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All welcome as RSL celebrates centenary

Thursday, 14th September, 2017

RSL Branch president Des Kennedy prepares for 100-year celebrations tomorrow. RSL Branch president Des Kennedy prepares for 100-year celebrations tomorrow.

By Michael Murphy

 BH RSL president Des Kennedy is opening the doors of the local branch tomorrow to celebrate its 100th year in Broken Hill.

The first club in Broken Hill dedicated to the men and women who returned from war was called the Barrier Empire League.

It opened in 1917 at the corner of Chloride and Blende streets and served mainly as a social club for those back from World War I.

“The strong community support for returned servicemen was unsurprising, at least in part, due to the fact that Broken Hill was personally touched by World War I,” Mr Kennedy said.

The attack on the Picnic Train on January 1, 1915, was the only World War I skirmish to take place on Australian soil.

“This attack encouraged a lot of young men from Broken Hill into joining the army and fostered a strong relationship between the city and its servicemen and women.”

A few years after the Barrier Empire League was established, the Mine Manager’s Association bought the Palace Hotel and donated it to the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia, giving returned servicemen and women an opulent place to call home.

The doors of the current headquarters at Roy Inwood VC House in Argent St, just off Oxide Street, will open today to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first club.

Residents can check out the memorabilia at the branch, talk with the local RSL members and receive advice on how to find information about family members who served our country.

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