THE Torres Strait has taken its ﬁrst steps in establishing a Returned Services League (RSL) in the region after a meeting with the Far Northern District last month.
Peter Sterling, Far Northern District President, Vice-President James Carrol, District Treasurer Peter Hayton and Norma Short, District Secretary, sat with Kevin Savage, Patrick Mills and Marsat Ketchell to discuss the process required to establish an RSL chapter on Thursday Island which will be open for members right across the Torres Strait Island communities.
Mr Sterling said: "The ﬁrst stage is to become a sub-branch which requires a minimum of 10 members, but it's better to have more in case someone moves away or passes away.
"After we have kept an eagle eye on them, then they can become a chapter of the Far Northern District." However, a sub-branch is a long way from the region having its own RSL club, and the ﬁrst step is to become the 21 chapter of the Far Northern District.
"It is up to them how often they meet, but it must be at least ﬁve times a year and they have to maintain at least 10 members," Mr Sterling said.
RSL Queensland helps its members in several diﬀerent ways including: Mental health support;
Emergency financial assistance;
Bereavement assistance for Defence families who have lost loved ones;
Help with compensation claims through the Department of Veterans' Aﬀairs; Referrals to peer support groups and other specialist services;
Visiting the sick, injured and lonely in hospital and/or at their homes;
Short term crisis accommodation;
Subsidised longer term housing solutions.
A week after the meeting with prospective members of the newly formed Torres Strait Sub Branch held an election, the outcome of which was:
President, Kevin Savage;
Secretary/Treasurer, Michael Pemberton;
Director, Patrick Mills.
Any servicemen or women in the region wishing to become a member of the Torres Strait Sub Branch RSL can contact Kevin Savage on: firstname.lastname@example.org