The HISTORY of the Mudgeeraba Robina RSL Sub-Branch, a number of ex serving military veterans decided that the area needed to resurrect the Mudgeeraba RSL Sub-branch after nearly 40 years so called a community meeting with the intention of starting it up. This meeting was held in the function room of the Wallaby Hotel at 10am Sunday September 18th, 1994.
At that meeting, overseen by State representative, Warren Hind, Ken Flindell was elected President, Rick Wells – Secretary and Rob Franklin – Treasurer. The inaugural meeting took place on Sunday 23rd October again in the function room of the Wallaby Hotel where they were presented with their charter. Prior to this meeting a social get together was held to welcome all ex serving members of all services and allied forces.
A Remembrance Day dinner was held at the Tallai Golf Club on the 11th November 1994. State Vice – President, Ray DeVere MC attended with the sub-branch patron, Mr George O’Brien along with the Member for McPherson Mr John Bradford.
The first AGM was held on the 26th February 1995 to bring it in line with all the other sub-branches. All sitting office bearers were re-elected. One of the first community events attended by the sub-branch was the 1995 Mudgeeraba Show. This very well attended by members and became a much looked forward to event every year.
The Memorial Hall burnt down two days prior to Anzac Day in 1994 and with community help and very generous donations from local businesses was rebuilt to its former glory. This finally gave the sub-branch a home which became known as the “Dugout”. At this stage we only occupied the small room which houses the library and office today.
It was about this time that the sub-branch donated the sum of $25,000 to the Memorial Hall restoration fund. In 2007 owing to the growing numbers of members, it was decided to occupy the “Long Room” as well as the “Dugout”. With the aid of a grant from DVA the members undertook to do the renovation themselves. The dedication of this new facility was conducted by our honorary “sky pilot” Russ Harmon on the 9th March 2008. The final night in the “Dugout” was held late 2007.
During all this time the sub-branch continued to conduct the usual badge selling on Anzac and Remembrance weeks at both Mudgeeraba and Robina shopping centres. It had also taken on a mentoring role with 15 schools in our district donating bursaries at the end of each year. We also adopted the local Sea Cadet Unit at Robina State High and when that closed adopted 233 Sqn at St Michael’s.
The sub-branch undertook on behalf of the community to conduct an Anzac Day and Remembrance Day service at Elsie Laver Park. At the same time as the Hall burnt down, we lost our local Councillor, John Franklin. The community decided to Honour John with an annual award presented to a student from one of the local schools. This award was integrated with our Anzac Day sunset service. Our sunset service is unique on the Gold Coast and probably to Australia.
The building of our Memorial was undertaken by our Patron, Mr George O’Brien, who went about the local district obtaining donations. This project took a year to complete and services have been held there ever since. In 2014, it was passed that we upgrade the park with the assistance of the three tiers of Government to mark the centenary of WW1. The works were finished in 2019.
Many functions have been held by the sub-branch including the district Remembrance Day dinner for 10years. Xmas in July held at the Woodchoppers, mess dinners in the sub-branch rooms, car rally with the Lion’s Club, several Girl in a Million dinners and other fundraising functions and various other events. Up until 2015, the sub-branch annually attended the Mudgeeraba Show to recruit new members.
In 2008, the sub-branch backed a move for the instigation of a Day Club. This was opened on the 17th March 2008 under the guidance of DVA. This is still going today with the number of members peaking at 75. 45 – 50 is the usual number every second Tuesday. This club is for socially and geographically isolated seniors within the community. Members come from as far south as Tweed Heads and north to Pacific Pines. Another initiative of the Mudgeeraba sub-branch as it is still the only one on the coast.
Sadly, we have lost several members over the years. This is to be expected owing to the age of our members. It is hard to attract younger veterans, but this is not just in Mudgeeraba Robina’s case but throughout the RSL. In 2007 Robina Sub-branch had to fold owing to the lack of members. Mudgeeraba applied to State to amalgamate the two clubs and this then took place on the 5th June 2013.
Over the last twenty years the sub-branch has been recognised in a number of different areas. In 2002 RSL Queensland awarded a certificate of Achievement for the increase in membership by 70%. The Gold Coast District presented the Sapphire award for donations to the Care Parcel Program. This was followed by the RAAF flew a combat mission into Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the mission was dedicated to the members of the Mudgeeraba RSL Sub-branch by WOFF Rick Smith.
The Premier, Hon. Peter Beattie MP presented the sub-branch with a Queensland Day Award in 2006 for our outstanding contribution to the community. In 2004 the Kokoda Challenge was started and the sub-branch was allocated the first checkpoint for a lot of years. The sub-branch was nominated for great service in the Carers Queensland Awards in 2008.
These recognitions are only a small part of what the Sub-Branch has been involved in over the last 25years. We will be a large part of the community for a long time to come click here for more information on how to JOIN our Sub-Branch.
The photo below is a record of those who were at the first meeting of the Mudgeeraba RSL Sub-Branch, the history of the Mudgeeraba Robina RSL Sub-Branch is important to us.