The History of Katooomba RSL

After a devastating fire in February 2017, Katoomba RSL has rebuilt their premises to be bigger and better than ever before. The $12 million-dollar development will be an exciting and unique hospitality and events venue sporting three bars, a brand new restaurant, children’s play area, terraces, several lounges plus an events centre that will seat 300+ people. We would like to thank all of our Members and the local Blue Mountains City Council for their continued support throughout this difficult journey. We are excited to introduce our brand new Club, brand new Restaurant and State of the Art Facilities which we proudly, officially reopened on Saturday 24th August 2019.


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Archived Updates

Grand Opening – 24 August 2019

24 August 2019

The Katoomba RSL Official Grand Opening was held on Saturday 24 August 2019 from 10:30am.

Government Officials, Local MPs and respected Members of the Blue Mountains Community were present to witness the Cutting of the Ribbon Ceremony and the Consecration of the new Community War Memorial, along with other events to celebrate the occasion.

Official Grand Opening Programme:

Blue Mountains City Council RSL Band
Performances from local schools
Consecration of Community War Memorial
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Plaque Unveiling
Walk through RSL Sub-branch/Veteran’s Office, RSL Sub-branch Memorabilia
Ringing of the HMAS Katoomba Bell

Some words from our President Brian Turner  RFD:

"WOW, would you just look at this, finally we are here at the end of a very long and tight race

A  very warm welcome everyone,  to this very special occasion.

To Aunty Carol Cooper and Joe thank you. Aunty Carol, your messages are always messages of warmth, understanding and hope and today you have again delivered such a message. Thank you.

To Rev Ray Robinson, our Chaplin. Thank you Ray for performing the very special service of consecration for the relocated Katoomba Community War Memorial

This Memorial is very important to the Katoomba Community and we at Katoomba RSL are very proud to be its custodian

To the Katoomba RSL Blue Mountains City Band, as always thank you for your support and being part of today’s celebrations

And, to the Choirs and Students from Katoomba Primary, St Canices Primary, North Katoomba Primary and Katoomba High Schools thank you for your presence and participation today.

30 months ago, to this very date with  CEO Nick Darias, we were standing not more than 30 metres away just over there and watching our club and RSL sub branch burn to the ground. Thankfully all staff and patrons were evacuated quickly and safely.

Stunned with this loss we thought, where to now, how do we do it and who do we turn to.

We did not have to wait long. Offers of support and advice came from many areas

So began the long, long process of rebuilding.

But first, I just want to mention some feedback from the community as to what the loss of this club has meant. Sometimes you don’t really miss something until it is gone.

Not only was the club  a place of social gathering and entertainment for members and visitors, but for some,  it was a place of daily shelter and safety, an emergency evacuation centre for the upper Blue Mountains , particularly during bushfires, a training and convention centre, a major contributor to the local Community Grants Program and local economy and a major employer. It is also here the community holds its Remembrance Services and RSL sub-Branch activities. The list just goes on.

There are many people and organisations that the club would like to thank for their assistance and support during this  long rebuild process.

Blue Mountains City Council – We wish to thank Council for their enormous support during this major project.

Mr Mayor, if I could take this opportunity to ask you formally to convey the thanks of the club, its members and staff to all members of the Council and its Officers and Staff for their outstanding efforts in the support of the rebuild of club.

To our Federal Member, Susan Templeman, thankyou Susan for all your support.

To our State Member, Trish Doyle, thankyou Trish for your tireless efforts and your representations at critical times with the right people which definitely helped us cross the finish line.

To Commodore Brett Sonter RAN, Air Commodore Ian Scott AM RAAF and Ray James RSLNSW thank you for your support by being here today and a special thankyou to Brett who was our Official Guest at ANZAC Day 2019 commemorations, for his and the Navy’s assistance in the club obtaining a vital piece of naval equipment for the HMAS Katoomba Ship’s Bell.

