Godfrey Noel Tucker from the Warragul RSL Sub-Branch has been awarded the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal, the League’s highest honour.
Noel, as he prefers to be known, notched up almost 10 years from 2010 to 2019, as the Sub-Branch President and is currently the Sub-Branch’s Welfare Officer and Hospital Visiting Team Coordinator. He has been an active member of the RSL for 48 years and became a Life Member in November 2009.
During his time as President, Noel worked to increase the Sub-Branch membership by bringing in younger veterans who had returned from Iraq, Afghanistan and the many other post-1975 theatres of conflict and peacekeeping zones.
Noel was born in Melbourne in 1948 and served as a National Serviceman in Vietnam from February 1970 for a year. He also/then served in the Australian Army, Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and with the 17th Construction Squadron.
On the 25th April, 1972 Noel joined the Returned Soldiers Sailors & Airmen Imperial League of Australia (R.S.S.A.I.L.A), now known as the RSL.
He generously gives of his time every year to organise ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies.
Early last year, Noel lost his wife and life partner Karen, known as his support and anchor over the many years. Despite his devastating loss, Noel stepped up as Remembrance Day approached once again giving his time organising volunteers to perform Remembrance Day services in Warragul and several other towns across the Baw Baw Shire.
Some of the services took place in local hospitals and senior citizens homes.
“Due to his diligence and leadership, many in our veteran and elderly community were able to take part in Remembrance Day Services that would not have had the opportunity had it not been for Noel,” says Warragul RSL President, Ben Vahland.
In his spare time, Noel is active in several other volunteer capacities and runs an Australian war history education program across the West Gippsland region in primary and secondary schools.
Warragul RSL President, Ben Vahland says Noel’s service in supporting those in the community is above and beyond expectations.
“He is an extraordinary Australian, a good and worthwhile person, dedicated to helping others. He has earned our respect and praise. His action and conduct have been exemplary. A man of honour.”
"He is an extraordinary Australian, a good and worthwhile person, dedicated to helping others."
Warragul RSL President Ben Vahland