Originally established in late 1919, the Shepparton RSL has seen many changes over the last century. From humble beginnings, the Shepparton RSL is now one of the largest venues in country Victoria.
Celebrating our Centenary
On the 31st of December 2019, it was 100 years since the Shepparton RSL Sub-Branch was officially formed. To celebrate, the Shepparton News published a 20 page feature filled with lots of great stories and a look into future plans for the club. To download a copy, please click here.
Officially established in late 1919 as the Shepparton RSL Sub-Branch, the first meeting was held alongside the old post office in the old court house. Today, this location forms part of the Maude Street Mall in the heart of Sherpparton’s CBD.
Our current site was purchased from a Mr. Perry Werner at a very reasonable price. Funding for the building came from the sale of the old Church of England Parish Hall, owned in conjunction with the Ex-Servicemen’s Legion. Other funding was from T & G Insurance only after taking life Assurance on ten of the younger members. Other building funds were raised by running the local carnival with lots of volunteer support by members and their families over many years.
The Shepparton RSL “Club” was formed on the 20th September 1963, owing to the archaic Liquor Licencing laws administered by the late Judge Fraser, at the time a Liquor Licence could not be granted to a “Sub-Branch”. We were in a unique position for the first few months, having a new Club Room and only being able to serve soft drink.
The first Liquor Licence was granted in 1967 under the management of Mr. Frank Hazel and a staff of three with volunteer assistance from members.
Over the years there have been several additions and extensions. The first was the addition of a Kitchen and extra club room space and the Billiard room was added in 1976.
Years as Shepp RSL
First Gaming Lounge Opened
The club prospered in those years and purchased 4 properties in Welsford Street along with a property in Knight Street.
During 1978, a contract was signed with Henselite for installation of a standard size bowling green on the site of three houses that were demolished on Welsford Street. The bowling green was officially opened on 23rd June 1979 by the then state President Mr. Colin Keon Cohen, OBE.
The organisation continued during the eighties but, balancing the books became more difficult as our membership aged. When the club obtained a permit to operate poker machines there was a dramatic turnaround in the Club’s fortunes. Our first Gaming lounge consisted of 30 machines and was opened on the 1st April 1993 by the State Country Vice President Mr. Max O’Halloran. Since then there has been further additions to our Gaming Machine numbers to 80 which is the number we currently operate.
In 2001 the shops to our north were demolished to create what we currently have as a Sub Branch today. At that stage there had been no renovation to the Members bar area for over 30 years except for equipment and even this was over 10 years ago.
In 2008 a master plan was drawn up to redevelop the older south side of the building. This was to be completed over 9 stages using accumulated funds without increasing borrowings. Work commenced in 2009 on demolishing the old members bar and back of house area. The current members bar was opened in late December 2009 and 2010 saw the relocation of the administration department and reception to it’s current location. New carpets were laid in the old members bar and central passage way in 2011. The exterior of the building was repainted during 2011, with internal painting being an ongoing project. The new external signage was introduced in 2013, the same year that the gaming room and members areas were swapped over creating a larger gaming area. This also allowed the members, for the first time in many years, access to the Wyndham Street side of the building. This area is much brighter because of the large expanse of glass windows across the front.
In 2018 the bowling green was re-developed into a car park to cater for the demands of the ever growing number of members and guests.
The Shepparton RSL is the region’s best venue for bringing people together for work and play. Experience the difference at the Shepparton RSL.