New Warwick RSL president John Skinner.
New Warwick RSL president John Skinner.

Skinner takes top sub-branch job

VIETNAM War veteran John Skinner was elected unopposed as president of the Warwick RSL Sub-branch on Saturday.

Mr Skinner - well known throughout the region for his association with rodeo on a national basis, the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society, where he is involved with the rodeo committee and is co-ordinator of the shearing competition, and for his rural journalism with the Warwick Daily News and Bush Telegraph - has been actively involved with the sub-branch committee since 2005.

In 1973 Mr Skinner served as a sub-branch secretary and has never waned in his concern for veterans of all wars but in particular, those from the Vietnam War who have been affected by toxic chemical poisoning and those who contracted cancer as a result of their war service.

"No longer are our World War II veterans in a position to help conduct the business of the sub-branch. They are all aged 90 or close to it. We have very few Korea or Malaya veterans and our Vietnam veterans are all aged over 60," Mr Skinner said.

"Personally, I was thrilled with the number of members who turned out to the AGM and with those who offered support in many different ways."

Others who continued in their roles with the sub-branch were Tom Bryant (deputy president), Gordon Nielson (secretary/treasurer), Michael Ford, John Greacen and Darcy Furness (management committee) and Michael Litchfield who re-joined the committee after a break of two years.

The new president said the first task of the committee was to take over the arranging of Anzac Day activities.

"Much of the organising has already been done by outgoing president Ann Moufarrege and the committee but we also work with the Warwick branch of VSASA to arrange visits to schools and nursing homes in the lead-up to Anzac Day," Mr Skinner said.

"We also have other Anzac Day activities, including a special service at Morgan Park for those attending the National Polocrosse Championships."

A special presentation was made at the AGM to Shirley Eastick who has been the honourary secretary of the Warwick sub-branch for the past 12 months.

Mrs Eastick came into the job with no knowledge whatsoever of the RSL and performed her duties above the highest expectations of someone in her position.

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