Maleny RSL is a “traditional” RSL run by volunteers for the benefit of ex and serving members of the Defence Forces. Very different to the big clubs.
The main day of the year for commemoration is ANZAC Day. ANZAC Day comprises four Services (Dawn, Witta Cemetery, Memorial Hospital, Street March and Main). Members are also involved with addresses at Erowal and beforehand at Maleny Primary, Maleny High, Conondale and River Schools. All Services are usually well attended. After the Main Service, everyone is invited into the Hall for fellowship, a light meal and traditional games (two-up). We usually close down at 3ish being mostly more mature people and need a spell by then.
Apart from ANZAC Day, we also commemorate Remembrance Day, Vietnam Veterans Day and Beersheba Day until we handed that responsibility to Maleny 5th Light Horse.
The original Charter for RSL Maleny Sub-Branch is dated Eighth of May, 1931 by Returned Sailors & Soldiers Imperial League of Australia.
The initial RSL was a horse-feed shed on land donated to the RSL by the then Maleny Hotel publican, W.H. (Bill) Burnett. The shed was converted to a meeting room and later sold to the Scouts and moved to Coral Street. The Scout hall was subsequently the Community Hall office/CWA rooms.
First meetings were usually held at night on a full moon so members could find their way home without mishap.
The Memorial hall started out as a recreation hut/picture theatre/instruction room of the Air Force in Maryborough during WW11 and probably built in early 1940’s. Maleny RSL bought the building from Dept of Defence in 1947. A team of men led by George Svenson (Shirley Larney’s father) travelled to Maryborough, dismantled it, numbered each board to a plan and consigned it by train to Landsborough. Then delivered by Watson’s Transport (Watson’s Garage is very closely linked) and rebuilt with every board and post to its’ original position.
After completion it was the only large hall in the area, the School of Arts having recently burnt down. The RSL was used for weekly Saturday night pictures, dances and other activities.
Current membership is approx. 100 ex- and serving Defence Force members and same number of social members. Possibly the most unique was Adelberto de Giovanni of the Italian Resistance WW11.
The RSL is a welfare organisation and we open most Fridays from 4ish (depends which volunteer is on the bar) for fellowship and meals. It is also used extensively during the week for other activities and is available for hire at reasonable rates. As with most organisations, volunteers keep the Sub-Branch and hall functioning. No volunteers, no RSL.