GONE CLUBBING: Jill O'Brien is celebrating 40 years with the Gympie RSL, while manager Steve Lancaster is now in his third week at the club.
GONE CLUBBING: Jill O'Brien is celebrating 40 years with the Gympie RSL, while manager Steve Lancaster is now in his third week at the club. Renee Albrecht

From 2 weeks to 40 years service, Gympie RSL love the same

FORTY years may separate the start of their Gympie RSL careers, but board members Jill O'Brien and Glen Lancaster's passion for hospitality started at the same place.

Starting with the RSL in 1978, Mrs O'Brien worked with them for 30 years, before moving into a role as a board member for another 10.

She moved to the region with her husband in in 1962 with an eye to taking over a Eumundi sawmill.

Gympie RSL Jill O'Brien.
Gympie RSL Jill O'Brien. Renee Albrecht

That fell through (taking with it their 200-pound deposit) but a new career opened up for them through the Kandanga Hotel.

They ran it for 16 years before Mrs O'Brien moved to the RSL as an employee for 30 years, then joined the club board in 2008.

She said watching the club grow over the years was "wonderful”.

She said it was the close connections made with people that kept her in hospitality over the years.

It is a view shared by Mr Lancaster, for whom local clubs have been a lifelong passion.

Gympie RSL Steve Lancaster.
Gympie RSL Steve Lancaster. Renee Albrecht

Part of the membership team which opened Crushers Leagues Club in Brisbane in 1994, he has been involved with clubs around the state including at Beenleigh and Geebung.

He has come to Gympie after spending the past five years in managing the Charleville RSL.

"The first day I walked in here I found it very comfortable feeling,” he said.

"Like all new jobs you start you don't know what to expect, but they made me feel very welcome.

"I've only been here two weeks; I feel like I've been here a lot longer.”

Gympie Times


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