- Deception Bay RSL Sub Branch Inc.
63 Grosvenor Terrace
Deception Bay, QLD 4508
- Directions here
The RSL Deception Bay Sub Branch is part of the Brisbane North District of RSL Queensland welcomes all Veterans no matter where you come from or what service you have provide to the country or any other country.
Information for Members
11 Feb 2023 9:00am in the Hall
Monthly on the 2nd Wednesday evening at 5:30pm in the Hall.
Bi-monthly every 2nd Saturday (Mar – Sep)
November will be the 3rd Saturday due to Remembrance Day falling on the 2nd Saturday.
Every Friday starting at approximately 08:30 with Heads down at 10:00
Last Friday of the month at 4:00 – 6:00pm in the Hall
Coffee Catch Up:
First Thursday of the month at 10:00 at the Veteran owned Zesty Lemon Café
Bi-monthly every 3nd Saturday ( Feb – Oct)
- Legal Advice
- A friendly safe environment
- Emergency financial assistance
- General welfare support
- Social Connection
- Taxi service for medical appointments
Sub Branch History
1976 – a group of ex-service men started to gather each ANZAC Day for a Dawn Service in the front garden outside the local Bowls Club. The Sub Branch Memorial was then located inside the Bowls Club grounds. An oily rag used to be lit for the flame and invariably used to go out before the service was over. The group of Veterans gradually built up in size and the gatherings increased to fill the garden and then out on to the footpath and then on to the roadway.
From this group can the decision to establish a Sub-Branch in the Deception Bay area. The inaugural meeting was held in the current facility however at the time it was the CWA Hall and was conducted on the 6th June 1983. This meeting was chaired by a Mr F.G. Ferguson and the attendance book was signed by 38 participants including the then SED President and Secretary.
Some of the names were well-known identities around the Bay- Eric Michels, Albert Basnett, Cec Walters, Bill Perren, Eric Foster, to name just a few (All now deceased). Eric Foster was one of the first TRUSTEES. Eric Michels was the first President of the sub-branch. The sub-branch moved to the Community Hall Supper Room for meetings from the October 1983 meeting, and it was this time that the Women’s Auxiliary formed. The sub-branch continued to meet then on a Thursday night, and the attendances averaged about 15.
July 1986 saw Stephen Boucher sign on for the first time and he was duly elected as Secretary. Stephen is still a current active member of the Sub-Branch at the age of 96. Stewart Millikin was President for a number of years and was eventually awarded Life Membership of the League and the first for the sub-branch.
November 1988 saw the meetings move to the Bowls Club and over several years the Sub-Branch raised funds for the relocation of the War Memorial to its present site on the corner of Ewart St and Bayview Terrace Deception Bay. RSL Deception Bay Sub-Branch War Memorial
The annual Dawn Service for ANZAC Day has continued and now attracts a crowd of approximately 3000 locals and involves all the local schools in the area. Other organisations that attend are our sponsored Army Cadet unit 103 ACU and a small contingency from the TS Moreton Bay Naval Cadets. Over the years we have conducted Peace keeper services and Indigenous Veterans services. However the later have only drawn a very small crowd so they do not occur anymore. The sub-branch submitted plans to commence building a memorial to commemorate the centenary of Anzac in 2015. A commemorative memorial was erected on the Deception Bay foreshore with funds from the Federal government’s Petrie electoral centenary of Anzac grants scheme and assistance from the Moreton Bay Regional Council. We had also aim to commence a memorial walk similar to that on the headland at Caloundra as part of this project.
The AGM in 1994 saw Brett Ingram elected President; Peter Jones elected Secretary, and Stephen Boucher, Treasurer. Sub-branch membership at that time was 19. The following year it was decided to try Saturday afternoon meetings in an attempt to increase participation. This brought about our return to the CWA hall where the Sub-Branch continues to meet to this day.
Membership has continued a steady climb since to a maximum of 104 and with our current membership standing at 94 with members located in Perth, Tasmania, New Zealand and until recently the USA. Stephen Boucher and Peter Jones were awarded Life Membership of the League in 2005 and our immediate past President John Whipp AM CSM was awarded Life Membership in 2009. At the Life Members Luncheon conducted by the Brisbane North District on the 19th of September this year, Bill Clayton was awarded Life Membership of the League.
Our finances have steadily improved over the years through the hard work of Stephen Boucher, Bill Clayton, Clive Cass, and their small band of helpers who during the early stages conducted a fundraising stall in the local shopping centres and a small weekly BINGO session. This stall had virtually become a fortnightly occurrence and has been responsible for the bulk of our increase in membership. The Bingo still operates to this day with the regular attendance of around a dozen ladies making the effort.
