BATHURST RSL has been honoured for its work in promoting and protecting the importance of Anzac Day.
The RSL was awarded the Spirit of Anzac Award at the recent RSL and Services Clubs Association gala dinner.
The award is in recognition of the club's efforts to support and promote the Spirit of Anzac, particularly through the Respect the Day campaign that launched in Bathurst in 2018.
Bathurst RSL marketing manager Janneke van der Sterren said the club's commitment to the spirit of Anzac is ongoing and of great importance.
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Bathurst RSL launched Respect The Day in 2018 to remind people to "responsibly and respectfully" commemorate the day and expanded the campaign in 2019 as it was rolled out across the state.
"In 2019 we wanted to put a spotlight on some of our local veterans," Ms van der Sterren said. "We wanted to emphasise the impact of war on our community and on members of our own sub-branch.
"We actively worked with our sub-branch to feature well-known and respected Bathurst veterans, using their images to highlight that many of the people that have served Australia in these conflicts, were very young when they went to war.
"To emphasise the local context, we installed a montage of images on the front of the club of four local veterans, one for each conflict including World War 1, World War 2, Korea, and Vietnam."
The club also produced a local radio series, Letters From The Front, which included extracts of letters sent home to family from Anzac Cove by local Bathurst residents Frank Graham and Ben Shepherd.
"The letters were sourced through the Bathurst RSL Sub-branch and edited for radio by us, and the vignettes were voiced by two young men from one of the local high schools," Ms van der Sterren said.
"These were real letters, written by local boys that told the story of Private Ben Shepherd, who tragically never made it home from Gallipoli."
We wanted to emphasise the impact of war on our community and on members of our own sub-branch.Janneke van der Sterren
The club also provides space for the Bathurst RSL Sub-branch Museum and Memorial Walk which houses a significant and extensive collection of local and national artefacts and war memorabilia, and supports the annual Legacy Anzac Day raffle.
"We donated the major prizes (a ride-on mower, push mower and whipper snipper) valued at $3225.45. We also supported Legacy by providing refreshments for badge sellers from high schools across Bathurst on Legacy badge day," Ms van der Sterren said.
Bathurst RSL's Vietnam veterans have also received support with $1000 worth of barbecue supplies donated by the club for their food van at the V8 races.
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