The following is a letter to the editor written by member Mike McRae after concerns were expressed about the condition of the current RSL premises (the former Victor Harbor Library in Coral Street). It was published in The Times on 21/6/2018:
Much debate has recently centred around the proposed redevelopment of the Old Library and Town Hall buildings in Coral Street into an upgraded Arts and Culture Centre for some five and a half million dollars. A survey undertaken appears to support an upgrade of the site, although community feedback was mixed regarding what form and expense is deemed best for our immediate and longer-term needs. Certainly, the design set out in the Concept Plan drew little in the way of public support.
A matter that needs addressing though is that when Council leased the Old Library to the RSL sub-branch ten years ago it was on the strict understanding that the building would be maintained in a good and serviceable condition and state of repair. Fair enough. To this end, the sub-branch has done exactly that throughout their occupancy by undertaking ongoing in-kind repairs, maintenance and upgrading by volunteer RSL member effort, including the expenditure of more than $30,000 to facilitate that work.
I was present last Wednesday when RSL SA executives and local RSL committee members inspected the premises and concluded that the building appears to be in excellent condition. It is a shame that the sub-branch has been given little or no credit for their sterling efforts in maintaining this excellent heritage building on behalf of our community. What a great venue for a youth ‘drop in centre’, art gallery and other similar uses. – At no cost to Victor Harbor. Please call in and make your own minds up at our 2pm Wednesday and Friday social afternoons..
3/8 Matthew Flinders Drive
Encounter Bay SA 5211