In order to raise money for the welfare of men who had served in the Australian Imperial Forces during World War One a group of their widows, wives, mothers, daughter and aunts got together in Sydney to form the Australian Imperial Service of Women’s Auxiliary.
Following World War Two this group was taken under the auspice of the Returned and Services League (RSL) and became the RSL NSW Womens Auxiliary.
In 2018, inexplicably the organisation underwent a name change to become the RSL Auxiliary.
Name change or not, the RSL Auxiliary are the unsung heroes of current and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Since those humble beginnings in the early 1900s they have been the fund raising engine room of the RSL across the country and continue to raise funds for the well being and welfare of current and ex-serving members of the ADF and their families. The RSL Auxiliary is a dedicated group of like-minded volunteers who enjoy fellowship while helping their communities.
Unfortunately some RSL Auxiliaries across the state have closed due to their ageing membership while some Auxiliaries feel that their future is uncertain due to the current constitutional turmoil engulfing RSL NSW. A suspension of fund raising last year has left many RSL Auxiliary members feeling that they are in limbo and not able to carry out their core business.
While it is likely that fundraising will recommence mid 2019 the uncertainty has effected Auxiliary membership and their morale.
The Nambucca Heads RSL Auxiliary began in July 1946 with some of the founders coming from the Nambucca District Auxiliary that operated from Macksville since the mid 1920s. Throughout their history the Nambucca RSL Auxiliary has far exceeded the initial intent of raising funds for the welfare of current and ex-serving members of the ADF.
Over the years the Nambucca RSL Auxiliary have raised many, many thousands of dollars within the community that has benefited the establishment of Autumn Lodge, assisted in funding Ex-Service aged care facilities, supported the former Riverside Gardens Hostel and provided funding to the former Nambucca Valley Care Kitchen just to name a few.
The Nambucca RSL Auxiliary also has a reputation for being ‘first off the mark’ when it came to supporting the Salvation Army at Christmas time with gifts for needy children. All of this while still raising funds that has enabled the Nambucca RSL Sub-Branch to provide welfare support to the local veterans community.
Although still operating, the Nambucca RSL Auxiliary has felt the impact of the uncertainty within RSL NSW and is looking for new members to continue their important work into the future.
Membership is open to anyone who has a desire to help the community while enjoying some fellowship and a bit of fun along the way.
The Nambucca RSL Auxiliary meets at 1:30pm on the second Monday of each month at the Nambucca Heads RSL Club and you would be welcome to come along and say hi. You can also lend your support to these ‘unsung heroes’ and the important work they do by attending bingo, coordinated by the Nambucca RSL Auxiliary, at the Nambucca Heads RSL Club each Monday from 10:30am.
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