ANZAC Day is fast approaching, and RSL groups are planning dawn services around the district.
However with waning numbers of members in Balaklava’s RSL club, and the prospect of the club closing, new resident and current defence force member working at Port Wakefield, Lucas Allegretto, decided to turn things around.
“As a serving defence force member, I didn’t think it was right for the sub-branch to close so contacted the Adelaide office to see what we needed to do to keep it open,” Lucas said.
“The rules have now changed, so instead of just being open to returned servicemen/women or their relatives, it’s open to anyone who has served, even short term or in national service, plus affiliate members who just have an interest in RSL.”
“We needed 20 people, so with the new rules, we now have 36 members and rising!”
Lucas is the president of the sub-branch, and has big plans for the club moving forward.
“We are going to hold two services on Anzac Day, with a military catafalque party supporting the dawn service,” Lucas said.
The dawn service at Balaklava will be at 6.30am in the Triangle with tea and coffee provided prior in the CWA room.
This will be followed by a traditional ‘Banjo’ breakfast of bacon and egg rolls provided via a donation to Legacy.
Lucas said there will then be a Service of Remembrance at the Soldier’s Memorial Hospital at 9.30am with those attending encouraged to lay flowers from their own gardens to honour those who can no longer attend.
“At 11am, we’ll move to the Terminus Hotel which will be kicking off with some live music, Two Up (a traditional army game), and Crown and Anchor (a navy game), and raffles,” Lucas said.
“We are also running an inaugural ANZAC cookie competition and the winner will be announced there,” he said.
“Stay on to enjoy lunch with RSL sub-branch members with children under 12 eating FREE!”
The RSL branch meets on Thursday nights usually mid-month, and has been holding meetings at various businesses around the town as it doesn’t have a clubroom at this stage.
If you’d like to join the Balaklava RSL sub-branch or would like more information about the group’s activities, please contact Lucas on 0433 799 950.