THE official launch of the new home of the Ballarat RSL sub-branch took place on Sunday and there were smiles.
The RSL is now ensconced in the Midlands Golf Club, a move which will benefit both organisations.
Ballarat sub-branch president Alex Tascas said the move had been a long dream for the RSL saying, “We know we are now home and this is where we are going to stay.” Ms Tascas said the RSL had been welcomed ‘with open arms’ and added it was good to be able to display their memorabilia and the artillery gun and the three flags flying at the entrance to the venue made the RSL feel like it belonged.
“This move was driven by our members – the George Hotel was fantastic – but parking was an issue,” Ms Tascas said. “This move has been all positive.” Midlands Board Chairman Darren Bandy said Midlands was looking forward to where the relationship between the two was going.
He thanked the working parties from both sides, which had made the transition to Midlands smoothly. “The process of working together, supporting each other has been a really good journey,” Mr Bandy said. “There has been a lot of work and a lot of support to get us to the stage we are at.” Mr Bandy added that three things have stuck in his mind, which has come from members.
The first was when a Midlands member said they should be honoured to have the RSL join them, the second was when last month’s golf player congratulated and made mention of the RSL, in his speech, and thirdly was the suggestion by another member to plant a Lone Pine. RSL State President Dr Rob Webster OAM, said sub-branches were an important part of the RSL movement with one of the biggest footprints in Australia.
“You don’t have to be a member of the RSL to be part of it,” he said.