CENTURY OF SERVICE: Dina Stam, Sam Burke, Peter Gaffney and Len Wirth shared in Bell RSL sub-branch's centenary celebrations
CENTURY OF SERVICE: Dina Stam, Sam Burke, Peter Gaffney and Len Wirth shared in Bell RSL sub-branch's centenary celebrations Meg Gannon

A century of commitment to friends past and present

WHEN Bell RSL sub-branch president Helen Lambley looks over at the RSL building standing tall in the centre of town, an overwhelming sense of pride overcomes her as she reminisces on what it took to get the sub-branch to where it is today.

Bell RSL sub-branch members from all corners of the Western Downs came together today to celebrate the legacy left by former servicemen and women, and to mark 100 years of an institution loved by so many.

Bell RSL's centenary celebrations involved the unveiling of murals created by local artists Graeme and Wendy McCullough.

Former servicemen and women shared stories of their time in battle, and recognised the hard work of the team that grew the Bell RSL community.

Ruby Patterson, Sam Burke and Stan Kellett cut the cake.
Ruby Patterson, Sam Burke and Stan Kellett cut the cake. Meg Gannon

What makes the community within the Bell RSL so unique, according to Ms Lambley, is their commitment to each other, and their desire to never let the memories of their fallen friends be forgotten.

"It's great that the people of the community have continued to remember their lost and their fallen, and that's a great tribute,” she said.

"I think it's great that we as the members, who are all ex-service personnel, are all trying to get together and uphold one another, and encourage some others who may be wounded or have post-traumatic stress disorder.

"We're such a unique organisation that only we can understand what we've gone through. It's a privilege to see that we have achieved such a milestone.”

Youngest sub-branch member Sam Burke and oldest sub-branch member Stan Kellett.
Youngest sub-branch member Sam Burke and oldest sub-branch member Stan Kellett. Meg Gannon

It hasn't been an easy task to keep the sub-branch afloat. When a former president was killed, it was thought the sub-branch would fold, but Ms Lambley and the community worked hard to maintain the sub-branch, and are now relishing in their centenary celebrations.

Sharyn Garrett from AGL and returned serviceman Peter Gaffney cut the ribbon to unveil the RSL's newest piece of art.
Sharyn Garrett from AGL and returned serviceman Peter Gaffney cut the ribbon to unveil the RSL's newest piece of art. Meg Gannon

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