RSL club has 10,000 reasons to celebrate
THE Kingaroy RSL has celebrated reaching the 10,000-member mark.
The club held a morning tea event to celebrate the milestone today with members of the RSL executive board and the lucky number 10,000 himself.
Michael Holden has just moved back to Kingaroy after being away for eight years.
"I'm born and bred here,” Mr Holden said.
"I went to high school at Kingaroy State High.
"I've just been away in Mount Isa driving trains.”
More than 10 years ago Mr Holden owned and ran the fruit market in Kingaroy, which used to be where Cafe Utopia now is.
He was also responsible for first opening the Optus store in the Kingaroy Shoppingworld.
Mr Holden is now on long-service leave and said when that ran out he would retire.
"I thought, 'what better place to retire than Kingaroy',” he said.
The Kingaroy RSL secretary and manager Maxine Tessmann said having 10,000 members meant a lot to the team.
"Times are a bit tough at the moment with the drought and everything,” she said.
"But we're hanging in there and are doing alright.
"We're still pretty packed most Friday and Saturday nights.”
Mrs Tessmann said she had been involved with the Kingaroy RSL for more than a decade.
"I think it's a really important part of the community,” she said.
"It's essentially the hub of the town.
"We have so many regulars who rely on the RSL as their weekly outing.
"I think it's also really important to the veterans in the area to have a local RSL.”
Mrs Tessmann said the sub-branch started back in 1919 in Kingaroy, when it was a social organisation after the war.
In 1964 it became recognised as an official RSL club.
Mrs Tessmann said she hoped the RSL would continue to provide Kingaroy residents with a place to catch up at over a drink and meal for years to come.