weeks into the job, the new president of Mt Barker RSL sub-branch is steering the ship towards perhaps its biggest occasion yet — its centenary.

The Mt Barker Golf Club will play host to the sub-branch’s 100th anniversary this Saturday night.

Newly appointed president Maurice Draper, a submariner who spent 28 years in the Royal Australian Navy, said the Mt Barker branch had life in it yet.

“I’m only a new bloke to the area, but it’s been going continuously for 100 years, which is a bit of rare thing in the State,” he said.

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“There’s not that many around that have gone 100 years continuous.

“There hasn’t been a dawn service here for quite a number of years. To mark our centenary we held a dawn service for the first time in nearly four decades.

“We were expecting about 50-odd people and we had nearly 200 turn up at the dawn service.

“That could very well be something that will continue into the future.”

The Mt Barker community has rallied around this Saturday’s proceedings, with businesses donating and the Shire of Plantagenet providing a grant to help commemorate the milestone.

“The whole idea of the RSL is to give retired service personnel the chance to talk to like-minded people who have served,” Mr Draper said.

“We can check on their welfare too and see that they’re OK, in accordance with what we would have done when we were brothers in arms.”

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