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15 April 2011

Flood disrupts Anzac services in Goodna

THIS year's Anzac Day will not be the same in Goodna, with the suburb's popular RSL still in ruins after floodwater swallowed it in January.

Anzac Day commemorations will be moved to the RSL's function centre after the Goodna RSL was swallowed by floods.

   
THIS year's Anzac Day will not be the same in Goodna, with the suburb's popular RSL still in ruins after floodwater swallowed it in January.

Unfortunately, the RSL will not be opening its doors until Christmas this year at the very earliest.

The two-storey site was nearly submerged when the Brisbane River broke its banks three months ago.

A complete refurbishment will now be needed to get the site operational and the beers pouring again.

Thankfully the building's structure remains intact.

Traditional dawn services and other Anzac Day commemorations in Goodna are usually held just outside the RSL.

This year, the events will be moved to the RSL's function centre at the corner of Layard St and Brisbane Tce.

President of the Goodna RSL Sub Branch Vivienne Stanbury said the many veterans who regularly attended the RSL were desperate for the facility to return to its former glory.

"The veterans keep asking me, 'when is it coming back' but there's not a definite time because so many things need to be sorted before construction begins," Ms Stanbury said."

"It's been very hard for us. It's been awful and everyone wants the site back but it just isn't going to happen any time soon.

"The site won't be demolished thankfully.

"But the inside will be refurbished completely and there may be new additions inside, but the structure of the building won't change."

Ms Stanbury said the Anzac Day service would still be poignant and very popular despite the shift in venues.

"It will still be a good event even though it's been moved and I hope we get excellent crowd there again this year," Ms Stanbury said.

Ms Stanbury said she was not told the January 12 flood would swallow the RSL.

"No one told us we were in danger of losing the RSL," she said.

"We didn't get anything out because we didn't know how bad the flood would be.

"The whole place was practically submerged and everything destroyed."

There were 600 Goodna homes that were severely affected during the flood.

Only five per cent of those homes still have people in them and it's expected to take another 18 months before normalcy returns to Goodna.

More Ipswich News: www.QT.com.au

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