RSL club is finally back home
IT WAS 541 days ago when the floodwaters that swept through Ipswich overwhelmed the Goodna RSL Services Club, leaving it submerged in the Brisbane River's muddy surge.
Yesterday proved to be the brightest day in the club's recent history, as the doors opened to the newly renovated club for the first time.
The final cosmetic touches were still being applied as members rolled in to see the new and improved club after its official opening on Wednesday night.
President David Christie was pleased the members were finally able to use their club again, after it temporarily called a Brisbane Tce premises home during the renovations.
"It's been very stressful. It's been the hardest 18 months of my life dealing with that, but on a positive note it's great to see all the members come back," he said.
"All of our members were affected by the flood, Paul (Tully) was one of them. It's been hard for those members to come back up and visit the club since.
"It's really encouraging to be able to offer the community such a venue as it is."
General manager Debra Colbert welcomed back many familiar faces among the club's 54,000 members.
Nearly all the club's members retained their membership as the premises were being renovated.
"Come back and they will be surprised what they find," she said.
Cr Tully remembered the night he rode in a dingy over the club as the just before the floodwaters reached g their peak.
"It was really surreal. The lights were still on," he said.
"A lot of people didn't see it (the club) until after the flood."
Cr Tully praised the club's determination to ensure the doors opened again.
"The Goodna Services Club ploughed hundreds of thousands of dollars into local groups and causes," he said.
"The loss of this support has had a major effect on our local community."