New Gympie RSL chief Peter Maddocks.
New Gympie RSL chief Peter Maddocks. Arthur Gorrie

Gympie RSL Club 'not going anywhere'

GYMPIE RSL Club is not going anywhere, whatever its committee or members may plan.

That was clear yesterday from the club's landlord and brand name owner, the Gympie sub branch of the Returned Services League.

New sub branch president Peter Maddocks said the league owned the Mary St building and the RSL name.

"This building will remain the RSL club,” he said.

He denied claims by club manager Roy Shipp, that the club was in negotiations with the sub branch on shifting to purpose-built premises at the Gympie Pines Golf Club.

Mr Shipp told the club's annual general meeting two weekends ago of advanced plans to buy the golf club on behalf of a new Gympie Recreation, Sports and Services Club.

But Mr Maddocks said: "We're not in negotiations with anyone.

"We're talking to our legal people and our financial people.

"It's all at (local) board level but we are asking advice from the RSL (Wide Bay) district and the state organisation.

"We're not going to be pushed in any direction by the club,” he said.

"We're here to look out for what's best for the sub branch and its members, who are the past and present servicemen and women of the Australian Defence Force and their families.

"Our funding for welfare work comes from the rent we receive from the club.

"So we're not abandoning it. We're not going to be pushed into any corner and told what to do,” he said.

"We're just working out what's best for us and we're not in a hurry.

"They have approximately 18 months left on their lease.

"If they go away, we will still have an RSL Club.”

Mr Maddocks is one of three Australians who served with the British Army in the Falklands War.

He succeeds former president Ivan Friske, who was also in the sub branch office yesterday.

"Ivan is helping me settle in, mentoring me,” Mr Maddocks said.