The Merimbula RSL Club has taken out the Health and Wellbeing category of the ClubsNSW Clubs & Community Awards at Sydney on Sunday, October 15.
The awards recognise the outstanding social contributions made by clubs in their local communities.
The award was given for the help given to Pearls Place by the use of the RSL Club’s courtesy bus on Wednesdays when the social cafe opens at Pambula.
The award is particularly poignant as it was the RSL Club’s late board member Alan Johnson who suggested the bus be used. Mr Johnson passed away on September 26.
Mr Johnson heard of the problems that people were having in getting to Pearls Place after it had to move to Pambula and for more than 12 months the club has made its courtesy bus available to Pearls every Wednesday to collect and drop off people from Tura Beach, Merimbula and Pambula.
On Sunday night board members and staff attended the award ceremony and were thrilled to receive the Health & Wellbeing award for which the club had been nominated as a finalist.
Assistant secretary manager Emma Irvin said it was a very exciting event.
“We were very surprised because the competition was strong with a lot of good entries from other clubs.
“It was a really good experience and it was really good to be recognised. It shows how much clubs do for their local communities and it really opens your eyes,” she said.
Ms Irvin, club president Graeme Williams and board members Allan Browning and Phil Cheek attended the event with Mr Williams accepting the award on behalf of the club.
Ms Irvin was also a finalist in the Youth Leadership category.
“Although she didn’t win the award, the RSL board and management are extremely proud that she reached the finals in a really strong field of entrants,” secretary manager Michael Mutsch said afterwards.
The club said that the arrangement with Pearls Place for the use of the bus “will continue for the long-term future”.
The 2017 Clubs & Community Awards were held at the new International Convention Centre (ICC) at Darling Harbour, Sydney, with over 1300 people in attendance.
The Health & Wellbeing Category was jointly won by Merimbula RSL Club and Revesby Workers' Club.