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Humble Beginnings—an extract from a letter written by

the Late W F (Bill) Holmes JP


In October 1957, The North Ryde RSL Sub-Branch resolved that a Gymnastic Club for boys be formed, to help combat what was then known as child delinquency.


On the first of November 1957, the inaugural meeting was held at 5 Edmondson street North Ryde, when a committee and office bearers for the ensuing year were elected. They were:

President:                                 J  Evans

Secretary:                                W Holmes

Treasurer:                                W Holmes

Committee:                             M Murray

                                    T Hamilton

                                                M Ballantyne

                                                K Collins

                                                N Braby

                                                S Chivas


So North Ryde RSL Gymnastics Club was born. The school of arts in Cox’s Road was booked for Friday 8th November 1957, when 30 boys were given tuition by our instructor Mr Bob Saunders, himself a champion gymnast, who gave his time & talents free of charge for the first 18 months!


The Sub-Branch donated the princely sum of 25 pounds towards the equipment required to begin operations—this donation is all the more incredible when one realises that the North Ryde RSL Sub-Branch was still raising funds to acquire their own clubhouse—the first (Cavill House)  which would not  exist  until May 1958. It was only a matter of months before the club became self supporting thanks to a small, vigorous band of dedicated helpers. In August 1958, RSL Youth Clubs were formed and we changed our name to North Ryde RSL Youth Club.


Thus the nucleus of the North Ryde RSL Youth Club took shape throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s.


The current grounds came into being in the 1980’s with the current Youth Club Building being opened on the 2nd November 1985. This structure was erected using voluntary labour supplied in the most part by Sub-Branch Members – an incredible feat given that most were retired. The facility is still maintained by some of these men affectionately known as “DAD’S ARMY”.