27 Feb Meet Your President – Graeme Liddell
How long have you been a member of Dee Why RSL for?
I first joined in 1967; back in those days you had to be 21 to join. Shortly after joining I was sent to the country to teach which saw a lapse in my membership.
I rejoined as a member upon returning from the country and have been a member since.
How long have you been a Director of Dee Why RSL for?
Ten years in total; six of these I have had the privilege of being President of the Board.
How have you seen the RSL change over your time as a Director?
The RSL has changed both physically and socially over my time as a Director and President.
The past developments have seen striking changes to Match, Flame, Level 3 and Aqua.
In terms of membership, I have seen a much younger demographic become more engaged with Dee Why RSL, who see us as a venue of choice for food, fun, and entertainment.
What is your fondest memory as a Director?
I have several fond memories, it’s hard to select just one.
The opening of the Kindergarten and Oceangrove were pretty special and are to this day, a reflection of the Board and Executive Management’s vision. Funnily enough, when Oceangrove was still yet-to-exist I was selected to shovel the first soil from the mound, thus beginning the development.
The Board and Management’s decision to move the ANZAC Day Dawn Service from the Peace Garden to Dee Why Beach is also a pretty special memory. This decision has made our Dawn Service the biggest service on the peninsula.
The expansion of our Community Support Program to include the Veterans Centre is by far one of the greatest achievements of the Board and the Club.
What makes Dee Why RSL different to other RSLs in the area?
It goes without saying, the visionary management and magnificent staff – floor staff and behind the scenes staff.
Added to this is our location as the hub of the Northern Beaches, together with our ancillary businesses that support the local area, our Community Support Program and the appointment of a Salvation Army Chaplain collectively make Dee Why RSL different.
If you had to describe yourself in four words, what would they be?
Self-effacing, Positive, Conscientious, Loyal.
In your opinion, what has the impact of the Veterans Centre had on the community?
The Veterans Centre is the jewel in our Crown.
Centre Manager Ben Webb has built a professional team to assist veterans and their families with ongoing welfare and rehabilitation. Providing critical ongoing support, The Veterans Centre helps to navigate and negotiate the red tape and obstacles that are inherent in political bureaucracies. Without organisations such as the Veterans Centre, veterans would be falling through the cracks.
What is your favourite thing to eat and which outlet is it from?
To avoid upsetting our wonderful chefs, I’m listing my favourite dish from each of our food outlets, Lamb Cutlets from The Bistro, Curried Prawns from The Asian, Lambs Brains from Flame Dining, and the Prawn Crepe from Aqua are all my favourite dishes.
What is something that we wouldn’t know about you?
I have been married to Diane for 49 years now-Diane is a very understanding woman! Together, we have 46 year old twin daughters whom have given us six grand-children, aged 12 – 21 years old. I also have a beautiful great grand-daughter Sophie May, who is now a one year old.
What excites you most about the future of the RSL?
How can one not be excited about being part of a team overseeing the biggest redevelopment in the RLS’s history? The futuristic facilities and spaces will make Dee Why RSL a venue that our members deserve.