To our Professional advisors:

Insurance – Jenny, Insurance broker

Rob McMartin, Insurance Adjustor (fantastic job)

Legal        - Ray Travers, Pigot Stinson

Finance    - Rod Hoffman, Keystone Partners

Audit         - Nick Nancarrow, Cutcher Neale

Bankers-     Terry Fanning and Scott Holmes, Bendigo Community Bank

Quantity Surveyor – Bryce Long

Architect – David Herron – MID – Architect, Project Manager, Mentor

(St Canices submissions June 2017( Poppies)

Mrs Viviane Byrnes – Teacher

Builder – Rohrig Constructions

To Glen Rohrig, Justin, Ben, Zac, Dan and the Rohrig team thanks for a very interesting 18 months. What an outstanding building and finish you have achieved, thankyou


We are proud to provide a dedicated RSL sub-Branch and Veterans Office right at the front of our new building

To  RSL sub- Branches

Cumberland RSL sub-Branch – very generous offer – Greg Read SC

Fairfield RSL sub-Branch – Angus Bryant

Castle Hill RSL sub-Branch

Blackheath – Mount Victoria

And the many other RSL sub branches


Anything non-metallic was completely destroyed. We were able to retrieve our medal collection and you will see the medals fully restored and on display thanks to the magnificent efforts of Warwick Carey and his team at The Medal Shop at Rockdale in Sydney.

The Ships Bell and Bell Rope for HMAS Katoomba have also been fully restored

The Club Industry

RSL Clubs Association -Garrie Gibson

Clubs NSW                   - Anthony Ball

And the many Clubs from across NSW

Board of Directors – Thankyou to all members of the Board for their hard work and dedication. We sadly lost one of our Directors, Michael Turner during this time and he is a great loss.

Management and staff - Many thanks Nick to you and your team for your magnificent support and commitment

Members –Your support and understanding has been fantastic. Thankyou

Jackie – to my wonderful and supportive wife - thankyou

In a situation such as this there are many lessons and experiences that you come across. In conclusion, we leave you with just a couple:

  1. In business insurance claims there is an expression “the policy does not respond” such a quaint way of saying no to a claim
  2. Try not to approach a bank seeking a financial arrangement slap bang in the middle of a Banking Royal Commission

Thankyou everyone"

Soft Opening – 14 August 2019

14 August 2019

Blue Mountains Gazette:


"Local members queued outside the new clubhouse this afternoon (Wednesday) to be among the first to get a look inside.

From the spacious foyer, which features a glass cabinet containing the club's memorabilia - including the old medals which have been restored - through to the large bar with floor to ceiling windows, the effect is light and airy.

The feature is undoubtedly the double-height dining room, with a massive curved window looking over the corner of Lurline and Merriwa streets.

There is a 600-seat auditorium with sliding concertina doors which can divide the room into smaller areas.

Pokies players are well catered for, with two areas, one indoors and one indoor-outdoor.

The Red Poppy Brasserie is not yet open but will do so from 11.30am Friday.

There are a few unfinished bits, including the cenotaph out the front of the porte cochere (a fancy way of describing the covered porch-like structure at the entrance, which will give visitors protection from bad weather.

The cenotaph will be in place and will be consecrated at the club's official opening on Saturday, August 24."

Week 50 Update

19 July 2019


Make sure you visit our Katoomba Street Administration Office before COB Thursday 25 July 2019 should you wish to become a Member or update your details as we will be moving into our new Offices at Katoomba RSL Club on Friday 26 July 2019.

If you would like to come and join before Thurs 25/07, you can find us at Shop 9, Town Centre Arcade, 81-83 Katoomba Street, Katoomba.

Don't have time to visit us before then and want to join before we reopen in the next few weeks? Don't panic as the Wentworth Falls Bowling Club Membership Desk is OPEN Wed - Thurs - Fri from 5pm.

If you need to reach us, you can still call us on (02) 4782 2624 or alternatively, you can contact Wentworth Falls Bowling Club on (02) 4757 1503.

Week 49 Update

11 July 2019

Introduing Kidswest Cash Housie Bingo! Coming soon to Katoomba RSL...

Week 48 Update

4 July 2019

Introducing The Red Poppy Brasserie! Coming soon to Katoomba RSL...

Week 47 Update

27 June 2019

This week down at the site has seen the complete removal of scaffolding on Merriwa Street, revealing the beautiful sandstone cladding in all its glory.

