The Sorrento Portsea RSL today is run by a team of eager volunteers. It is quickly forging a reputation of a great local venue on the Mornington Peninsula to enjoy great talented Australian Cover bands, evident in their event calendar for 2016. But it was not always that way?
SPRSL sub-branch was formed in 1920 by local servicemen who served in WW1 the first Anzac day service was held by the sub-branch in that year at the newly erected cenotaph on the Sorrento foreshore and is one of the oldest sub branches in Victoria.
Since its inauguration it has served the local community well. Every year on Anzac and Remembrance Days club volunteers conduct commemorative services to honour those who have served in our armed services in all conflicts from WW1 and WW2 to today’s conflict in Afghanistan.
As a traditional sub-branch the club is run and staffed by volunteers and could not operate without their contributions. There are no poker machines to generate revenue, surviving only on membership fees and bar sales.
Erosion of their membership base combined with poor management saw this proud club close its doors Christmas 2007. RSL Victoria had plans to sell off the clubs assets to pay its debts.
Thankfully the story doesn’t end there.
Immediately following its closure a small group of members led by two Vietnam Veterans formed an action committee and began lobbying RSL Victoria. They raised $40,000 from local businesses and gained conditional approval to re-open the sub-branch. In July 2008, RSL Victoria in conjunction with Rye and Rosebud sub-branches loaned Sorrento Portsea $150,000 to pay its debts under a 5 year condition.
The loan was paid back in 3 years and with hard work and determination, SPRSL is now one of the most successful medium sized sub-branches in Victoria.
The Club welcomed Sorrento Thai Restaurant & Takeaway in 2009 and the restaurant is open for dinner & takeaway 7 nights a week in Summer and 6 nights a week for the rest of the year.
As an RSL sub-branch their core business is veterans welfare.
Increasingly they are involved in the wider community and provide school scholarships and assistance to various community groups when required. Their club facilities are available to the wider community for fundraisers, presentation nights and meetings.
Sorrento Portsea RSL is also available for private functions and regularly host birthday parties, events, sports nights, conferences, funeral wakes, etc. Catering and bar service is available.
For a full 2016 Calendar of Events and bookings please contact the sub-branch on 5984 2886 and bookings for the restaurant phone 5984 5138.
Today they are approaching 600 members and have plans to increase that number to 1000 within the next 4 years so get on board and enjoy the friendship, camaraderie and community spirit at SPRSL. New members are made very welcome. To be part of this successful sub-branch phone 5984 2886.
Sorrento Portsea RSL
1-3 Hurley Street
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