A $50,000 donation from the family of a veteran has kick-started fundraising efforts as the local branch of the RSL launches a Bendigo Soldiers Memorial Institute appeal.
The Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch hopes to raise $250,000 for the revitalisation of the soldiers memorial institute.
Warwick Johanson served on the HMAS Australia during some of the biggest naval battles of World War Two and afterwards became active in the RSL as a treasurer and auditor.
Family member Yvonne Johanson said Warwick had greatly enjoyed acting as a guide at the museum and had donated service medals and other memorabilia to it.
“So we are delighted that the museum is now being restored and expanded and that we can make a contribution to that and are sure that many others will want to join in,” she said.
The Bendigo RSL sub-branch had committed $500,000 towards the project with $250,000 already raised at the end of May 2017, president Cliff Richards said.
“The RSL is now seeking contribution support and commitment from organisations, businesses and the general public to raise the remaining $250,000 required for the project,” Mr Richards said.
“This project will enshrine the ongoing recognition of those who served our country. It is a very important project for our sub-branch and the Bendigo community.”
Mr Richards said the redevelopment and extension would ensure the building complied with modern building codes while increasing opportunities for a wide range of memorabilia displays and themed presentations.
Donations were tax-deductible. Businesses and individuals who gave more than $1000 in total would be acknowledged on a donors and sponsors panel to be displayed within the refurbished museum foyer.
Donations could be made at any Bendigo & Adelaide Bank branch through its Community Enterprise Foundation or online at www.bendigobank.com.au/rslsoldiersmemorialappeal
Donations could also be made at the Bendigo District RSL at 73-75 Havilah Road, Bendigo between 9am and 5pm daily.