Welcome to the Bendigo District RSL Sub Branch Inc. - Ph: (03) 5442 2950
Sunday - Wednesday: 8:00am - 2:00am -Thursday-Saturday: 8:00am - 4:00am




About Our RSL

Venue Facilities
The Bendigo, Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat RSL Cooperative Society Ltd was formed in 1977 as a joint venture between Bendigo, Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat Sub-Branches of the RSL. Licensed club facilities were built in Havilah Road and were opened in December 1979 and the Bendigo District Servicemen’s Club was formed to operate the Club.

In 2000, Bendigo RSL was asked by ANZAC House to take over the operations of the Servicemen’s Club and the assets and liabilities of the Cooperative. On 1 January 2001, Bendigo RSL Sub-Branch became Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch Inc in recognition of this changed role.

 

History of the RSL in Bendigo
Soldiers who returned from Gallipoli, with hopes and aspirations for the future, formed a Branch of the Returned Soldiers’ Association in Bendigo on 23 December 1915.
The first office of the new branch was established at No 9 Commonwealth Chambers, Charing Cross in January 1916, the first official meeting of the new branch took place on 27 January 1916, and the first elections were held on 3 February 1916.
The Bendigo branch was the first to be formed in Victoria outside of Melbourne.
The Returned Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia was formed on 4 June 1916 when the representatives of Returned Soldiers Associations in various states met in Melbourne to draw up a constitution and statement of aims and objectives of an Australia wide body.
After several different names for the Bendigo Sub-Branch, it subsequently became the Bendigo RSL Sub-Branch, then finally the Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch Inc. The RSL office was located at Pall Mall from November 1921 until June 2007 when it moved to new purpose-built offices in front of the Havilah Road commercial facility. The RSL office returned to Pall Mall in November 2011.

A book titled A Century of Service, The Events, People and Places that shaped the RSL in Bendigo 1915 – 2015 was launched by the State President of the Victorian Branch of the RSL, Major General David McLachlan AO, in Bendigo on 3 December 2015.

 

Milestones
Over the years, milestones of the RSL in Bendigo have included:
 

Date

Event

23 Dec 1915

A Branch of Returned Soldiers’ Association formed in Bendigo

27 Jan 1916

First record of an office at No 9 Commonwealth Chambers, Charing Cross

27 Jan 1916

First recorded meeting of the Returned Soldiers’ Association (RSA) held in Bendigo

03 Feb 1916

First elections of the Returned Soldiers’ Association held in Bendigo

Feb 1916

Social and meeting facilities established in the YMCA Building, High Street

25 Apr 1916

First ANZAC Day Service held in Bendigo

25 Apr 1916

ANZAC buttons sold to raise funds for the work of the Returned Soldiers’ Fund and the YMCA

 10 Nov 1916

Sub-Branch office and social facilities moved to the Citizens’ Club, Bull St

06 Jun 1916

Date recognised as the start of the RSL in Australia

02 Feb 1917

Cr David Andrew reported as suggesting the Pall Mall site for a soldiers’ memorial

18 Jul 1917

Bendigo City Council invited designs and estimates for the Interim Honor Roll

10 Sep 1917

Sub-Branch office and social facilities moved back to the top floor, YMCA building

11 Dec 1917

Interim Honor Roll installed by Bendigo City Council in Pall Mall

23 Feb 1918

Returned Soldiers’ Assoc. suggested two sites for a soldiers memorial; the site of Hustler’s Royal Reserve mine or the land at the rear of the Post Office in Pall Mall

19 Sept 1918

Alternative site in View Street between the main entrance to Rosalind Park and the Bank of Victoria chosen, but rejected by City Council

Oct/Nov 1918

Returned Soldiers’ Assoc. negotiating for the purchase of the Masonic Hall buildings in View Street and also the Queen’s Hotel on corner of Mitchell and Queen Streets

28 Nov 1918

Rest Home & Memorial Committee advised City Council it had chosen the site immediately behind the original Honor Board

05 Dec 1918

City Council approved the use of the Hustler’s Royal Reserve mine site in Pall Mall

25 Apr 1919

First description and sketch of proposed Soldiers’ Memorial published

11 Nov 1919

First Armistice Day service held

04 Feb 1920

Tenders called for Soldiers Memorial Institute, Pall Mall

06 Apr 1920

City of Bendigo commit to a contribution of £2,000 for the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute

15 Apr 1920

Tender from Mr G Davey for building the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute accepted

22 Apr 1920

Indenture signed in respect of the Pall Mall site for the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute

