About the Emerald RSL
The RSL was chartered in 1946. Prior to that the Club was part of a district RSL group including Cockatoo and Gembrook. This group was founded about 1921 when the Heroes Avenue of Honour was established. There is now an honour board in the clubrooms showing all office bearers since 1946. There is also an Honour Board with the 31 plaques of those diggers killed in WWI.
The RSL has always been an integral part of the Emerald social fabric, contributing whenever possible to the welfare of its own servicemen and others in the community.
The Club is going through a new growth period, membership now standing at 230.
The Formation of the RSL - Australia
The RSL was formed in June 1916 by troops returning from WWI with the purpose of preserving the spirit of mateship formed amidst the carnage and horror of battle, to honour the memory of the fallen and to help each other whenever required.
The underlying philosophy of the League is mateship and this is as true now as it was in 1916.
In 1916, there was no formal government welfare service for veterans and the RSL committed itself to provide for the sick, wounded and needy among those that had served including their dependents.
The RSL was instrumental in creating:
A Commonwealth repatriation system
Service, disability and war widows pensions
Various employment and retraining programs (and for many years operated its own employment bureau)
Child health programs
Vocational guidance services.
In effect, the RSL was the first national welfare agency in Australia and welfare remains our prime function today.