The Wagga RSL Club has its third president in the space of six months after incumbent John Gray was replaced at last week’s annual general meeting.
Peter Thomas has become the RSL Club’s new president, though he insists it will be largely business as usual.
“The board you might say runs itself – everyone’s got ideas about what to do and I only sit at the head of the table and shorten the conversation if it runs too long,” he said.
“We’re travelling along very well – if it ain’t broken don’t fix it, you might say.”
His predecessor, Mr Gray, had only taken up the top job at the end of April following the unexpected retirement of John Keyes, who stood down to relocate to Queensland after seven years as the club’s president.
Mr Thomas said he would have liked to have taken over following Mr Keyes’ departure but the timing hadn’t been right.
“It’s been in the back of my mind for quite a while – I just wasn’t ready at that time,” Mr Thomas said.
“John (Keyes) had left fairly quickly so it was a bit hard to say I was going to drop everything.”
Mr Thomas has pledged to taken an open and collaborative approach to the role and thanked Mr Gray for his six months service as the previous president.
However, Mr Gray said he was disappointed to lose the club’s presidency, though he will stay on the board for at least the next two years.
He said the change marked the end of an era in some ways as the influence of the sub-branch on the club continues to wane.
“I think as everyone gets older, there’s big responsibilities now to run these organisations, particularly the RSL Club which is a huge organisation, and as people get older it becomes more and more difficult,” Mr Gray said.
“When you’ve got a club with 22,000 members and you’ve got a sub-branch with 500 members, you can’t have the 500 dictating to the 22,000.”
The requirement for sub-branch members to be represented on the club’s board have been slowly reduced over a number of years, Mr Gray said.
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