RSL’s foundation president
Foundation president Thomas Walker, a native of Heathcote, Vic was in charge of one of the Remounts Units in 1915 then aged 53 years.
He went to Egypt and became involved in Remounts camps at Mena and Heliopolis.
About 1917 he purchased the butchering business of George Plummer, on Belmore Street Yarrawonga.
Thomas Walker was treasurer of the Yarrawonga Mulwala RSL Sub Branch in 1919 as well as being a Vice President.
He died on November, 7 1921, aged 59 years. The first duty of the Sub Branch was to arrange welcomes to returning servicemen and to give them advice and assistance in the obtaining of pensions and other benefits pro- vided by the government and to help them re-establish themselves in civilian life.
Many had left as boys and returned as men, men in need of employment at a time when harsh economic conditions prevailed.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala Sub Branch quickly moved into action and on April 30 1918 ran a dance at which 36 pounds, 8 shillings and 1 pence was raised.
Later that year peace was declared and the area celebrated in style.
A grand procession involving many horse drawn floats, led by car and a group of uniformed veterans, was staged in Yarrawonga whilst each of the area communities became involved in “Welcome Home” celebrations.
Throughout 1919 the veterans continued to return, and as membership increased the Sub Branch decided to do its utmost to obtain its own clubrooms.
A suggestion was made that the top storey of the Yarrawonga Mechanics Institute be procured but it was decided instead to speed up a Memorial Hall project.
To this end, fundraising dances were programmed to be held at Wilby, Telford, Mulwala, Burramine North, Burramine South, Bundalong South and Yarrawonga.
By September 1919 an estimated cost of 1800 for building a Memorial Hall had been considered and plans and specifications were called for.
Estimates were to be furnished by Mr W Chappell.