Club History (1959)
PANANIA R.S.L. SUB BRANCH
A SYNOPSIS OF THE FIRST 50 YEARS
After WWII relatively young ex service personnel were returning to civilian life. As the Sydney Metropolitan Demographic Centre moved towards the south west, the population of veterans in this area increased dramatically.
It soon became evident to the ex service men and women of Panania, an RSL Sub Branch would in many ways assist the community. In accordance with this intention, meetings were convened and after due consideration an inaugural committee elected.
Representations were made to State H.Q. and after the pre requisite of an RSL Sub Branch were established a Charter was granted on the 14th June 1952 and Panania became a member of what was then the Returned Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia. In the 60’s, this title was shortened to the present Returned Services League. Whilst the newly formed Sub Branch was off and running, the monthly meetings, associated welfare and community involvement lacked cohesion, the obvious answer being a Club House to hang the Charter and carry on the business of the League.
Having established that a building was top priority, the new Sub Branch, and ad hoc building committee together with the Women’s Auxiliary set about raising funds by backyard fetes, raffles, street stalls and the like until in 1957 £18,000 ($36,000) was in hand.
In 1957 the State Government amended the Liquor Act to allow organisations with acceptable aims and objects, sufficient funding and a minimum of 200 signatures to form a Licensed Club.
After a flurry of activity, 200 signatures were on record and a request for registration was made. The application was successful and a provisional licence granted in 1958 to form a Club.
Where to site the Club was a question. The incumbent committee considered building in the Panania shopping centre, but wisely decided on the present Marco Avenue and Childs Street address. Work began on the first Club House and finally the RSL Sub Branch had a fixed placed to hang the Charter.
As the RSL now had a sphere of influence, the obvious corollary was to identify with the local community. This was achieved by educational scholarships, formation of a Youth Club and by general support of local projects, at all times remaining non political and non sectarian. Simultaneously Legacy, RSL Benevolent Fund, Local Welfare and kindred organisations were assisted in an unfailing and on going manner. It can be truly said the RSL had a positive impact upon the district.
With such an illustrious 50 years history it would be remiss if our debt of gratitude to the founding members was not acknowledged by continuing into the future into the future with the same enthusiasm and dedication. A constant reminder being the marching figures depicted on the RSL Badge so proudly worn by all members of Panania RSL Sub Branch.