“Remembering the ANZAC’s”

The ANZAC Day tradition began on 25th April 1916, in London, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Egypt where returned soldiers from the Gallipoli Campaign gathered to parade and commemorate their comrades who had paid the ultimate sacrifice the previous year. The tradition that was aptly named ANZAC DAY and is commemorated on this day every year.

These same soldiers out of concern for the welfare of the returned veterans convened a conference that recommended the formation of The Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia (RSSILA).  In 1940 the League was renamed to include Airmen and over the course of time became the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) as we know it today.

ANZAC DAY has been commemorated here in Burleigh Heads since the days when it was a small seaside village populated by many returned veterans. In 1938 they applied to form a chapter of the RSSAILA in the area and their charter was granted on 3rd January 1939. They held regular meetings in the DeLuxe Theatre in Burleigh Heads for many years before acquiring a government grant in 1953 for land in 6th Avenue to build a Soldiers Memorial Hall, which was completed in 1956, where we still meet today.

These veterans and the newer veterans from WW2 were in the formation and successful operation of other community organisations in Burleigh Heads, the Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park Surf Life Saving Club, and the Burleigh Heads Bowls Club in particular. These community organisations were the focal points of community activity in the local area. Our hall has over the decades been a true community hub, the venue of dances, fetes, weddings and funerals, Bingo, family celebrations, State and Federal elections as well as the regular meeting place for our veterans to gather to enjoy true mateship, camaraderie and to remember. Today more than 10 community groups use our hall on a regular basis to conduct exercise classes, ballet, martial arts and dance classes to name a few.

As our forefathers did, we still proudly promote all activities on the Gold Coast that commemorate and celebrate our veterans and their service. We uphold the ANZAC tradition by hosting commemorative services at the Burleigh Heads Memorial Park for ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day, Vietnam Veterans Day and Peacekeepers Day with participation involving our local schools, community groups and First Nation people.

Over the years our Sub-Branch has been supported by our veterans’ families, the Ladies Auxiliary and our Social Members, our State and Federal Members, local division councillors, Army Reservists and Army Cadet Units and local businesses, to whom we are forever thankful.

The Sub-Branch and buildings existence, heritage and history are important to the local community and provide a tangible link to the past that deserve to be maintained. The Burleigh Heads Sub-Branch is committed to upholding the ANZAC tradition, the Objects of the RSL and our colourful history.


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