RSL club a 'home away from home' for Betty

HOME FROM HOME: Longtime Ballina RSL Club member Betty Sanders relaxes in the comfortable surrounds of Level One.
HOME FROM HOME: Longtime Ballina RSL Club member Betty Sanders relaxes in the comfortable surrounds of Level One. Yvonne Gardiner

FOR Betty Sanders, the Ballina RSL Club has become a "home from home".

She and husband Ray moved to Ballina from Sydney when they retired 30 years ago.

"He was in the Navy and also 40 years in the fire brigade," Betty said.

"I joined the Naval Ladies, War Widows, Legacy group and the Laurel Club. The Laurel Club is a social club for widows of war veterans that also raises money to support the work of Legacy.

"Ray was in the Naval Association.

"The RSL club is a home from home, a meeting place. They really care for one another."

The club is a constant source of companionship, with outings and bus trips available.

And Betty's been lucky enough over the years to win two of the major prizes in the members' draws - both cars.

Ray died about a year ago, as the couple were coming up to their 70th wedding anniversary.

Betty, at 91, has seen the Ballina RSL make many improvements.

Recently, renovations of Level One have created a sports lounge, TAB and gaming room.

There's also a terrace area and indoor lounge, function room and auditorium.

Both venues overlook the beautiful Richmond River.

Ballina RSL Club CEO Bill Coulter said a range of additional services for club members and the wider community will come with the exciting new look.

"The improvements will make the club one of the region's most impressive lifestyle and tourism attractions," he said.

On Father's Day, September 3, the first 100 dads at the bar will each receive a free gift.

There'll be face painting for children from midday to 3pm, and live music.

Go to details.

Topics:  ballina rsl betty sanders northern nsw seniors newspapers yvonne gardiner

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