Anzac Day 2019 for the Victor Harbor RSL will be special at its new club rooms

SERVICE: Victor Harbor RSL members Clint Doney, president Dave Miller and Glenn Bickley.
SERVICE: Victor Harbor RSL members Clint Doney, president Dave Miller and Glenn Bickley.

It will be a special day for the Victor Harbor RSL on Thursday, April 25 and on Sunday, April 21.

This Anzac Day the club will hold its award winning service on Soldiers Memorial Gardens at the Cross Of Sacrifice from 5.45am and then return to its new club rooms at Victor Harbor Oval to enjoy camaraderie and a game of Two-Up.

But firstly on Sunday, April 21, the RSL club will officially open the RSL club rooms at 11am, followed by a lunch. The community is invited to attend and bookings can be made through 0474 302 988.

Victor Harbor RSL president Dave Miller said the club was open every Friday night and it was a community place to gather, not just for those who served.

"We have a great new facility at the Victor Harbor Oval and we can now stretch our wings further to embrace the whole community.

"Our extreme gratitude goes to the City of Victor Harbor for all their support in the whole process of our relocation," Mr Miller said.

"The RSL plays an important role in the community and it is so important Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel stick together and chat about everything."

Mr Miller pointed to issues and challenges which confront returning servicemen such as suicide and homelessness.

"I know from my involvement serving in Vietnam what it was like to fight and the environment and enemy we encountered, but I have little understanding of what it was like in places service personnel have served in recent times," he said.

"Problems associated with returning servicemen impacts on the whole family and we as an RSL, want to be welcoming for all ADF personnel."

Mr Miller said new Victor Harbor RSL member Glenn Bickley represents servicemen from recent areas of operation.

"Our future lies with ADF members past and present," Mr Miller said.

Mr Bickely moved to Victor Harbor from New Zealand and served for the Australian Army as a Warrant Officer Class 2.

He served the United Nations in Bosnia in 1993, the Coalition Provincial Authority (CPA) in Iraq in 2003 and then back again in 2008.

Mr Bickley said Anzac Day was a day to reflect.

"Anzac Day means everything to me.

"My grandfather was killed in action in Crete during World War II in 1941," Mr Bickley said.

"His body has never been recovered and I wish he could be around to see his grandson become a Warrant Officer.

"Anzac Day is not a day to justify war, but for service personnel to come together and remember those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who serve today."

Mr Bickley is a great addition to the membership of the Victor Harbor RSL, as he was secretary/treasurer of the Returned Services Association in New Zealand.

"Regardless of where you served, we are all family," he said.

"I have a deep appreciation of the role the RSL plays in a community.

"I have lost half a dozen mates to suicide. It is tough simulating back to civilian life and the RSL offers a safe environment.

"Inside the RSL you are in the company of like minded people, who all have endured very similar struggles."

A crowd of 4000 people is expected at the Victor Harbor Anzac Day service.