19 Dec Meet Your Board – Peter St. John
How long have you been a member of Dee Why RSL for?
I first joined as a member in ’84. I used to work across the road and one of my mates from here talked me into becoming a member – I would get a ‘hamburger’ for lunch which was two schooners.
How long have you been a Director of Dee Why RSL for?
19 years. I became a director in 2000.
How have you seen the RSL change over your time as a Director?
I’ve seen many changes, however the biggest developments I’ve seen as a Director would have to be the diversification of the RSL. It’s been an incredible journey watching the RSL evolve from a small building with single-car-only carwash, to encompass a kindergarten, seniors living village, ZONE bowling and laser facility and a carwash equipped with manual and auto bays. It’s been a wonderful journey.
I have seen the RSL start from small, humble foundations with roughly 8,000 members to what is now; a community with over 54,000 members.
What is your fondest memory as a Director?
As a director, I have two stand out memories, the first of which would have to be the turning of the soil to make room for the Seniors Living Village.
The second would have to be introducing the Veterans Centre to the Northern Beaches. This is a project I am so proud to have been a part of.
What makes Dee Why RSL different to other RSLs in the area?
Our staff here are spot on. From the moment you first walk through the door you are greeted with a “welcome aboard” which continues all the way through the RSL.
It goes without question that the staff here are spot on and have been for years. They form part of the backbone of the RSL.
If you had to describe yourself in four words, what would they be?
Hard-working for our members.
In your opinion, what has the impact of the Veterans Centre had on the community?
There is no doubt the Veterans Centre has had a massive impact on the community.
To save a young veteran from self-harm, or even any one life for that matter, is a success.
The Veterans Centre stands tall in a niche market. Prior to this, there was little support available for returned servicemen. I know this from my personal experience returning from Vietnam and what it was like settling back into civilian lifestyle.
What is your favourite thing to eat and which outlet is it from?
Every time I come here and dine in Flame Lounge and Dining, I eat the Crumbed Lambs Brains. I love them; I reckon they’re great!
What is something that we wouldn’t know about you?
I was very heavily involved in row boats and sporting activities at surf clubs. I have lived my life by the beach, and am a life member of a couple of surf clubs. I rowed surf boats for the Steyne for years. Once I stopped rowing, I started driving the IRB boats.
Once it was clear you couldn’t drink and drive (a boat), that’s when I threw in the towel.
What excites you most about the future of the RSL?
When the redevelopment is complete the whole RSL is going to be that much bigger and that much more exciting. It’s hard to think what wouldn’t be exciting about the future of our RSL.
Having the ability to sit in the Bistro and watch the whole transformation has been amazing.