Work on the rest of the sandstone cladding continues in the front entrance area and preparations have started for works on the outdoor terrace.

The reception area with raised ceilings is looking fantastic and will be a real feature when you first enter the club.

Outdoor gaming heaters have also been installed.

Week 46 Update

21 June 2019

Our brand new Club is now so close to being finished as work on final touches continues.

Check out the stunning corner window feature which has now been fully revealed.  You can only really fathom how giant and striking this is if you go for a walk past it.

Another milestone is the completion of our fireplace with a floor to ceiling rock feature wall.

The outdoor gaming area is transforming as we see multicoloured wooden slats and fans installed in the roof.

Week 45 Update

6 June 2019

We now have front doors! The fit out has begun for the fireplace in the main bar, the indoor TAB area and carpet tiles are starting to go down!

Week 44 Update

30 May 2019

We are so impressed with the progress being made down at the site!

Finishing touches like our roof entrance feature and restaurant heat lamps are going in, aswell as fridges and cabinetry.

Week 43 Update

24 May 2019

Lots of work happening down at the site as we work towards a July open!

Week 42 Update

15 May 2019

Check out the tiling in our new Restaurant Bar!
We are also getting a clearer picture of what it will be like to hang out in our new Main Bar area & ofcourse the front entrance which has now been uncovered! No scaffolding

Week 41 Update

9 May 2019

Exciting times for us down at the site this week as our brand new beer taps get installed and tiling begins in the kitchen service areas.

Week 40 Update

3 May 2019

Toilets are starting to pop up around the site! Work also continues on a multitude of other milestones as we watch in awe and realise that the finish line is now in sight, only a couple of months away...

Week 39 Update

26 April 2019

Work continues on walls and finer details... & It's getting easier to visualise our brand new Club

Week 38 Update

18 April 2019

We're making some serious progress as air conditioning units get lifted into place, tiling continues in the bathrooms and waterproofing is nearing completion in our service areas...

Week 37 Update

12 April 2019

Some major changes down at the site this week and our builders are making progress in leaps and bounds as they start to tile bathrooms, continue work on the bar and kitchen areas and exterior sandstone cladding!

Week 36 Update

4 April 2019

This week our restaurant bar and servery area are being built! Works continue on a multitude of other milestones.

Week 35 Update

28 March 2019

It's an exciting week for us down at the site as sandstone cladding is starting to appear on the exterior walls and glass panels are starting to move on in! Work is also continuing on a multitude of other milestones including the ventilation, cabling and interior walls.

Week 34 Update

21 March 2019

Work continues on the cabling, insulation, gyprocking and ventilation...

Week 33 Update

21 March 2019

Work has now begun on insulation, gyprocking and ventilation and work continues on the cabling.

Week 32 Update

6 March 2019

It's all hands on deck at the site as walls start to go up and the cabling, brickwork & interior framing continue.

Week 31 Update

27 February 2019

Works continue on the cabling and interior framing.
Today staff were able to test out the logistics of their new working space with a mock-up, to scale foam version of the new main bar!

Week 30 Update

21 February 2019

Works continue on the cabling and interior framing.
Today staff were able to test out the logistics of their new working space with a mock-up, to scale foam version of the new main bar!

Week 29 Update

15 February 2019

The site is certainly starting to take shape and look more like a Club as the weeks go by.
Our builders are continuing their work on the interior brickwork and running to schedule which is great news!

Week 28 Update

8 February 2019

Work continues on the interior framing and roof.

Week 27 Update

1 February 2019

Lots of progress down at the site this week with the roof moving forward to completion and the interior steel framing going up fast!

Week 26 Update

25 January 2019

Work continues on our roof as insulation is laid.

Week 25 Update

18 January 2019

Work has officially begun on our brand new roof!

Week 24 Update

11 January 2019

Our builders have returned from their Christmas break this week, with our roof being the next milestone we are working towards. The site should look quite different by this time next week!

Week 23 Update

20 December 2018

Our builders are now on their well deserved Christmas break, returning early January when they will be working on the roof.