SOME of Ipswich's long standing RSL members gathered at Dovetails Restaurant on the weekend to mark a very special milestone.

The beers were flowing and stories were being swapped as close to 150 members came to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Ipswich Sub Branch RSL and the 90th anniversary of the Ipswich Women's Auxiliary.

Among the crowd were two of the region's longest serving members, Ray Townsend and Jock Henderson.

Mr Townsend join the RSL in 1972 after returning back to Australia after serving in Vietnam with the Royal Australian Air Force.

"I transferred from the RSL down in Sydney to the Ipswich one when I moved here," he said.

"In 2002 I became vice-president and then in 2006 I became president, where I stayed for eight years. I have been the longest serving president of the RSL.

"Then I was elected to be the state vice-president at the RSL State Branch in Brisbane."

Being a life member of the RSL, Mr Townsend knows how valuable organisations and groups like this are to returned service men and women.

"This is a tremendous group of people. I know everyone here really well," he said.

"The RSL is very much about friendship."

Jock Henderson served in the British Royal Navy and has been a member of the RSL since 1955.

"I served in the Royal Navy and went to the North Atlantic and the North Sea," he said.

The 89-year-old is a honorary life member and said he had made many life-long friends here in Ipswich.

"It's about doing things with your mates," he said.

The current president of the Ipswich Sub Branch RSL, Rod Wadley, was thrilled with the turnout on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Wadley said with Ipswich having a strong military background, this had helped the RSL Sub Branch to reach the century milestone.

"The success to the Sub Branch is the people. It's the people in the Sub Branch, and the people of Ipswich," he said.

"The people here of Ipswich have high respect for us and what we do.

"The RRAF base at Amberley is an integral part of Ipswich and Ipswich feeds off it. This will help secure the future of the RSL for years to come."



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