Glenorie RSL… The Beginning

Glenorie RSL... The Beginning

In the period after World War I until 1950 , any returned members of the Armed Forces in this area usually belonged to the Hills District Sub-Branch of the R.S.L.

The Hills District branch was formed in the early 1920’s and was made up of residents from Galston, Arcadia, Kenthurst, Annangrove, Dural and Glenorie. With a large influx into the Hills area of returned servicemen wishing to take up farming after the Second World War, this Sub-Branch became very large and active.

A good number of the new families stayed and made quite an influence on the district, both financially and socially.

With this increase in mind, a move was made by some locals in 1951 to form a new Sub-Branch in Glenorie. A prime mover was the Postmaster, Bruce Wallace, who organized a meeting at the Post Office residence for those interested in forming a new Sub-Branch. Amongst the men present were Ron Neil, Fred  Flatt, Bill (Tango) Martin, Ted Schwebel and Bruce Wallace. It was decided to call a formal meeting, to be held at the Glenorie Memorial Hall, to enable those interested to attend .

Quite a number of local returned servicemen were present at this meeting held on 16th November, 1951, and a motion was passed to form a Glenorie Sub-Branch of the Returned Sailors’, Soldiers’ and Airmen ‘s Imperial League of Australia . (In later years this was shortened to Returned Servicemen’s League). At the following meeting on 11th January, 1952, office- bearers  were  called  for and  the  following  were  elected:  Ted  Schwebel, President;  Haig  Sykes and  Fred  Watt , Vice- Presidents ; Fred Flatt , Secretary and Tango Martin , Treasurer. Application was made to Headquarters for registration and charter, which was granted , and the first meeting of the new official Sub-Branch was held on 7th  March ,  1952, at the Glenorie Memorial Hall.

From the various minutes available, it seems that the Sub-Branch was not satisfied with their venue , so a search began to find a block of land on which to build a more suitable meeting place. A block was finally purchased from Mr. Jack Hughes for the sum of £150.0.0, the money being loaned to the group by his son , George Hughes, to enable the acquisition . This block of land is presently No. 926 Old Northern  Road , Glenorie.

A clubhouse was the next step. Money for the purchase of materials was raised from roadside stalls during weekends and holiday periods, concerts and the assistance of our friendly Bank Manager at the National Bank, Castle Hill. With mainly voluntary labour, the building project commenced. The initial clubhouse had one main hall, with a small kitchen and library leading off to one side.

The timber for the clubhouse was milled by Lyall Hughes at his saw mill in Cairnes Rd. Arthur Hughes, George Hughes and Percy Frankel helped with the build in 1952.   More often than not, the parking lot would be full of Tractors over cars and trucks.

Through shortage of space for extensions and parking area, it was later decided to purchase the present R.S.L. Club site from Mr. Jim Smith, and soon afterwards a bowling green was constructed on the new block. In 1965, a new building was also constructed on the block, which is situated behind what is now Woolworths in Post Office Road. On moving to the new building, the

R.S.L. Sub-Branch used the old building for a youth club, over about three years. In 1972, Glenorie R.S.L. Club was granted full Limited Company status.

Although somewhat changed with additions and alterations, the original clubhouse still occupies the first site beside the Village Shopping Centre and since being sold by the Sub-Branch about 1969, has been used as an office building and a private residence.