The centenary of the Finley RSL Sub-Branch was celebrated on Sunday with the official dedication of the town’s second Lone Pine tree.
The tree was planted at Diggers Park on Remebrance Day in 2017.
It was delivered to Finley by John Hand, after being donated to the community by Warrnambool Botanic Gardens.
Plagues commemorising the donation were unveiled by LCDR Peter Anderson RAN and RSL NSW director Jonathan Tuckfield, and blessed by Father Stephen Onyerkwere.
Other special guests taking part in the wreath laying ceremony were Finley RSL Sub-branch vice president Norm Wilson, Riverina District Council president Ross Filmer, NSW Member for Murray Helen Dalton,, Berrigan Shire Deputy Mayor Darryl Morris and Sharon Walmsley from the Finley RS Club.
Celebrations then returned to the club where the special guests, returned service personnel and member of the general public enjoyed a celebratory lunch.
The official proceedings were chaired by Finley RSL Sub-branch secretary Warren Grant.
An entertaining talk was given by Kiara Warenycia of her adventures aboard the sailboat Endeavour which caused much merriment.
This was followed by an address from former Finley lad Lieutenant Commander Peter Anderson — the son of Judi and the late John Anderson.
He gave an enthralling account of his experience in the navy since enlisting in 1984 thus fulfilling his dream he had from an early age.
The memories and experiences recounted by Peter included many other young men from the local area who had also chosen a career path in the armed forces.
He was educated at St Joseph’s school before going on to Finley High, and was even involved in the Finley District Band for some time.
He has served on the HMAS Stalwart as well as many other well known vessels in his time with the navy.
Peter is delighted that, after 33 years permanent service, he is now able to serve permanent/part time which allows him to follow business interests and spend more time with his family.
A 100 Year Service Certificate was presented to the Sub-branch by Mr Tuckfield, and this was followed by the cutting of the anniversary cake by Mr Wilson and Mr Filmer.
Carol Grant is to be commended on the magnificently decorated cake which was enjoyed by those presented.
Many hours went into the hand made red poppies taking pride of place on the cake.
~ Anne Freestone