Move back to future as RSL sets up Midlands base

SETTLING IN: Ballarat RSL sub-branch president Alex Tascas and secretary Maurie Keating get decorated the club's new Midlands home. Picture:Jeremy Bannister

SETTLING IN: Ballarat RSL sub-branch president Alex Tascas and secretary Maurie Keating get decorated the club's new Midlands home. Picture:Jeremy Bannister

READ MORE: Captured WWI gun unveiled at lake

RSL looks to Midlands in win-win move

A NEW partnership will help re-align the Ballarat sub-brand of the Returned and Services League to be what it once was – a club, rather than a pub.

Ballarat RSL is in the process of settling in to a long-awaited move to Midlands Golf Club, where it will officially open its doors in a fortnight’s time.

Australian, New Zealand and the RSL flags are already flying at the Heinz Lane entrance. 

Ballarat RSL president Alex Tascas said the partnership with Midlands was a good fit. It comes after the club’s five year stay at The George Hotel on Lydiard Street where Ms Tascas said the committee had worked hard to consolidate operations.

But it was time to move and grow.

A key part of this will be promoting Ballarat’s military history. Midlands premises allow easier access for buses to visit the club, which in turn would allow Ballarat RSL to better promote sites like the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial and Garden of the Grieving Mother by the the Arch of Victory.

The German Howitzer gun, captured in World War I and displayed on Lake Wendouree’s north shores, will also be relocated to Midlands by the new flag poles.

“For me, being here (at Midlands) is about being in control and not being told what to do to the same extent by Anzac House,” Ms Tascas said. “We’re back being the RSL we were years ago...Being here will make a big difference to our members. It’s fantastic. The sport here is also something to offer them.”

Midlands offers golf and lawn bowls, which Ms Tascas said was great for RSL members.

New marketing will project the partnership as Midlands-Ballarat RSL Sports and Services Club. Ms Tascas said this had very much been a partnership and Midlands chairman Darren Bandy said support from Midlands members had been overwhelming.

Ms Tascas said The George Hotel staff and proprietor Gary Browning had been great support the past five years and in the moving process. Ballarat RSL looked forward to now expanding community ties.

An official launch is on August 6.