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        GOLD COAST:

Our Branch Secretary John KING is to be most heartily and sincerely congratulated on his superb initiative of approaching the Tweed Heads Police Commander and requesting that on the occasion of Retired Police Day would he be prepared to officially present to those Retired Police Members who were so desirous – their recently acquired National Police Service Medal. I am reliably informed that without equivocation. Superintendent Wayne STARLING immediately gave an undertaking that he would be most delighted to officiate. It was the view of Secretary King that a more formal presentation of these medals would be both deserving and more auspicious for the members concerned. Additionally, he hoped that as a result, far greater attendance on Retired Police Day might take place than that which has been experienced in recent years – how right he was.

The occasion was an outstanding success with more members taking advantage of the situation than could have ever been anticipated; so much so, that a further date is being set down later so that those who missed being presented with their medal on this occasion, can enjoy the formality of being presented with their medals by the Tweed Heads Commander as did their colleagues. Congratulations are extended to all those so honoured on this occasion with particular emphasis on the wonderful initiative of John King and the quite outstanding execution of the formalities undertaken so professionally and generously by Superintendent Wayne Starling. Brian Kellaher 

Our senior member Bryan KELAHER was recently admitted to John Flynn Hospital for the purpose of undergoing surgery for the removal of a pesky ‘melanoma’ from his leg. Following what has been described as a successful undertaking, Bryan was resting and recuperating in hospital when he became aware that his dear wife Edna – who was supposed to be at home – had suffered some chest pain with associated respiratory problems and, as a consequence, had been admitted to the John Flynn Hospital as a patient. Bryan wasn’t alone after all – whilst he was on the 2nd floor, Edna was upstairs on the 6th floor. Like all good stories this one had a happy outcome with Bryan and Edna both now back home and well on the road to recovery.

Member John SYMONS – who suffers severe sight impairment – and his dear wife Ruth recently celebrated their 60th – yes, sixtieth – Wedding Anniversary which took place on the 1st December last whilst John was in hospital undergoing major heart surgery and, for a time, it was touch and go, as John battled very serious and life threatening complications following his operation.

After 18 days in hospital John’s unique courage and overwhelming ‘will’ to win prevailed, and he is now back home and recouperating. Congratulations John and Ruth – both on the winning of the battle together – and in achieving and celebrating your 60 years of marriage. God Bless you both.

At our recent Christmas Luncheon, Wendy COOLEY – the Secretary/ Organiser of the ‘Ladies Santa Club’ – indicated to those so gathered, that due to other pressing personal considerations, she was no longer able to continue in that position and she therefore formally tendered her resignation. I am able to unequivocally indicate that throughout many years Wendy, like those ladies who preceded her, undertook her duties in a most conscientious, thorough and professional manner. Wendy on behalf of all Branch members, permit me to extend to you our sincere and heartfelt thanks – you leave your position, safe in the knowledge that you have contributed unstintingly to the wonderful humanitarian success of those who seek to help others in their time of great need. Thank you!

During the course of her address Wendy indicated that it was her great hope that the ‘Ladies Santa Club’ would continue its great work and that a new Secretary/Organiser might shortly be found so that the wonderful work of helping others may be perpetual.

As these words resonated amongst those present a voice in room was head to say words to the effect, “I would be proud to take the position on!” That voice belonged to Noreen McMURRAY the wife of our Vice Chairman Peter and a lady who has some experience in matters pertaining to the raising of funds to help those in need.

Noreen received a round of applause and was invited to the podium. She immediately impressed with her knowledge of such matters and of her clear and unequivocal desire to help those in need. She was immediately elected to the position by way of raucous acclamation.

Some many years ago, the ladies commenced their little group downstairs at the Club when they decided that each month, whenever they were in attendance, they would made a small financial donation for the sole purpose of assisting local people in dire need at Christmas. Every year since, the ladies have been responsible for  a myriad of helpful gestures to those families known to be in genuine and desperate need. Truly, a most remarkable selfless, humanitarian gesture, initiated by the ladies – on and of their own volition – purely in an effort to help people less fortunate than themselves, at a time of the year when it really counts.

Some twelve or so months ago Wendy effected a name change and the new title became the ‘Ladies Santa Club’. Their aims and objectives remain unchanged, as does their remarkable philanthropic ethic. Just ask our ladies about the absolute joy of ‘giving’ to people in great need at Christmas – could you not see your way clear to get involved…. in this glorious quest?

New ladies are needed and are oh, so very welcome – come and enjoy friendly female interaction, meet new friends and welcome Noreen McMurray, your newly designated Secretary/Organiser.

On behalf of all Board Members and your wonderful Welfare Support Team, may I extend to each and every member and their respective families, our most sincere hope and heartfelt wish for a truly wonderful New Year and one in which many of your hopes and dreams might become realities – but most significantly, we trust that you and yours enjoy good health, regularly attended by much happiness throughout 2017.

John King


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