War Widows

War Widows

The War Widows and Widowed Mothers Association of Victoria was founded in Melbourne in 1922. Originally, its aim was to improve the conditions of the bereaved widow. Widowed mothers who had lost their sons were included as members. Initially the Association was a gathering of ladies with mutual sorrow and the meeting was for no other purpose.

As time passed the War Widows found that their pensions were inadequate – they sent a petition to the Prime Minister, his reply suggested they form a club to show the number of people appealing for change. The active War Widows posted themselves at Post Offices where the War Widows went to claim their pensions. Here, the War Widows extracted promises from other War Widows to attend future larger gatherings – this resulted in a committee being formed, Mrs McCutchan was elected as Secretary and Mrs Ebeling was elected as President. From this meeting a petition was drawn up which persuaded the Federal Government to increase the widow’s benefits.

Over the past 90 plus years the War Widows and Widowed Mothers Association have had a retail outlet in the Melbourne Arcade, held stalls and received donations and gifts of money from sporting bodies. These funds contributed to purchase and upkeep of a holiday house in the Dandenong Ranges and Rosebud to be enjoyed by War Widows and Widowed Mothers. As time moved on a group of Trustees was appointed to take charge of the Houses, in 1990 the house in Ferny Creek was sold and another cottage was purchased in Rosebud.

The War Widows and Widowed Mothers Association now accepts all widows of ex-servicemen, widowed mothers who were dependent upon either a son or daughter whoe served, and the widows of merchant navy members who died on active service or after cessation of hostilities.

The aims of the Association are: Welfare of members and dependants, betterment of pensions, amenities and concessions, and the promotion of fellowship interest and co-operation among members. Help and advice is given wherever possible to the bereaved, members in hostel and nursing homes are visited and materials for their personal comfort are given when required.

All funds are raised by voluntary subscription and efforts. Funds raised benefit war widows, monies and goods are donated to Charities that are not Government subsidised. Branches of the Association can donate to local charities.

The Association has a State Council that meets at ANZAC House each month, the Executive Committee is made up of 7 war widows and two Delegates from each Branch (26 Branches in Victoria holding 2000 members state wide) are represented at the meeting. State Council is there to advise on and give information that is needed, correspondence from Veterans Affairs and Government Departments are tabled at State Council and discussed with delegates.

In 2004, the Trustees disbanded and the holiday homes at Rosebud were passed over the Carry On (Vic) , no monies changed hands. The monies held in the bank to service the houses was $75,000.00 this was given to the Patriotic Fund, every year two Nursing Scholarships are given to Ballarat University.

The State President, Shirley Cornish, and State Secretary, Verna Phillips, are taken to Ballarat University by Government Car each year to present the Scholarships.
This wonderful contribution to Nursing Education will continue as only this interest on the funds is used for the Scholarships.

Oakleigh Carnegie RSL welcomes our War Widows that attend our club for their monthly meeting, these women are to be congratulated on their contribution to RSL and wider community.

Verna Phillips

About Us

t Oakleigh Carnegie RSL, we pride ourselves on offering quality food and world class entertainment for the mature audience.

Relax in our member’s bar or soak up the sun in our private and spacious beer garden. Enjoy the highest quality  produce and ingredients hosted by John and Sue in Onion Patch Bistro. Experience the best in local and overseas entertainment provided by Peter Foley and the Caravan Music Club.

We are proud to be one of the last RSL clubs in Victoria to provide a warm and friendly environment, without the distraction of gaming machines.

Members and guests are welcome to enquire about private functions, as well as seminars and corporate events. We are proud to achieve all of this, whilst being an integral part of the local community, regularly supporting local charities and organisations.

Visitors always welcome!


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We Support

The RSL has a wonderful, old, vaudeville-style hall. The hall has been used by musicians since it opened in 1922. Today’s musicians enjoy playing the room for the atmosphere and acoustics that this timeless venue provides. All visitors are welcome to enjoy pre-show drinks in the members bar or dinner in the Onion Patch Bistro, a delightfully tasty food platter is also available from Onion Patch Bistro.


We Serve

From Wednesday to Saturday evening, John and Sue invite you to relax in warm and inviting bistro area where you can enjoy quality meals to suit all taste from vegetarians to meat lovers.

It is John and Sue’s intention to enhance the musical experience by providing good quality food that represents real value for money. You cannot go past John’s beer battered fish and chips!


We Honour

The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance.

No words can better describe the ethos of the Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) or the seriousness with which our members take the obligation of Australian Governments of ensuring the ongoing security and defence of our nation and the Australian people. Read More


News & Events

  • Christmas New Year Trading Hours 2016 - 2017
  • Friday night is member's night
  • Open Invitation to the Community - ANZAC 100 Years
  • Merry Christmas To All of Our Members And Visitors At OCRSL.
  • Merry Christmas To All of Our Members and Vistors.
  • Lest We Forget........
  • Melbourne Cup Day
  • Cup Day 2014