In January 1946, the Merimbula Returned Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia Sub-Branch formed and set out to build their own clubroom. After some very generous donations from Mr Bill Chapman Snr, Mr Arthur Kaine, Mr John McIlwraith-Smith and many others (whose names have not been recorded) volunteers built the clubroom on the corner of Main and Market streets. The first meeting was at Christmas, 1952. The clubroom officially became Merimbula RSL Club on September 14, 1955, when the members obtained a Liquor Licence.
This licence was granted to Mr Harry Miller, Secretary-Licensee, and Mr Perc Robinson, President. The Secretary/Licensee of Eden Fishermans Club Mr Bob Bell lent stocks of beer, spirits, glasses, a Temprite and other equipment and Merimbula RSL Club opened on that same day, on the corner of Main and Market streets.
Since that time Merimbula RSL Club has seen many changes. In 2015 we celebrated 60 years and reflected on our past history and honoured this momentous anniversary at the club.
Message from the President, Mr Graeme Williams
60 years young
Our 60th anniversary is an opportunity to reflect and look forward at the same time. It is a time to remember the humble beginnings of Merimbula RSL Club, and to honour the many club secretary-managers and Board members who have made our club what it is today. During the past 60 years, the RSL has transitioned from a club created for our service community by our service community, to one that offers a broad range of services, facilities and support to the entire community. As the Merimbula community has grown, the RSL has grown along with it. Our membership increases every year and we are continually improving our facilities to cater for our members and the visitors that come to this beautiful part of the world. The RSL is more than just a meeting place. The RSL is a place for the young and young at heart to socialise, relax and have fun. As we like to say, it has something for everyone. The RSL is an integral part of our community and supports a long list of community groups, sporting clubs and local businesses. We hold dear our RSL traditions as we welcome locals and visitors to our club during our 60th birthday month, and beyond.
Did you know?
Merimbula RSL Club moved into its current premises in Main Street in 1995. The building was previously a shopping plaza, Pacific Plaza. After five years, trade had increased by 20% and the club was too small so they purchased Tawarri Lodge next door and completed major extensions in 2005. The club completed a second lot of extensions in 2007 to cater for the increasing patronage and membership at the club.
At 6pm every evening, club patrons and staff observe a minute’s silence while a recording of the Ode of Remembrance is broadcast. This Ode commemorates the Australian servicemen and women who have tragically given their lives while serving their country.