Australia Philippines Services League (APSL) Supreme Commander Col Chris Pilao has been elected as a director of Rooty Hill RSL, effectively giving the APSL a voice within the prestigious Club.
The APSL had pushed, supported and campaigned for one of its own to win a much-contested Club seat.
Col. Pilao indicated that winning one of the 12 seats up for election and being part of the Club’s deliberations reinforces the importance of direct involvement with mainstream activities, projects and programs.
This is the first time a Filipino-Australian has been elected as a director of Rooty Hill RSL Club, said to be the largest RSL club in Australia and in the top 10 of all registered clubs of any format.
Rooty Hill RSL has been ‘home’ to the APSL since it was established in 2004, in fact being its ‘birthplace’.
The Club has provided a venue for APSL activities, including the traditional Philippine Independence Day dinners in June.
APSL participates in the Club’s commemorative events such as Remembrance Day, the Anzac Day dawn service and the Battle of Long Tan dinner.
Col. Pilao, a card-carrying Club member of long-standing, was invited to run as director earlier this year, and accepted the challenge after consulting APSL members, many of whom he had recruited to join Rooty Hill RSL.
The Club was officially opened 29 Feb 1964 with 127 members, according to its website.
Today Rooty Hill RSL Club, located on the corner of Railway Street & Sherbrooke Street, boasts over 48,000 members, whose needs for food, entertainment and leisure are to be catered for.
The APSL comprises veterans of various areas of conflict including Korea, Fiji, Lebanon, Vietnam and Mindanao, former service personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Australian Defence Forces, and descendants of war veterans, which is consistent with the overall RSL membership.