September 20, 2019
When former Kingaroy resident Michael Holden moved back to town recently, the last thing he would have expected would have been a morning tea thrown in his honour.
Michael grew up in Kingaroy and attended Kingaroy State High School, but many people would remember him from his days in the greengrocer’s shop in Kingaroy Street, or later when he opened the Optus store in Kingaroy Shoppingworld.
Then he shifted away, to become a train driver in the Mt Isa region.
But it wasn’t Michael’s former business history – or his return to town – that was celebrated at the Kingaroy RSL Club on Friday morning.
It was something completely different, and rather special.
When Michael moved back he decided to re-join the Kingaroy RSL Club.
Club president Ross Olsson and manager Maxine Tessmann knew the club was on the verge of an historic moment, and when Michael paid his dues it occurred.
He was their 10,000th current member!
And the growth is continuing. Since Michael joined up two weeks ago, the membership list has grown to 10,025.
Executive committee member Barry Krosch said it was important to recognise the occasion as it was the first time in the club’s history that it has had 10,000 members.
Michael was presented with a special certificate and a bottle of wine to mark the occasion and then joined Club committee members for morning tea.
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While the Kingaroy-Memerambi RSL Sub-Branch can trace its roots back to 1919, the Kingaroy RSL Club – which is a separate entity – is much younger.
It originally began as an informal social get-together for returned soldiers in the old School of Arts building, which stood where the Kingaroy Courthouse is today.
In 1946, the foundation committee of the services club was formed and a small building was erected on a block at 126 Kingaroy Street, the location of the current clubhouse.
When work on the new clubhouse began in the 1960s, this little building was shifted to Pound Street behind the current Kingaroy Sporting Club building, where it remains today.
Since the 1960s, the Kingaroy RSL Club has undergone three major extensions, the latest in 2015.