RSL starts centenary celebrations

Kilmore Wallan RSL president Rod Dally and secretary Sue Meldrum, pictured with the sub-branch’s first charter, are starting celebrations for the sub-branch’s 100th anniversary.

By Jackson Russell

The Kilmore Wallan RSL is putting together a booklet to celebrate its 100th anniversary and is calling for anyone who can help fill some of the gaps.

Secretary Sue Meldrum has started collecting information, newspaper articles and photos from throughout the sub-branch’s history which began on June 1, 1921.

Unfortunately, over the years some of the sub-branch’s history has been lost to fire but Ms Meldrum has been working to uncover as much as she can.

“There is no paperwork, no photos, no history of this RSL. From what I gather, there has been two fires over the years and a lot of stuff was lost,” she said.

“I’ve been looking through Trove and getting a lot of the earlier stuff. I’ve been up to the historical society and they’ve been able to give me some things.

“I’m still finding information and as I’m going, I’ve contacted a few old families that I’ve been told about and I’ve been able to pick up photos of some of the original members.”

The booklet will include information about the club’s office bearers over the years, including every president.

The first, Captain Richard Camm, served in World War One and gave up the presidency to serve in World War Two.

Ms Meldrum is hoping anyone with a connection to the RSL will be able to help fill some of the gaps in the sub-branch’s history, including the Ladies’ Auxiliary.

“If anyone’s family member has been an RSL member and has photos or any information on the sub-branch, we’d love to get it,” she said.

“I’ve knocked on doors, I knocked on one lady’s door and she asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ and I told her I wanted a photo of her father and she had this big lovely photo of him and scanned it right away for me.”

President Rod Dally said it would be great to produce the booklet properly.

“Sue’s put in a hell of a lot of research on it and we’re going to have to try and find somebody that puts it in a nice little booklet for us,” he said.

“We’d be looking for sponsorship and hopefully get some coming up to the day and whatever we’re going to have to celebrate.”