First discussions took place when a group of Returned Servicemen were sitting around a table having a glass of ale.
They could foresee, with the expansion of the Reservoir area, there was a growing need to establish a Sub-Branch of the RSL in the local district.
One chap said ‘why don’t we form our own?’
Towards the end of 1959 and early 1960, they got a few of their mates together on Sunday mornings in a backyard garage in Gilbert Road. After a short time, a frame was donated and the garage extended.
Business was brisk, membership had grown, so in their wisdom the Committee decided to purchase a large tent that then became their clubrooms. In 1960 they made application for their Charter. It was granted on 23/06/1960.
Over the next few years, the Committee was extremely busy pushing membership and running functions to raise funds. In 1963 negotiations had commenced to purchase the old clock factory building in Broadway. With the assistance of the Commercial Bank and a deposit of 500 pounds the transaction was completed for the grand sum of 8,500 pounds.
You can imagine how these chaps must have felt.
Membership increased, Ladies Auxiliary was formed and the club started regular social functions.
In 1967 the Cenotaph was built in Edwardes Street, fully funded by Reservoir RSL.
In 1968 a Liquor Licence was sought. The building was deemed not suitable for the purpose.
The President and Treasurer attended an auction in Spring Street for the old Dickens store. Bidding got beyond their estimate. The President and Treasurer retired back to the Broadway clubroom. Treasurer Bob said ‘I am going to have another crack at that Auctioneer’ so he got on the phone to the Auctioneer and their legal advisers. The result of that conversation was the purchase of our present premises in Spring Street Reservoir! Broadway sold for $27,000 and Spring Street was purchased for $55,000 with a deposit of $10,000.
1969 proved an enormous workload. Broadway had been sold and a new building to be renovated to ensure Liquor Licence suitability. Meetings were held in backyards again for the next couple of years. Many venues were used for the purpose of raising funds to keep afloat.
Many ex-servicemen required assistance materially and financially. During ’69 over 60 cases were investigated in the Reservoir area alone by our Welfare Officer. Considering most of the members were only in the 40 to 50 age group they could see, as the years rolled on, our Welfare fund would be drawn on more heavily.
1972 saw Reservoir Sub-Branch listed for a hearing by the Liquor Commission and a Liquor Licence was granted 17/03/1972.
251 Spring Street officially opened 14/07/1972.
Our history is a relatively short one; however it is not lacking in the sheer guts, determination and forward thinking of our founding members.
In the words of the Presidents’ address at the opening ceremony:
“Without the great support of the members over the last few years we would not have made the grade. We have here the strongest band of men I have known. It is pleasing to reflect that out of all of this we have such a wonderful bond of friendship existing within our club. I am sure it will continue in the years to come”.
Since 1972, as foreseen, the need for Welfare in the district increases each year.
Reservoir Sub-Branch has also purchased high quality accommodation in the form of four living units for the disadvantaged.
Based on demand and as finances allow, we plan to purchase further accommodation for those in need.
The Sub-Branch is very active in the local Community, funding a range of projects.
We continue to strive in our business activities to fulfil the RSL ethos.
And yes, the bond of friendship certainly still exists in Reservoir!
In the last 46 years we have seen many upgrades to the building.
Staged renovations that commenced 15 years ago have realised a magnificently appointed venue.
State of the art kitchen. Impressive bistro/function room with a connecting terrace.
Private members bar facilities are second to none.
Facilities on the ground floor level include sports bar, gaming, TAB easy bet terminal, Keno and café.
We have a large membership base made up of Service, Affiliate, and Social members.
Members have many benefits including RSL Rewards membership, reciprocal rights, discounted beverages, the use of a private bar with sky channel and snooker tables.
Members also enjoy bus trips, ‘members only’ functions and reduced ticket prices for selected shows.
There are many groups affiliated with the Sub-Branch.
Members can join the Anglers/Snooker