Veteran Cliff Whittingstall to receive RSL WA life membership after 50 years of service

Albany Advertiser
Albany man Cliff Whittingstall has been the driving force behind Albany poppy Day.
Camera IconAlbany man Cliff Whittingstall has been the driving force behind Albany poppy Day. Credit: Shannon Hampton

Cliff Whittingstall will be recognised as only the second living RSLWA life member in Albany at a special ceremony at the Albany sub-branch annual general meeting on Monday.

Mr Whittingstall, the driving force behind Albany’s Poppy Day collection, will be presented with his life membership by RSLWA president Peter Aspinall.

RSLWA life membership is earned after 50 years.

“Cliff’s been an absolute stalwart for fundraising in particular with Poppy Day,” Mr Aspinall said.

“He’s been responsible for the planning, the execution of it, the logistics and the set-up.

“He’s been exceptionally successful with it over the years.”

Cliff Whittingstall as a young soldier on leave in England.
Camera IconCliff Whittingstall as a young soldier on leave in England.

Mr Whittingstall was a national serviceman in the UK in the early 1950s, when he was allocated to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

He has fond memories of his time in REME, when he spent a lot of time working on British tanks.

His children and grandchildren will join him at the Albany RSL club rooms on Monday for the award ceremony.

The only other life member in Albany is the sub-branch president, Special Air Service Regiment veteran Laurie Fraser.

The AGM at which the ceremony will take will be chaired by Mr Fraser.

Coincidentally, it will be Mr Fraser’s last official appointment as president before he hands the reins over to the newly elected president.

Albany RSL sub branch president Laurie Fraser.
Camera IconAlbany RSL sub branch president Laurie Fraser. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

As well as the election of new office bearers and the life membership presentation, the AGM will involve an update on the planning of the RSL Veterans Hub to be located in Albany.

The concept is in line with the Central Veterans Hub, which has been built on the original grounds of WA’s RSL headquarters in Perth and is due to open soon.

It aims to reduce the need for veterans to travel to Perth for welfare and advocacy issues, medical treatment and other services.

“The AGM is the opportunity for all of the members of the RSL in Albany to have an input into the future direction of their sub-branch,” Mr Aspinall said.

“I would urge all of the members to take that opportunity.”

The AGM is scheduled to start at 5pm at the Albany RSL club rooms on Stirling Terrace.

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