Drysdale R.S.L

History of the Drysdale R.S.L. Sub-Branch as recorded in hand written Minutes
Formally the Portarlington/ Drysdale R.S.L. Sub-Branch.

In the book The Drysdale Boys and one Girl written by Bob Willey there is a photo of the Drysdale WW2 Returned Servicemen in front of the Cenotaph, their regular meeting place. This brought about a discussion regarding a meeting place for local Returned Servicemen. A meeting was held In the Shire Hall Drysdale on April 4th 1949 in connection with the forming of a fund for the purpose of buying or acquiring a Memorial and Recreation Hall for Drysdale Returned Servicemen. An account was opened at the National Bank Portarlington under the name of the Drysdale Returned Servicemen’s Building Fund. Various members were delegated to make enquiries concerning a suitable location for a hall, and were to report on the matter at a later meeting.
Further meetings were held and on November 14th a decision would be made regarding the possibility of acquiring a building used as the Presbyterian Church/School aka: Free Church of Scotland in Princess Street, Drysdale. The Church was built in 1852 it is thought to be one of the first schools in the Drysdale area, in later years it was also home to a local family.

After a very lengthy discussion by several members present at the meeting on November 14th, it was moved and carried unanimously that the building be purchased from Ellen Louisa Bennett at the asking price, namely £450-0-0.
A circular letter was sent to members of the public soliciting donations towards the Building Fund Appeal, it was moved that the same arrangements regarding collecting be made as were carried out in connection with the Bolton Appeal.(The Late Sloan (Scotty)Bolton was a Light Horseman who was injured in WW1, later living in Mannerim.) A number of members were given authority to act as collectors they being Messrs K. McKiernan, T. Gallop, F. Casey , F. Butcher, L. Bigmore, E .Allen,
T. Holland and S&A Hutchinson. The area agreed on was a three mile radius of Drysdale.
One generous donor was Mr .K .Nash a letter of thanks was sent to him for his very fine gesture in donating the sum of £50-0-0.
It was agreed a Membership of five shillings a year for those who intend to partake of the amenities provided. The building was finally purchased on 3rd August 1950. It will be known as the Memorial and Recreation Hall.

In March 1952 a meeting of the Drysdale Returned Servicemen was held in the Shire Hall for the purpose of forming a separate Sub-Branch at Drysdale, arising out of a lengthy discussion subject to the tenancy of the recently required Hall, five members were nominated to interview the present tenant and ascertain the position relating to the Sub- Branch gaining possession of the building.
Many repairs were made to the building in the following years,
The Drysdale R.S.L. Hall at 13 Princess Street, Drysdale is a simple single gable corrugated iron roof brick building with plain barge boards, slightly arched double hung windows and a small entry porch. The hall has historic and social value to the Drysdale and Bellarine Peninsula communities.

This year in April 2022 the Drysdale R.S.L. Sub-Branch and the Women’s Auxiliary will be Celebrating 70 Years of support to our Returned and Serving Veterans and their Families.

Visit the R.S.L website

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