Presidents Annual Report 2021

Well another six months has past since the delayed 2020 AGM was held. Since then a number of things have been achieved along with a number of others that are yet to be completed.

Firstly, the car park and the line marking are now complete and fully functional. It certainly enhances the entire area and was well worth the temporary inconvenience.

Secondly, the verandah along with concreting is now complete. Quotes have been obtained for a metal fascia and roll down blinds to go behind the fascia. The plans have been submitted to the RSL and hopefully approved and sent to Council for final approval before the work goes ahead.

We are currently seeking quotes for gates to be attached to the Western and Eastern ends of the building. Mains gas was  was connected during the upgrade to the car park and is sited outside the kitchen. This will enable us to convert our BBQs and connect to mains gas. This can’t  happen until the gates have been approved and installed.

When the weather fines up the murals on the sheds and the building will be redone with paint that doesn’t fade as fast as the current one have.

Bob Ellis and I, along with other committee members  have represented the VVF at various functions, services and meetings over the past 6 months and continue to do so.

Camp Andrew Russell (CAR) at Alawoona continues to be improved by some willing helpers ably led by Bob Haslett. This bush retreat continues to be developed with ongoing works to improve the site. It is well worth a visit. We have received an offer from a group who recently visited the camp, to concrete the floor of the swag shed. We have accepted their kind offer and Bob Haslett is coordinating. There has been a marked increase in use of the camp over the last twelve months with approximately 50% of visitors being younger contemporary veterans.

On Anzac Day this year we had the clubrooms open from midday until 4pm. We had about forty people attend who enjoyed drinks and nibbles with fellow members. It turned out to be a very enjoyable afternoon, I hope this initiative continues and more members take the opportunity to join us.

The 53rd anniversary of the battle for Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral Memorial Service was a great day with our Patron, His Excellency the Governor in attendance along with many other dignitaries and students from Sacred Heart College. My thanks go to John Derbyshire who brought it all together. John has kindly agreed to do it all again next year. I know there were many favorable reports received about the day. My thanks to Phil Scroop and Chris Norman who assisted John with preparing the site.

Bob Ellis and I attended the AGM at the national office in Canberra in May and presented all states with a copy of our history book for their perusal and retention. Our state report was well received and comment from other members stated they were surprised at what we had been involved with and had achieved over the past couple of years.

I am appealing to all members attending to think seriously about the vacant position of Secretary. We have struggled over the past six months without one and are in desperate need of someone to put their hand up. Maybe you know someone who is not here today that would fit the bill. If anyone has any thoughts, please let bob Ellis or myself or indeed anyone on the committee know and we can explain what the position entails. It is not an onerous task.

I would like to thank all the outgoing committee members for their hard work and commitment to VVF and thank all those who are continuing. To  those soon to be elected I welcome you and trust you enjoy your term. It is imperative we have new faces and new ideas on the committee and I look forward to working with you all.

I close this report with  heartfelt than you to Bob Ellis whose knowledge, wisdom, resourcefulness and myriad of ideas along  with his cheerful disposition has been invaluable to me during my time as President. He has always been just a phone call away whenever I needed clarification or guidance as Faye will attest.

Mal Thiele – President

37 Members – 3 Guests – 40 Attending

Apologies – Gary Howell, Carmen Webster, Jon Oliver, Betty Haslett.

Guests – Marg Ryan, Kaye Ciracovitch, Raelene Hocking.