Bendigo District RSL redevelopment opened

PATRON Senator for Bendigo Michael Ronaldson officially opened the redeveloped Bendigo and District RSL on Sunday.

Mr Ronaldson also unveiled a plaque at the Havilah Road building which has been renovated and a memorabilia park developed.

"It's an exciting development for Bendigo," Mr Ronaldson said.

"The RSL is, of course, the heart and soul of the veteran community and ex-service community in Bendigo.

"The post-1975 veterans Victorian group have got a very strong presence which is important because there are 72,500 men and women who have served this nation overseas since about 1999.

"We have a new generation of ex-service people coming through and the post-1975 group are really important for Bendigo."

Earlier this year sub-branch president Cliff Richards said the $3.8 million project would be positive for war veterans and the public.

“It’s been a total renovation,” he said.

“And the one thing that I’m proud to say is that all the renovations have been linked to the benefits of the veterans and our families.

“We’ve stayed away from commercial operations and invested heavily in the future of our veterans, especially the young veterans.”

A restored warship propeller blade made at the Thales site in the 1980s was unveiled in March and has pride of place in the building's foyers.

At the unveiling earlier this year, Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said the propeller was evidence of Bendigo’s long association with defence manufacturing.

"It's just wonderful that at the RSL, as you walk in, here a piece of equipment that's being manufactured here in Bendigo," she said.

"It speaks to the proud tradition that we have here in Bendigo of not only having men and women who serve our country but we also build the equipment that protects them while they're overseas."

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