'Distressing' decision to stop Remembrance Day fundraising
FREE poppies will be handed out by members of the City of Lismore RSL Sub-branch and Women's Auxiliary this Remembrance Day.
According to the Sub-branch's acting secretary Wilson McClelland, the RSL NSW State branch had suspended all branch fundraising.
Mr McClelland said members were very distressed about the situation.
"Due to a directive from RSL NSW State Branch suspending all fundraising in NSW, we will not be conducting the annual Remembrance Day badge selling in Lismore, Goonellabah, Dunoon and Nimbin this November," Mr McClelland said.
"This directive from State Branch to cease fundraising is extremely disappointing to members of both the Sub Branch and Women's Auxiliary and the financial impact this will have on the Sub-branch is quite significant."
Mr McClelland said the RSL State Branch has indicated they were hopeful the issues surrounding this decision will be rectified by next year, thus allowing resumption of fundraising in time for Anzac Day.
"Our fundraising goes towards ensuring we keep the vital hospital visitations to see any ex-Service or current serving personnel, aged care visitations, keep our office open and operating to provide assistance to members on pensions and other matters when dealing with the Department of Veteran Affairs as we don't charge for these services," he said.
"Fundraising also allows us to pay for incidental costs involved in commemorations such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day, as we make donations to the Rural Fire Service who help us out with traffic control, St John's Ambulance and the Lismore Concert Band, Goonellebah Public School band and Lismore Pipe Band who perform for us."
Mr McClellend said poppies will be distributed at no cost to people attending the Remembrance Day commemorations.
"Poppies will be handed out free of charge at the Lismore Remembrance Day service on the 11th of November," he said.
A State Council Directive from the RSL NSW said they were concious RSL members had been fundraising on Remembrance Day for many decades.
"Engaging with the public on the 11th of November remains a critical part of our community service," the directive said.
"And (it's) an important component of our mission to honour and serve Australia's defence community including those who served Australia during the First World War.
"This suspension is happening because RSL NSW has determined its technical fundraising procedures are not compliant with the required standards."