Memories fade and become hazy, but the beginning of the Pascoe Vale Sub-Branch of the RSL is said to have begun in the following way.
There was an area up around the south end of Pascoe Vale called “The Soldier’s Settlement”. The settlement housed mostly returned soldiers from the 1st World War and their families. Every Saturday a group of these men would get together and go to Browns Hotel in Coburg for a few drinks.
After drinking for a while the talk would always get around to the same subject. All of these men belonged to the Coburg Sub-Branch of the RSL. They would talk about starting a Sub-Branch in Pascoe Vale. While much talking was done about it, by the next morning, all of them would have forgotten what they wanted to do.
At the time there were many weddings in the area. While people would attend the celebrations their homes were broken into and presents and other valuables would be stolen. A man named Joe had a daughter who was to be married the coming weekend. There was a new Sergeant of Police at the Police Station, so off Joe went to see if the Sergeant could keep an eye on the area while the wedding took place.
The wedding and reception over, a group of people went back to Joe’s house to continue the celebrations. Going into the kitchen to get something, he saw a torch light in his back yard. Thinking this was the thief that was looting the houses in the settlement, Joe went racing down the backyard and grabbed the supposed thief. Dragging him back to the house, he was somewhat embarrassed to find that he had captured the Sergeant of Police, Bert Stanton.
After introducing himself to the assembled group, Bert informed them that he also was a returned service man. The talk as usual, was getting around to the RSL and about starting their own Sub-Branch. As always by the next morning, everyone had forgotten the conversation except Bert Stanton. Being on duty, Bert had not had a drink and so remembered the conversation quite clearly.
Off he went round to Joe’s house and suggested they get everyone that was interested in joining over to his place. The first man to arrive was Eric Chapman, who was a representative at Anzac House. Soon after, more men arrived and the meeting began.
The first recorded meeting took place at the home of Mr Gallant in Bell Street Pascoe Vale on 4th May 1948. At this meeting the first committee was elected consisting of:-
President B. Stanton
Senior Vice President J. F. Farrell
Junior Vice President J. P. Esslemont
Treasurer W. Robinson
Meetings were initially held at St George Hall in Bell Street before moving to newly constructed premises (at current site) at 40 Cumberland Road Pascoe Vale on 20th October, 1956.