norfolk island rsl sub-branch


Forming the Sub-Branch

The Norfolk Island RSL Sub-Branch was reformed late in 1945 when Norfolk Island personnel began to return to home from WWII.  The first meetings were held in Mr Flack’s passion fruit shed at the rear of the current Pete’s Place in Taylor’s Road.  The meetings were later held at the home of Mr James Mitchell (RSL Honorary Secretary) where Hibiscus Aloha Motels is now.  When Mr Mitchell passed away, meetings were moved to the old Rawson Hall supper room.  In 1950 the Sub-Branch members raised 50 pounds to purchase a half-acre plot from Mr Gilly Bailey to build the Norfolk Island RSL Sub-Branch Club.  At that time the RSL Women’s Auxiliary was formed to support the Sub-Branch and widow’s of Sub-Branch members.

Sub-Branch Building 

The building of the RSL was a real community effort.  Australian Government’s Administrator donated Norfolk Island Pine trees for building material.  Members felled the pines and prepared the logs.  Department of Works donated the bulldozers for logging.  Eddie Yeaman and Tui Nobbs assisted by Chris Pedal and Bert Edward/Bill Cook , who were all returned serviceman, donated their time, trucks and timber mills.  The Yeaman and Nobbs sawmills were used to mill the timber and transport the cut wood for stacking and drying.  Late 1950 Sub-Branch members plus Mr Jack Jenkins started construction of the Club and ANZAC Day 1951 commemorations were held at the new Club.  In 1999 the club was expanded to its current structure.

The building is a museum for military storage so it can display weapons and in particular, the gun display cabinet with priceless guns and knives etc.


Norfolk Island has always sent a large number of people to join the armed forces in major world conflicts.  Nowhere else in Australia has sent such a large proportion of their population.

air travel started during World War II, it was very difficult for people to get from Norfolk Island to Australia but despite the problems, nine men departed for the Boer War, 81 of a possible 160 men joined the Australian and New Zealand military for World War I, 280 of a possible 365 men plus eight women joined the Australian and New Zealand military for WWII.  Norfolk Islanders have also fought in wars in Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Gulf, Kuwait, Somalia, Afghanistan, East Timor and with other United Nations peace keeping forces.  Many were awarded special medals for their service.

The islanders left at home had to deal with the resulting casualties of war, the prisoners of war, the missing in war, the injuries from war and some of the soldiers had trouble adjusting when they returned. 

The Norfolk Island Infantry Detachment assigned to protecting the island’s shores were recognised for their contribution to the war efforts.

History of Our Cadets - 230ACU

The RSL Sub Branch wanted to form a Cadet unit in Norfolk Island.  This was a very difficult project because of the many rules.   A group of elders started the process in 1995 and after many attempts they succeeded in May 1998.  Their biggest problem was that the rules said that they had to have 32 cadets to form a unit.  The Administrator of Norfolk Island at the time, Mr Tony Messner helped the RSL Sub-Branch to get that rule altered.  The Norfolk Island cadet unit is still the only unit that is allowed to have fewer than 32 cadets.  The 1st OC of the unit was Capt. (AAC) Ricky Quintal, a retired ex-serviceman.  He was in charge until the end of 1999 where he had to retire because of his age.  LT (AAC) Tim Sheridan assumed command of the unit and is still in command.  The Unit had 22 cadets in the first year and has about 30 cadets each year.  Every year the cadets take part in the Island’s ANZAC Day services, Remembrance Day services, Vietnam Veterans and Victory in the Pacific services.  Each year they attend the NSW Camp which is held on an Army Base.

The RSL Woman's Auxiliary

 The RSL Woman's Auxiliary was founded in 1947/48 and the first official meeting was in the old supper room at Rawson hall.  The first meeting to discuss ANZAC Day was held in Mr Jim Needham's home where Broadwalk is now.  There were 29 founding members and the only surviving member living on Norfolk Island is Mrs Mary Selby. 

The Woman's Auxiliary is a volunteer function of the Returned & Services League of Australia. The  RSL Woman's Auxiliary initial function was to assist the RSL Sub-Branch members to raise money to support returned veterans and their families who needed support.  The Norfolk Island RSL Woman's Auxiliary provides outstanding service to the veterans, the widows, and the community of Norfolk Island.   They still raise money and provide help just as they have for the last 60 years. 

The History of the RSL Daycare Club - White Oaks

For a long time the RSL Sub Branch wanted to establish a Daycare Facility for elderly veterans, widows and community members.  In 2000 the RSL Daycare Club was started and it has been operating very successfully since.  Mrs Lorraine De Rijk was instrumental in getting it started.

The White Oaks club for Seniors meet every Thursday morning with many people attending.  The meetings are a friendly gathering with events,  community singing and community art activities, children programs, and lots more.

The RSL Sub Branch helps them when work is needed and the Australian Dept of Veteran’s Affairs has given money for things such as carpet and tables and chairs.