City of Sydney RSL History

history

1947                The NSW RSL Club was formed by The Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airman’s Imperial League of Australia (RSS & AILA). The site of the club was at 273 Elizabeth Street, Sydney. Yearly rent for the premises was $8,500.
1965 – 1966 In 1965 the Club’s lease expired and the premise was marked for demolition and the erection of shops and units. The Club moved to 569 George Street, Sydney, “Buckle House”.

Dissatisfaction with the new premises and severe drought resulted in the loss of many members in 1966.

1967 – 1970 The Club’s first life members were conferred in 1967: Sir William Yeo CBE, Arthur Bedford and Harry Nixon. The Club also changed its name to NSW Memorial and Ex-Service Club.  Membership increased by 40%.

In 1968 trading profit for the club was $61,665, the best in 21 years.

In 1969 the member age limit dropped from 21 to 18 years. Club income increased by 46%. The club changed its name to City of Sydney RSL Club.

1971 – 1976 The Club became the first club to seek registration as a Co-op in 1971.

In 1974 the new 3rd floor dining room/cocktail bar and the casino room were opened.

In 1976 the club was on the verge of bankruptcy, trading at a loss of $107,567.

1977 – 1986

In 1977 trading was again in surplus at $6,164.

In1981 the games room and casino room had air-conditioning installed, and Board members were reduced from 11 to 7 members.

In 1984 “Buckle House” was put up for sale and the Club again had to look for a new location. 

 Buckle House
1987 – 1989
The Club relocated next door to “Westminster House” in 1987. The club traded at a yearly deficit of $1,300,133.

In 1988 the Club sold part of the basement, part of the ground floor and the 4th and 5th floors of “Westminster House” to resolve debts. The Club traded at a yearly profit of $375,433.

1990 – 1992 In 1990 the Club made donations of $7,820 to various organisations. 

In 1991 the Club changed names to City of Sydney RSL and Community Club Co-op Ltd and made $68,016 in donations to various organisations.

In 1992 the Club re-purchased the 4th & 5th floors of “Westminster House” for $3,200,000. The Club made yearly donations of $48,580 with Camp Quality being the largest benefactor.

1993 – 1995 In 1993 the Club made an annual profit of $2,109,501.

In 1995 the Club donated $1,000,000 to the Prince of Wales Children’s Hospital and a further $33,445 to other sporting bodies and community projects. (Image: Professor Lee White, Prince of Wales Hospital accepting the Club’s $1,000,000 donation.)

1995 also saw the opening of the Sydney Casino, which drastically affected trading.

1996 The Club underwent major refurbishments to the 4th (Starlight’s Bistro/Lounge) and 5th (Administration) floors.
1997 The Club celebrated 50 years of trade, producing a special memorial magazine for Members.
2006-2007 The Club re-brands itself as Club City Central*.  

Major refurbishments were undertaken to all levels of the Club and the Club also  launched its first website.

* Club City Central is a registered business name of the City of Sydney RSL and Community Club Limited.

2008 – 2011 The introduction of the Indoor Smoking Ban affects trade quite substantially.  

The Club reverts back to its original name of City of Sydney RSL Club.

A new escalator is installed, replacing the old one leading from Reception to Level 1.

AF RSL BRAND VERTICAL large compressed for web
 2012 – 2013 The Federal Governments possible introduction of a Mandatory Pre-commitment policy sends a shockwave through the Registered Club Industry. 

The Level 4 Shamrock Lounge AV system is updated to increase function usage, and Level One is fully renovated, with an additional smoking verandah constructed.   Work begins on the new Grind@565 coffee shop installation within the ground floor reception area. 

The Club continues to donate over $90,000 to worthwhile charities each year. 

 Grind565 LOGO
2014 – 2015 In 2014 Australia and New Zealand commemorate the 100 year anniversary of WW1, followed by the 100 year anniversary of ANZAC Day in 2015.   The City of Sydney RSL Sub-Branch celebrates 96 years of service.

In 2015 new restaurant caterers ‘Villaggio on George’ join the RSL.

Level 5 is leased out, and the RSL Administration offices are moved to Level 3.

anzac-day-gallipoli-2015
 2016 Level 3 undergoes a further renovation and reopens as the Level 3 Bar , the Clubs new main bar, lounge and TAB area. 

Level 4 closes to the general public and also undergoes a small renovation.  It reopens again as a function/conference centre with up to 5 rooms available for hire.

 Level-3-Bar-Logo