02 Sep 1920

Bendigo RSL Sub-Branch office and social facilities moved to above Cattran’s Golden Key Boot Store at 327 Hargreaves St

15 Nov 1921

Soldiers’ Memorial Institute opened by His Excellency, the Earl of Stradbroke, Governor of Victoria

Nov 1921

Bendigo RSL Sub-Branch office and social facilities moved to the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute

05 Aug 1922

Eaglehawk War Memorial unveiled

Nov 1922

First record of poppies having been sold in Bendigo

17 Dec 1924

Scheme proposed to complete the honor roll on the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute

13 Jul 1925

Interim Honor Roll in Pall Mall removed by Bendigo City Council

April 1926

German Field Gun captured by 38th Battalion at Messines, located at Memorial Hall

25 Apr 1926

Honour Rolls on the walls of the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute Loggia, unveiled by Mr R A Rankin, President of the Fathers Association

25 Apr 1933

First recorded ANZAC Day Dawn Service held in Bendigo

22 Apr 1936

Bendigo RSL Women’s Auxiliary formed

05 Jun 1939

Eaglehawk RSL Sub-Branch formed

20 Jul 1946

Temporary Cenotaph located at the entrance to Rosalind Park

06 Mar 1950

Members resolved to try and convince Bendigo City Council to vest equity in the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute to the RSL and then raise £20,000 to complete the building as a Memorial to the 2nd AIF

22 Mar 1950

Sub-Branch Committee approved the purchase of 11 MacKenzie Street for a Licensed Club

02 Apr 1951

Sub-Branch agreed to convene a meeting of Ex-Service organisations regarding a permanent Memorial to the fallen from the 1939-45 War

25 Apr 1951

Temporary Cenotaph erected in front of Memorial Institute for the ANZAC Day service

01 Jun 1951

Bendigo Returned Servicemen’s Club opened in MacKenzie Street

18 Dec 1951

Kangaroo Flat RSL Sub-Branch formed

20 Feb 1953

Bendigo Advertiser reported on a plan by Sir George Lansell to complete McKenzie St premises as a memorial to WWII ex-servicemen

05 May 1953

Public meeting held at Town Hall to consider a memorial to WWII men and women

29 Mar 1955

War Memorial Committee resolved that Cenotaph should be built at Charing Cross

02 Jun 1957

Cenotaph at Charing Cross unveiled by the Acting Governor of Victoria and dedicated;
Cenotaph handed over to City of Bendigo by Sir George Lansell

Early 1959

11 MacKenzie Street property sold to Legacy

09 Feb 1976

AGM resolved that the new Committee should urgently investigate the possibility of obtaining land and finance for a licensed club

14 Feb 1977

Bendigo Agricultural Society offered no objections to the RSL applying for land under their control in Havilah Road

18 Jun 1977

Sketch plans published of the proposed Havilah Road facilities

19 Dec 1979

Bendigo & District Servicemen’s Club opened by the Premier, Hon R J Hamer

15 Nov 1992

Post WWI memorial obelisk in front of the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute dedicated

14 Aug 1997

Returned Soldiers’ Memorial Hall, Pall Mall placed on the Victorian Heritage Register

Feb 1998

RSL Museum began operations in the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute

01 Jan 2001

Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch Inc. formed

01 Jan 2001

Bendigo District RSL subsumed responsibility for the Bendigo Ex-Servicemen’s Club

Sept 2002

Functions ceased in the main hall, Soldiers’ Memorial Institute

26 Sep 2002

RSL Women’s Auxiliary, Bendigo met for the last time

01 Jan 2005

Eaglehawk RSL Sub-Branch merged with Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch Inc.

29 Jun 2007

Bendigo RSL office moved to Havilah Road

24 Oct 2008

New forecourt of the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute handed over by City of Greater Bendigo (CoGB)

11 Nov 2011

Memorial Walls at the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute dedicated

25 Nov 2011

Bendigo RSL Office moved back to Soldiers’ Memorial Institute

Late 2011

Tentative discussions held with CoGB to gauge support for a refurbishment of the Soldiers’ Memorial Institute building

Aug 2013

Funds committed by Australian Government for detailed drawings

May 2014

Successful tenderer chosen to complete detailed drawings

31 Jul 2015

Colours of the 38th Battalion lodged with the Bendigo District RSL Military Museum


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Bendigo District RSL Virtual Tour

Welcome to the Bendigo District RSL virtual tour. You can use this interactive guide to take a look around.



 

 
Contact Details

Bendigo District RSL
73–75 Havilah Road
Bendigo, Vic. Australia. 3552
P: (03) 5442 2950
E: admin@rslclub.com.au

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