Short history of the Returned Services League in Australia, and club history from Currumbin.
National RSL (Returned Services League).
In 1915, in at least four of the Australian States (QLD, NSW, VIC and SA), there had come into being Returned Soldier’s Associations. These had sprung up out of the Returned Soldiers Clubrooms provided by public subscription for invalids from, first, New Guinea, and later, Egypt and Gallipoli. These clubs had become a gathering place for returned men and a centre for discussions regarding the serious problems, which they faced. Many had been seriously wounded or they were in extreme ill health because of their war service, and they were faced with a lack of organized Repatriation facilities. The Repatriation system, at best, was inefficient and there were practically no medical services available.
At an informal meeting of one representative of each of the four States, held in Sydney on the 10th May, 1916, it was agreed to hold a more representative meeting in Melbourne in an endeavour to reach agreement regarding the formation of an Australia-wide Returned Soldier’s Association, as it was realized that without unity nothing would ever be attained. This meeting was held from the 6th to 12th June, 1916, at which a Provisional Constitution and Statement of Aims and Objects was drawn up for the formation of the League as we know it today. It was also at that meeting that the name – Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia (RSSILA) was suggested. In 1940 the League changed its name to include “Airmen’s” thus becoming Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airman’s Imperial League of Australia. In 1965, the name was changed to the Returned Services League of Australia and in 1990, to the Returned & Services League of Australia. As stated, it was at the first meeting that the League, as we know it today, was born and the formation date for historical purposes is stated to be 6th June 1916.
In 1916 there were no welfare services such as we know today, so the League committed itself to provide for the sick, wounded and needy among those who have served and their dependants. Today the RSL has an Advocacy, [pensions and Welfare section that caters for members and non-members].
With over 200,000 members nationally and 44,000 members in Queensland with 249 Sub Branches, the League remains as relevant today as in 1916.
The Ode of Remembrance
At 6pm each evening Club patrons and staff are asked to observe a minute’s silence during which a recording of the Ode of Remembrance is broadcast throughout the Club.
This is an ode to commemorate the Australian Servicemen and Women who tragically gave their lives whilst serving their country.
It is very important that staff show their respect by observing this silence during the Ode.
Currumbin RSL – Club History
In 1947 Currumbin RSL received its charter and the old School of Arts was granted to the RSL as the hall. The present two-storey Currumbin Palm Beach RSL and Services Memorial Club was opened in 1977 with further extensions in 1986. More recent Club renovations were carried out in 1995 and completed by 1996 and an extension to the gaming lounge in 2002. Most current renovations which incorporate extensions and extensive refurbishment to all areas on the ground floor commenced in August 2005 and were completed in April 2006.
In August 1998, the Currumbin Palm Beach RSL & Services Memorial Club became a 1st in Queensland, if not Australia when it established the Currumbin RSL College of Hospitality, which is a Nationally Recognised Quality Improved Training Provider. There are many areas which benefit greatly from such a venture including the Club Industry, Industry Personnel, the Community and ultimately, CUSTOMERS!! Many staff at the Currumbin RSL have participated in courses or programs provided by the College to further develop their skills or gain qualifications for existing skills. By utilising these services the Club has continued to maintain and further exceed its’ high level of service and competitive edge.
Currumbin Palm Beach RSL & Services Memorial Club has seen a period of rapid growth over the past few years. These changes have seen membership increase to, and in excess of 25, 000, with 150 employees and 190 gaming machines. While this growth has been significant and rapid, it has not been without the hard work and contribution of staff.
Our Veterans’ Support Centre was officially opened in November 1998. It is structured to provide services to veterans such as: pensions and welfare matters in conjunction with Dept. of Veterans Affairs; advocacy services in conjunction with Veterans Review Board; funeral services and assistance; school visits by veterans; hospital and home visitation services; home help, personal care, garden and maintenance, community transport and in-home respite care (in conjunction with Dept. of Vet Affairs); fundraising for our own veterans’ distress fund.
The office is staffed 5 days per week by two part-time employees and a team of volunteers. All of which have completed courses in all aspects of veterans’ support with the Dept of Veterans Affairs and have many years of experience, with several team members having worked in other support centres around Australia. Inquiries and appointments can be made by phoning the Support Centre on 55 595 022.