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End of an era at Gresford

Treasurer of 18 years Gladys Wood, president of 32 years Margot Capp, Verna Wells, Rita Chick (25 years secretary until 2007), Secretary Denise Carlson, Georgina Richardson and Val Webeck.After 46 years of balls, street stalls and Anzac Day lunches the Gresford RSL Women’s Auxiliary are calling it a day with their final meeting held on February 16.
Nanjing Night Net

With many of their members over 90 years old, the group was no longer able to raise money – a requirement of the state’s head office for its continuation.

Secretary Denise Carlson said it was sad to see the group come to an end after such a long history in the community.

“It came after a change in management in Sydney,” she said.

“Their need for us to make money and not exist as a friendship group is very sad.

“The money was to go out of our district and I can’t ask the 90 year olds in the group to go out fundraising.”

The ladies will continue to volunteer on ANZAC day to make lunch for the community – a tradition that started in 1953.

President Margot Capp said that year the group made sandwiches and served beer after ANZAC Day services.

“They were all so impressed that we continued to do it,” she said.

“A couple of years later we did a suckling pig, but that was too much trouble, so we went on to turkeys and chicken.”

In the heyday of the Gresford RSL Women’s Auxiliary, which started on February 21, 1946, they hosted an annual winter ball – one of many held in the town at the time.

Up to 200 people would attend, with supper served in three sittings to accommodate all the revelers.

“The ball was held in the School of Arts and the RSL room was where we put supper on,” Mrs Capp said.

“It was the music that killed it in the end.

“We used to have a band with two to three instruments, but it just got too expensive.”

From there they started to raise money with card nights and then street stalls selling mostly cakes and vegetables.

These eventually fell by the wayside because of tightening work health and safety rules.

All the record books from the Gresford RSL Women’s Auxiliary are still intact and provide a history of a group that was very much a central part of life in the town.

The books will be stored at the RSL rooms.

“It really was a labour of love,” Mrs Capp said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.