The Charter of membership for the Five Dock Sub-Branch was dated February 1918 making it one of the oldest surviving Sub-Branches in Australia. It was formed under the ‘Branch of the League’ the Officials of the Returned Sailors, Soldiers, Airments Imperial League of Australia – NSW Branch.The initials RSL stand for Returned & Services League. The organisation was initially formed as a support group for Retuned Service Personnel, their families and the families of those lost in the line of duty.
The RSL organisation itself was formed in 1916 when the first members of the 1 st AIF started returning to Australia after the Gallipoli Campaign. These soldiers realised that there was no assistance available to the families of the Diggers who had been killed in Gallipoli. These soldiers got together and formed an organisation to assist the families of their mates and those who returned the with shocking injured and disabilities, such as missing limbs, shell shock etc.
Since then, the RSL has become one of Australia/s largest support based organisations, providing millions of dollars back into the community through hospitals, Retirement Homes, Charities and Sporting Groups. In 1920 the Five Dock RSL Sub branch was merged to become known as the Haberfield, Five Dock and Abbotsford RSL sub-branch.
The Sub-Branch Meetings were held in the Haberfield School of Arts. The earliest minute book located for year 1931. The first Sub-Branch ANZAC Service was held at Robson Park, Dobroyd Point.Work on the current building located at 66 Great North Road, Five Dock commenced in early 1957, after obtaining a Club License and purchasing the property for 3000 pounds.
The official opening of The Haberfield/Five Dock/Abbotsford R.S.S. & A.I.L.A was on 26 th July, 1958 by the Governor General Lieut. General Sir Eric Woodward. In September 1961 the premises was again renovated and was officially opened by the State President Mr William Yeo C.B.E of the R.S.L Memorial Hall and Ballroom.In 1999 Five Dock RSL Community Club Ltd purchased the premises at Club Five Dock RSL Sub Branch.
To be recognised and respected as the preeminent association within the community and wider New South Wales RSL family
The main areas, which Five Dock RSL Sub Branch operate and support are the following:
- Assistance to all veterans and ex-service men and women
- Provision of a means for members to enjoy camaraderie and mateship
- To provide assistance to spouses and families (when required)
- Promotion of loyalty and pride, as part of the National RSL community
- To offer Sub Branch’s resources to aid other local community organisations (Where possible)
Five Dock RSL Sub Branch provides for the well-being, care, compensation and commemoration of serving and ex-serving Defence Force Personnel and their dependants including members from overseas allied forces within the local Five Dock and surrounding areas.