RSL: Lest we forget.
RSL: Lest we forget.

Opinion: The need for a Returned League

IF NOBODY had previously apprised me of Noel Mallyon’s contribution and dedication to this town, our conversation this week would have sufficed.

Over perhaps more superficially monumental ventures, Noel was especially proud to preserve tradition, lobbying, for instance, for Emerald’s cenotaph to be moved to accommodate Anzac Day processions and ceremonies.

But Noel’s commitment to the RSL suggests a humanitarian aim.

Most servicemen and servicewomen pay for their defence membership with later problems related to employment, health, finances or relationships.

Those with PTSD, besides the psychological trauma, are more likely to have heart attacks, sleep apnoea, stomach ulcers — the list goes on.

Nowadays, RSL membership seems not to be in vogue with the young.

Noel hoped that more people would join up, for their own welfare and for continued commemoration.

What a shame it would be to diminish a living chain of experience, which has lengthened over a century to acknowledge and record Australia’s conflicts, think what you may about some of them.

We no longer have veterans of World War I; there are few from World War II.

History should never gather dust. There is a lot to learn.