History of the Terrigal Wamberal RSL Sub Branch.

The Terrigal Wamberal RSL Sub-Branch was inaugurated as a member of the Returned Sailors’ & Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia (NSW Branch) on 8th August 1945. Mr G.F. Stewart was elected President with Mr I.E. Brown as Secretary and Mr M. Hobson as Treasurer.

The RSL name was later changed to the Returned & Services League of Australia.

A converted military hut was the initial Sub-Branch premises and was located near the current location of the Terrigal Bowling Club. Once established the building was referred to as the Terrigal Soldiers’ Hall. The Bowling Club became the preferred venue for post meeting ‘smokos’.

In 1949 and reported in the local media as being “unique for the times”, the Sub-Branch appointed a woman as Patron. She was Mrs P Sheean, who was elected to mark the vast amount of work she had done for the Sub-Branch and her efforts in raising funds.

A Women’s Auxiliary was formed in 1953 and assisted in fundraising activities over many years until it disbanded in 1998.

In 1964 the Sub-Branch purchased 9 acres of land in Dover Road, Wamberal, from a local builder for 1,500 pounds. The banks were initially reluctant to finance the purchase as they did not believe that there was enough equity in the land to cover the loan. A number of members were required to underwrite the loan with their personal guarantees before funding was approved.

Around that time, a public meeting was called to establish an RSL Club. The meeting was well attended and it was resolved to form a club and to call it the Terrigal Wamberal RSL Club.

The Sub-Branch had plans drawn up for a large building with a construction cost of between 300,000 and 500,000 pounds. The Committee felt that the cost of the building was far too expensive, considering the population of the areas was only around 2,000. There was no town water or sewerage available and the road to the land was in a state of disrepair.

Further meetings were called during 1965 but interest waned to the point where membership of the proposed Club ceased to exist.

In 1966 the Sub-Branch decided to try and erect a small clubhouse on their 9 acres. Not having much money they approached Gosford Brick Works and Sterland Bros. Ltd for the supply of building materials on time payment. They agreed to the request and with voluntary labour from Sub-Branch members and other local supporters, they were able to erect the first stage of the first club house. The debt for the building material was paid off over the next 2-3 years.

On the 28 November 1968, a meeting was held in the old CWA Hall Terrigal by persons interested in forming the “The Terrigal Memorial Country Club”. 42 people were in attendance and the following executives were elected; President Harry Hall, President, Secretary Peter Bosgard and Treasurer Geoff Milne.

In 1970, the Sub-Branch Committee decided to call a special meeting to form a new Club under the “Companies Act” and to register the name “Terrigal Memorial Country Club Ltd”. The Club was incorporated under the Act on the 23rd September 1970; at the time the membership of the Club stood at 270.

On three occasions over the next few years the Club unsuccessfully applied for a liquor licence. Each application was rejected as the licensing authority considered that the population in the area was too small and that there were insufficient sporting activities at the Club to warrant licensed premises. The Club’s only sporting activities were darts and indoor bowls.

The Sub-Branch committee then decided to commence the construction of a small golf course on the existing 9 acres, and also to apply to Gosford Council to lease 25 acres of land adjoining the 9 acres. The Club commenced construction of the first three holes with volunteers from the Sub-Branch and Club and within 6 months completed the work. In 1972 the members played the 3 holes 3 times, for their 9 hole competition.

The golf course development created a lot of interest in the area and soon the membership of the Club increase dramatically leading to the Court granting the Club’s Liquor Licence on the 29th September 1973.

Voluntary work continued on further golf holes. By this time the Club was able to employ staff to assist with the voluntary labour in the clubhouse and on the golf course. The first greenkeeper was Bob Day who with the aid of volunteers did outstanding work. The first Secretary Manager Sid Almond was also appointed in 1973.

In 1974 a further 15 acres of land became available and was purchased for $15,000. This gave the Club a total of 50 acres of land, with an established clubhouse, tennis courts, bowling greens and a golf course. In 1976 two all weather tennis courts were built on the lake front area.

In 1978 the clubhouse was extended on the eastern end and a dining room, extra lounge area, bottom bar games room and toilets upstairs were added.

At this time the Club had been leasing the building and grounds from the Sub-Branch. The existing RSL Constitution of the club required it to have 13 directors, 8 of whom must be Sub-Branch members. Each year it was becoming more and more difficult to find enough members to serve on the club board. It entailed a considerable financial responsibility and a good deal of voluntary work by the directors.

In 1983 after a number of Sub-Branch meetings it was decided to sell the assets of the Sub-Branch to the Club. A condition of the sale was that the Club provide a room for the Sub-Branch to conduct their activities.

For commercial reasons, the name of the Club was changed to the Breakers Country Club (trading as the Terrigal Memorial Country Club) in 2008.

The Club remains respectful to those who served and they continue to abide by RSL ceremonies and tributes. A sandstone wall and Plaque opposite the entrance to the Club is registered as a War Memorial.

While the Sub-Branch no longer has any pecuniary interests in the Club, it continues to operate at Breakers as a not for profit organisation, assisting the ex services community.

The mission of the RSL and this Sub-Branch is to "Provide for the well being, care, compensation and commemoration of serving and ex-serving Defence Force Personnel and their dependants and promote Government and Community awareness of the need for a stable and progressive Australia."

PRESIDENTS' HONOUR ROLL

1946
G F STEWART
1973-1977
D BROWNE
1947-1949
J A BROWN
1978-1984
R HENRY
1950-1953
G MOTTERSHEAD
1985-1991
T B FULLER
1954-1955
M STEDMAN
1992-1993
A HILL
1956-1957
W UPTON
1994-2001
B STOKES
1958-1961
M STEDMAN
2002-2003
R LINDSAY
1962-1964
R SYDENHAM
2004-2007
M WARDLE
1965
W GARDENER
2008
B BETHEL
1966
A SMALL
2009-2014
M WARDLE
1967-1972
H HALL
2015- Present
P WHITE