From humble beginnings, the progression to present day Reservoir RSL has been an extraordinary story.
On a Sunday in 1959 a group of Returned Servicemen were sitting around a table enjoying a glass of ale in the garage of a residence in Gilbert Road Reservoir.
Discussions turned to the expansion of growth in the Reservoir area and the need to establish a local RSL.
One chap said “Why don’t we form our own?”
Toward the end of 1959 and early 1960, they met with a few of their mates each Sunday morning in that same 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, and in the year 1960 made an application for their Charter, that was granted on 23/06/1960.
Over the next few years, the Committee was extremely busy promoting membership and organising 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 grocery 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 telephone 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. A number of venues were used for the purpose of raising funds to keep afloat.
Many ex-servicemen required welfare and financial assistance. During 1969 the Welfare Officer investigated over 60 cases in the Reservoir area alone. Considering most of the members at the time were only in the 40 to 50 age group, they could foresee the Welfare fund being drawn on more heavily as the years rolled on.
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 251 Spring Street 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”.
As identified and predicted in 1972, the need for the provision of Welfare assistance in the district increases each year.
Our tireless Welfare Officers are kept busy on a daily basis.
Reservoir Sub-Branch has also purchased 4 well-appointed unit properties that provide subsidised rental accommodation for the needy.
Based on the demand for affordable housing on our membership base, we plan to purchase additional accommodation in the future, as funds allow.
The Sub-Branch is very active in the local community, funding a range of projects.
We continue to strive in our business activities in order to fulfil the RSL ethos.
And yes, the bond of friendship certainly still exists in Reservoir!
In the last 40 years we have seen many upgrades to the building.
An impressive renovation of the members’ room commenced in 2014 and is now complete. We have a magnificent first floor terrace that connects from the bistro. Excellent facilities on the ground floor level that include bar, gaming, Keno, TAB easy bet terminal and café serving delicious cakes, sandwiches and freshly ground coffee.
A membership base made up of Service, Affiliate, and Social and Community members.
Members have many benefits including discounted beverages, the use of a private bar with Sky & Fox Sport channels and snooker tables.
Members also enjoy subsidised bus trips, reduced ticket prices for shows, member only functions, member draws, loyalty program and reciprocal privileges at other Victorian Sub-Branches.
There are many groups affiliated with the Sub-Branch.
Members can join the Seniors/Anglers/Snooker/Mini Pool/Indoor Bowls/War Widows & Legacy.
The bistro is open :-
Sunday to Friday lunch and dinner 12noon-2.00pm & 6.00pm-9.00pm
Saturday dinner only 6.00pm-9.00pm
We also offer a good choice of seniors’ meals 2-course for $16 (soup + main) or 3-course for $19.50 (soup+main+dessert)
Catering for all your function requirements is available.
Every Saturday night our patrons enjoy a live band following dinner in the Dunlop room. No cover charge.
On the last Wednesday of every month we present Morning Melodies with Brendan Scott, Dave Allen or Kim Montalto. Entertainment, morning tea and 2-course lunch for only $15!
Live entertainment each week: Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
Our friendly staff awaits your patronage and membership.
Do pay us a visit and enjoy our facilities.
You are most welcome.