With a new year comes new beginnings. The same can be said for the Greek Sub-Branch of RSL which starts the year with a new name – Greek Returned Servicemen League of NSW (GRSL).
Secretary of the GRSL, Mr George Chiotis, tells The Greek Herald that the change needed to happen after RSL NSW identified the Greek sub-branch as “very small.”
“We were told that there were two ‘solutions’: either we would have needed to join with a bigger chapter, or the branch wouldn’t exist anymore. So instead, by mutual agreement of our members and RSL NSW, we decided to become independent,” Mr Chiotis explains.
This independence does not strain the relationship with RSL NSW, Mr Chiotis stresses. In fact, the relationship remains stronger than ever and members of the GRSL are still members of RSL NSW for life.
“All it means is that now we are free to hold barbeques and events with our members and their families, without having to get permission from anyone,” Mr Chiotis tells The Greek Herald.
“For me, that is the most important thing you can do for an elderly person who fought for our country and now, in his old age, just wants to make memorable moments with their family.”
In charge of making these events possible is the new Board of Directors of the GRSL. The board includes the President, George Giakoumidis, Vice Presidents, Peter Tsigounis and George Karountzos, Secretary, George Chiotis, Treasurer, Bill Iliopoulos, Welfare Officer, Andrew Kitsos and committee members, John Theodoropoulos and Arthur Andriopoulos.
So far, they have a ‘Vasilopita cutting’ event scheduled to take place on Sunday, January 31 at 1pm at C-Side Restaurant, 110 General Holmes Drive, Kyeemagh. Mr Chiotis says the event costs $40 per person, including food and soft drinks.
“We will start with this event and I’m sure we will do other events to show people that we are now independent and that our members are proud soldiers.
“And that’s why I ask anyone, who has a father or grandfather who fought in the war, to become members of the GRSL if they want. Annual membership is now $10.”
If you would like to attend the vasilopita cutting, please RSVP by January 23 to Bill Iliopoulos on 0438 290 640 or George Chiotis on 0413 213 377.