Greenbank RSL History

(Excerpts from Building a Dream:The Greenbank RSL Services Club Story by Brian V. Knott)

The Greenbank RSL Services Club at Hillcrest started from humble beginnings with some members predicting it wouldn’t get through its first decade, but it’s become one of the largest Clubs in Queensland.

In early 1977, at a Progress Association meeting in Park Ridge, Derek Marr and Edmond Baker moved a motion that they should establish an RSL Sub-Branch. The ex-servicemen believed that there was a need for an outlet that promoted fellowship and welfare assistance for the ex-servicemen and women in the area. The Progress Association agreed and on the 26th of September that year, the Greenbank and Districts RSL Sub-Branch was formed.

Their first ANZAC Memorial Service was held in April 1978 with a march over the Greenbank railway bridge to the Greenbank Sports Association hall. Throughout the next decade, further ANZAC Days were celebrated in Park Ridge at the Progress Hall in front of the Primary School. Membership was static at around 30, with monthly meetings drawing an attendance of a dozen or so and a home of their own was being sought.

In the mid 1980’s, the Sub-Branch moved into its first permanent home – Hut No.26: an unused Army Hut at the south-east end of the Greenbank Army Camp. The Army Hut club-room was exactly what the instigators had envisaged. There were no visions of grandeur. Just a family oriented space to serve their club.

The AGM of October 1990 was a watershed moment in determining the future of the Greenbank RSL. After thirteen years of fluctuating and minimal membership, a new, younger committee was elected that was to revitalize and stimulate a frenzy of activity, with one major objective – to purchase a clubhouse.

Park Ridge War Memorial

Providence smiled benevolently when contact was made with Dan Gorman and his inactive restaurant, Cowboys’, in 1990. A Services Club committee was formed and in February 1992, the NAB agreed to an $850,000 loan for the purchase of of the ex-restaurant premises.

With new premises and fresh vision the Services Club membership and facilities grew exponentially over the following decades, and is now one of the largest clubs in Australia with more than 60,000 members.

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