FOR 75 years, the Inverloch RSL sub-branch has provided support to men and women in the community who have served in the Defence Force.
Celebrating the momentous occasion on Monday, November 30, the sub-branch – which has close to 150 members – shared in its history and celebrated with cake and a certificate from RSL Victoria.
The sub-branch received its charter on November 30, 1945.
In the beginning, members would meet at the Mechanics’ Institute, Scout Hall, Warrawee Senior Citizens Hall or the library.
Then, in 1955, the clubrooms were established.
In fact, it was RSL member Les James who donated a house which was relocated from 34 Williams Street to the club’s leased premises on Bolding Place.
In 1995, the lease for the land ran out and the sub-branch was given the option to purchase it, which they did, using savings and members’ debentures. The clubrooms were completely rebuilt in 2002.
In 2019, the sub-branch received an award from RSL Victoria for the best percentage increase of a sub-branch its size.
The relocation of the Inverloch World War One cenotaph into the main street was one of the sub-branch’s proudest achievements.
“Many successful ANZAC and Remembrance Day services have been held by our sub-branch in this location, including our most successful Gallipoli Centenary ANZAC Day.
The flags are raised and lowered by our flag team every day throughout the year at the war memorial and outside this hall,” senior vice-president Peter Allen said.
“Our increasing collection of donated photographs and service artefacts, and recently commissioned sub-branch committee honour boards, are a pleasure to see and raise a lot of interest for our members and visitors to the hall.
“We had a six-kilowatt solar power system installed to reduce our soaring power bills. This was mainly funded with grants from the Inverloch Community Bank and Inverloch and District Lions.”
Sub-branch secretary Lindsay Guerin said being a part of the RSL was about providing support for returned and service members, even still today.
“We provide support to members and Legacy widows,” he said.
“Consistent with the adage that it takes a village to raise a child, we provide support to local sporting clubs, the Scouts group and primary school, and receive great support back from the Scouts, who provided the wait staff for functions.
“The support we receive from local traders is always outstanding and confirms our vision of gaining respect from the community.”