Meander Valley Gazette

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Westbury RSL restoration – a major heritage project

Joanne Eisemann
Westbury RSL Sub Branch Vice President Fred Baker, the Hon. Guy Barnett MP and Westbury RSL Commemorative Events Chairperson John Donaldson.

Westbury RSL Sub Branch Vice President Fred Baker, the Hon. Guy Barnett MP and Westbury RSL Commemorative Events Chairperson John Donaldson.

THE WESTBURY RSL Sub Branch committee will commence restoring the exterior of the Westbury RSL building on Lonsdale Promenade.

A significant program of restorative works to be undertaken over the next five years will require heritage and specialist input as well as support from other external funding sources.

The Westbury RSL building is of great importance to the history of Westbury for its location in the historic Village Green precinct and its long list of past occupants.

Originally built circa 1832 using convict labour, it has been used as a court house, gaol, police station and council building before being purchased last century by the Westbury RSL Sub Branch.

Given the building’s historical significance, the President, Committee and members of the Westbury RSL Sub Branch consider it an honour to be its custodian and have a shared commitment to its ongoing preservation.

President Bob Sackley said it was very important for the building to be maintained to preserve its heritage for future generations, a view shared by the Westbury & Districts Historical Society.

‘The ongoing maintenance and restorative works to our historic building also meets our RSL Objective to provide a means for members to enjoy camaraderie, fellowship and mateship, which is fundamental to our commitment to our veterans, their families and our local community. Importantly, it also continues to support our moral responsibility to provide a place for social connectedness and inclusion.’

In 2015, the Westbury RSL embarked on a major program of internal works.

These works were achieved with grants from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, many years of savings and most recently, Tasmania’s Minister for Veterans’ Affairs the Hon. Guy Barnett MP announced a grant of $9000 from the Teddy Sheean Memorial Grants Program 2018/2019 Round 2.

This grant program honours the sacrifice made by Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean, as a representative of the many Tasmanians who gave their lives during World War Two.