Hon Albert Jacob BEnvDes M.Arch JP MLA

Hon Albert Jacob BEnvDes M.Arch JP MLA

Former Minister for Environment; Heritage

    RSL hall in Geraldton heritage listed

    8/09/2016 8:30 AM
     
    • 1935 Birdwood House is one of earliest purpose-built RSL halls
    • The hall has been the centre of Anzac Day commemorations since it was built 

    One of the earliest known purpose-built Returned and Services League halls in Western Australia has been added to the State Register.

     

    Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said Birdwood House was built in 1935 as the first permanent home for the RSL and its preceding associations in Geraldton.

     

    "As service personnel began returning from World War I, it became clear that both they and the families of those killed would require significant social and economic support," Mr Jacob said.

     

    "The RSL, including its earlier iterations, was very active in providing and lobbying for welfare services and other assistance to returned service personnel and also working to honour the memory of those killed."

     

    The Minister said Birdwood House was valued by its community as it had been the centre of Anzac Day commemorations since 1936.

     

    "General interest and support for Anzac Day waned in the late 1960s through to the 1970s, largely in response to Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War," he said.

     

    "However, the Geraldton RSL continued holding Anzac services, and has seen a revival of interest in Anzac Day commemorations in recent decades, as Australians have increasingly embraced our Anzac heritage and stories."

     

    Architecturally, Birdwood House has elements of several Inter-War styles, including Free Classical and Georgian external features and Art Deco interior detailing.

     

    It is still used as Geraldton's RSL hall and houses a significant collection of military memorabilia.

     

    Fact File

    • Birdwood House was named in honour of Sir William Riddell Birdwood, later Baron Birdwood, the much-respected British General who commanded the Australian and New Zealand forces during WWI at Gallipoli and in France
    • For more information, visit http://www.stateheritage.wa.gov.au 

    Minister's office - 6552 5800

     

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