The Pine Rivers District Returned & Services League Sub-Branch was formed and received its charter on 28th October 1945, approximately 10 weeks after the end of WWII. The first president of the Sub-Branch, Mr Tom Gorringe, a WWII veteran,
met with 22 members in the School of Arts Hall at Petrie where the Sub-Branch stayed until 1954.
The building currently known as the William Abell Community Centre (WACC) was originally a home for one of the supervisors at the paper mill at Petrie. In 1963 the Sub-Branch purchased land at Anzac Avenue, Kallangur and the president at that time, Mr W Abell, moved the house onto the new site. The Club and the Sub-Branch were run as separate entities and with separate committees.
Portion of the land was sold to the Kallangur Memorial Bowls Club in 1966 and a new club house was built on the land and the licensed club was changed to Pine Rivers RSL and Services Memorial Club. The Sub-Branch remained in the old house for a further twelve months until an office was made available in the clubhouse. The old house was then leased to the Department of Defence to house 13 Fd Bty RAA, an ARES unit, up until December 1999.
In 1997 the Sub-Branch sold the last piece of land with the old house to the club and purchased a relocatable building that was placed on the land next to the old house. A second relocatable building was also placed there in that year to support the overwhelming increase in workload of the Sub-Branch with Welfare and Pension work.
The club was sold in the early part of the 21st century to Queensland Clubs Management who run the Club as Norths Leagues and Services Club. This allowed the volunteers of the subbranch to focus on welfare, pensions and commemorations. The Sub-Branch negotiated with the Club to lease back the old home and undertook renovations to house a larger pension area and to house the Brisbane North District headquarters.
The opening and formation of the Pine, Petrie and District Sub-Branch was made possible with the support of the Qld State Branch and Nundah, Northgate and Toombul Sub-Branch.
The Pine Rivers Sub-Branch successfully sponsored the first RSL Chapter in Australia and that is now a Sub-Branch in its own right – Bray Park/Strathpine Sub-Branch. From our earliest years, we have been providing assistance and social connection for local ex-service men and women.
Pine Rivers RSL Sub-Branch is a traditional Sub-Branch, meaning we do not provide poker machines or club membership.
Our Advocates are available Monday to Friday from 0900 to 1200hrs by appointment only. Please call 07 3285 8022 for all enquiries and to make an appointment.
• To help all veterans, past and present and their families wherever possible.
• Help in the form of advocacy and assistance with claims to Dept of Veterans Affairs
• Social connection by offering regular gatherings and organised outings
• Internet access for those who do not have that access at home
• To assist Veterans with guidance on any government assistance they are entitled to
• To guide them through the associated and varied paperwork
• To assist with rehabilitation access and reintegration into the community
• To assist widows and widowers to sort their responsibilities following the loss of a loved one
In March 2003 the new building was officially opened and named the William Abell Community Centre (WACC). Norths management continue to maintain the Memorial Gardens on our behalf and provide ongoing support to the subbranch with commemorations each year.
WACC is now used by the subbranch, Citizens Auxiliary, several craft groups, other ex-service organisations and community groups, as well as providing meeting space for the Sub-Branch and the Board. The relocatable buildings currently house our team of advocates and the administration team.
In 2019 Brisbane North District vacated the WACC and moved to Strathpine. The subbranch allowed Brisbane Veterans Rugby League Club to establish themselves as a club and operate from the WACC in their founding years. When they moved to their training fields at Bray Park, more space was freed up for the subbranch in the WACC.
In 2021 TS Moreton Bay cadets successfully held their inaugural formal dining-in night at the WACC after conducting a sunset ceremony and award presentation at the Memorial Gardens.
WACC provides kitchen and Drop-In Centre facilities for members and community groups.
A vast amount of memorabilia has been collected and donated over the years. It has been catalogued and is on display in varying formats, providing displays and presentations for local schools in the lead up to ANZAC Day each year. A small library is maintained however the digital era has resulted in less interest being shown in the books available.
In 2022, the building was used as a base of operations for Disaster Relief Australia to coordinate the clean-up from flood affected areas in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area.