Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Elizabeth Returned Servicemen's League (RSL)

In order to form a RSL sub-branch, ten financial members must combine to apply to the State Board for a charter.  In 1956, Mr White spread the news that he was looking for nine other financial members.  In March 1956 the first meeting was held in his house. By the end of 1957 the branch had 100 members.

The first committee comprised;
R. Bond                             President
R. Trevethic       Vice-President
John White        Secretary
Frank Caves       Ass Secretary
W. Finch             Treasurer
R. Ottoway & R Braddick members

The Elizabeth Returned Servicemen’s League was formed on 27th May 1956, and they made their home in the small hall rented to them by the South Australian Housing Trust in the Elizabeth South Shopping Centre.  This was the first hall or meeting place built in Elizabeth by the SAHT and it was shared by many organisations from the RSL to church services.
In the early days of Elizabeth the RSL Dawn Service on Remembrance Day was held under the flag pole at the Elizabeth South School, where all the returned soldiers who had made their homes in Elizabeth were drawn together to remember their lost comrades.

As the town grew in size so did the RSL membership when a march was inaugurated through the town culminating in an open air service on Ridley Reserve.
The RSL members were very community minded and they saw the need to assist in the youth work of Elizabeth.  It was as a result of their efforts that the first team of marching girls was formed in Elizabeth.  The large parking area attached to the shopping centre was an ideal training ground.

Since those days, teams have been formed in every area of Elizabeth by various groups who have, each year, entered competitions for both state and national titles often winning medals which the girls proudly display on their uniforms.
Marching Girls’ Clubs are family orientated and families follow the teams to competitions and often make practice days into a family picnic whilst watching the girls being put through their paces.

The Elizabeth Sub-Branch RSL transferred to their own premises at the corner of Halsey Road and Midway Road, Elizabeth East, in July 1965, nine years after their formation.
Extensions opening on 17 February 1979.

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