We often hear the statement “WE DIDN’T KNOW THERE WAS AN RSL IN THE BAY”. This has been our biggest obstacle over the years. The general public and even the ex-service and veteran community believe that the RSL is the Club down the road. They are not aware of the work the sub-branch does for its members and is the real heart of the RSL.
In 1991 the sub-branch was granted a lease on a block of ground. Several attempts had been made to establish a much-needed PHYSICAL PRESENCE in the BAY over the years, and these had all failed for one reason or another. There was also pressure being applied to possibly take back the land as we had not done anything with it. In 2004 we were given 4 years to do something, or the lease would be revoked.
In June 2005 the sub-branch prepared an application for Community Retirement Home funding through RSL Queensland Branch. This was done after the encouragement of the previous District President and State Vice President Ron Glew, who sadly is no longer with us to see the end result of having passed away in 2009. This application was held up for one reason or another and was eventually misplaced. The application was updated and resubmitted in June 2007.
In October 2007, RSL Qld. Branch State Council meeting approved our application to fund the building of 4 Community Retirement Units on the land, and we gratefully acknowledge and appreciate this funding. It took all of 2008 to get our development application through the local Council, and the building of these units commenced in January 2009.
The units were completed in August 2009, and our first tenant moved in towards the end of August. The RSL badge was attached in September. The complex was officially opened by the then State Deputy President Terry Meehan on the 21st November 2009.
Council approval of stage 2 of this project allowed us to build a storage/office facility on site. The slab for this was poured during the construction of the units. Our application for some funding through Jupiter’s Casino Community Fund to complete it was unsuccessful and we were then successful with an application for some funding through the District by way of a grant and a loan on the 5th November 2009.
The ability to have some office space was most welcome, and the sub-branch was finally able to be listed in the telephone directory, and have that “PRESENCE” in THE BAY even though we had been there for 30 years. Peter Jones was elected as the Secretary of the Sub-Branch in 1994 and held that position until he was forced out in 2023 because of constitutional rules. Peter was heavily involved with all the efforts to have that PRESENCE in the Bay we desperately sought and it gave a great deal of satisfaction the day the RSL badge was attached to the brickwork of the letterboxes in front of our new units. We would like to again acknowledge the efforts of the then District President Vic Reading in getting the funding approved by the State Council and RSL Qld.
Although we now have that physical presence in the Bay, any change to the statement” We didn’t know there was an RSL in the Bay” has not really materialised. The public perception of the RSL being the Club down the road is still alive and well. We are currently in the process of establishing our website so that we can have a virtual presence as well. Hopefully, this will attract the younger veterans in our community to enquire as to the benefits of joining our smaller sub-branch.
Over the years the Sub-Branch used to provide services for our members – as we had qualified Pension and Welfare Officers, and they assist when needed. But as these member either passed or moved on so did the services. That being said these services are still available however they are no indirectly available from larger Sub-Branches. To this day we visit ill members in the hospital and at home. We keep the members informed of vital information through a monthly newsletter. Our membership is increasing in age, and with that comes the inevitable slowdown in lifestyle. However the Sub-Branch has seen some younger Veterans come on board and fill vital positions within the leadership team.
Over the years the DBay Sub-Branch has had a few members reach the ripe old age of 100 +. This never stopped them from attending social activities conduct through-out the years. It was always a please to see them show up and spin a yarn or two.
As you have heard, the sub-branch is alive and well. The unit rental arrangement with State Branch gives the sub-branch a boost in its financial status, but we still rely on our fundraising efforts of badge and merchandise sales. We are even venturing into the sausage sizzle game at Bunning’s at their new store at North Lakes on the Saturday before remembrance day and with also the possibility of badge and merchandise sales there as well.
The sub-branch submitted plans to commence building a memorial to commemorate the centenary of Anzac in 2015. A commemorative memorial was erected on the Deception Bay foreshore with funds from the Federal government’s Petrie electoral centenary of Anzac grants scheme and assistance from the Moreton Bay Regional Council. We had also aim to commence a memorial walk similar to that on the headland at Caloundra as part of this project.
In 2022 steps were taken to take over the ownership of the hall from RSL Qld. The outcome is still pending as they decide as to whether they refurbish the hall to a suitable standard before handing it over or just hand it over as is. Either way it will finally be OUR home and will be OUR home for many years to come.