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Our History

The RSL Yanchep Two Rocks Sub-Branch, was First Chartered In 1946, By Veterans Who Had Settled in Yanchep After World War 2.

During 1957, Members Numbers Declined for One Reason or Another, We Can Only Semis Due to The Korean War, The Following Year the Sub-Branch Wound Up.

In 1974-75 Local Community Members Made Up of a Lot of Veterans Who Had Recently Returned from The Vietnam War Campaigned to The Shire of Wanneroo To Be Allocated Land To Establish A New RSL Sub-Branch.

During August and September 1995, An Interview with Our Community Champion – Mr Phil Renkin was Conducted, Here Are A Few Transcripts of That Interview:

Date Of Interview:       30 August 1995 & 13 September 1995

Interviewer:     Unknown

Source: City of Wanneroo Archives

In 1969 The Bond Corporation Pty Ltd Purchased 19,600 Acres of Pastoral Property, Previously Owned by The Wydgee Pastoral Company, And Preceded to Develop Yanchep Sun City as A Satellite City and Premier Tourist Resort in Western Australia. By 1972 Residential Development Was Well Underway, Beginning With 127 Lots on The Beachfront. This Was Followed by A Marina In 1973/74 And Shopping and Recreation Centre at Two Rocks.

The Two Rocks Marina Was Developed by Alan Bond as A Training Base for Australia’s Challenge of The America’s Cup and To Provide Facilities for Recreational Boating and For the Local Fishing Industry. Many Of the Streets in Two Rocks Are Named After Yachts from America’s Cup Challenges. In 1979, A Community School Was Established at Two Rocks in The Boatshed Previously Used By 1974 America’s Cup Contender Southern Cross. The Two Rocks Shopping Centre and Tavern Was Designed by Architect Tony Brand from The Architectural Firm Forbes & Fitzhardinge, For Alan Bond’s Yanchep Sun City and America’s Cup In 1975. 

PHIL RENKIN: Bondy Came to Me and Said He Was Looking for A Secretary – Manager to Run the Golf Club, The Sun City Country Club.  The Golf Course Had Been Under Construction and He Offered Me the Job.  I Said: “Yeah, Fair Enough, I’ll Take It On.”  I Think All He Wanted Was the Rank Because in His Glossy Brochures That He Put Out It Was Group Captain Renkin, Retired, As Secretary – Manager.  So, I Took That Job on For a While—I Did It for Two Years and Then Things Didn’t Go as They Were Supposed to, And I Was a One-Man Band Down There.

The Month Before the Golf Course Was Due to Open, Bond Got in Touch with Me and Said: “Cancel the Contract for The Club House.”  I Said: “Why?”  He Said: “Don’t Say Why, Just Do It.” I Said: “Well What About the Opening of The Club?”  He Said: “It’ll Open as Planned.”

It Was The 30th Of August 1974 and I Thought What Are You Going to Do for A Club House and He Said: “That’s Up to You.”  So, Our Club House Was a Caravan.  I Got Two Caravans from The Caravan Park, One Was My Office, The Other Was the Club House.   The Bar for The Club House Was the Wardrobe, Which I Had Two Plastic Rubbish Bins in Filled with Ice, One Had Beer the Other Had Soft Drinks.  That Was the Bar (Laughs).

Interviewer:   Did You Find Out Why He Cancelled the Club House?

RENKIN:        Yes, He Didn’t Have Enough Money.  The Original Idea Was They Were Going to Have These Series of Condominiums and Housing Developments All Around the Course and The Idea for The Club Was That for Every Lot That Was Sold, The Joining Fee Would Be Paid by Bond.  That Was Three Hundred Dollars Joining Fee and The First Year’s Annual Subscription.  On That Basis Of Course, And These Projections of The Development This Was Going to Make Us a Very Wealthy Club.

Part Of My Job Was to Induce People to Join.  It Was Going to Be a Luxurious Country Club Not Just a Golf Club but A Country Club.  But He Just Didn’t Have the Liquidity at That, Time So It Was Just Dropped.  Fortunately For the Members, I Got Rather Suspicious So I Drew Up a Contract on Behalf of The Club That Until the Club House Was Built and The Club Membership Was Up to Seven Hundred, Which Was the Break Even Point for An Economical, Viable Organisation, Yanchep Sun City Propriety Limited Would Have to Pay All the Overheads, All the Administrative Costs (Chuckles), So That Was That.  They Couldn’t Break That Contract, They Tried, But They Couldn’t Break That Contract.

So, The Members Were Quite Happy.  We Got the First Stage Built, The Pro Shop and We Used the Pro Shop as The Club House and Because We Had to Limit the Membership Because the Facilities Weren’t Big Enough Under the Licence and The Health Act and The Liquor Act, It Became a Very Happy Little Club with Seventy Five Members, A Magnificent Golf Course And Everything Was Paid For.

Even When They Started to Build the St Andrew—That Is the Housing Estate That They Did Complete—The Money for That Went into Trusts.  But I Gave Them an Ultimatum Because It Was Costing Them a Fortune for Maintenance of The Course and They Weren’t Getting Very Much In.  I Thought It Was Just Sheer Bad Business as Far as I Was Concerned.  It Was Costing One Hundred and Forty Thousand a Year Just on Overheads Alone and So as Each Year Went on It Was Just Money Going Down the Drain.  So, I Gave Them an Ultimatum:  Build the Club House or I Quit.  I Quit (Laughs).

Interviewer:   Have They Got One Now?

RENKIN:        Yes, But That Was Years Later.  They’ve Got One Now. But That Wasn’t Built by Yanchep Sun City Propriety Limited, It Was a Separate Deal.  The Club Bought, Or Leased It, Off Them and Then Built Their Own Club House.

Interviewer:   What Year Did Bond Bow Out of All That?

RENKIN:        Well, I’m Just Trying to Think.  Initially He Got Short of Money and He Was Going to Go Bankrupt There Was No Doubt About That.  So, He Sold Forty-Nine Per Cent of His Shares to Tokyu Corporation[1], So Tokyu, A Japanese Corporation, Came in And Took Over Yanchep Sun City Propriety Limited, Or Took Over Their Twenty-Nine Per Cent, But the Japanese Were Cunning and It Was a Dollar for Dollar Basis.  Bondy Had to Put the Dollar in Before Tokyu Put a Dollar in For the Development of The Area So It Looked as If It Would Have to Go into Receivership Again and Then the Court Government Gave Permission for Tokyu to Buy Bond Out Completely Which They Did.  They Took Over All of Bond’s Holdings.  I’m Not Quite Certain of The Year but It Would Have Been About 1976, I Think.  That Was the End of Bond’s Connection with Sun City.

Interviewer:   The RSL [Returned and Services League].  You’re Involved with the RSL?

RENKIN:        Yes, I’ve Been President Ever Since It’s Been Formed Up Here.

Interviewer:   Can You Remember When It Was Formed?

RENKIN:        1977.  That Was Formed—How It Came About Was That When the Two Rocks Tavern Opened, The Manager There Was an Ex Vietnamese-Veteran and He Asked Me to Organise an ANZAC Day Parade and As I Was the Senior Officer Up Here, Or Senior Returned Man, Up Here I Was Asked to Organise the Parade.  So, We Organised the Parade and That Was Held in Front of The Pub.  We Marched Around the Roundabout Out to The Ring Road Where Atlantis Is and They Had a Flagpole There.

For The First Few Years We Did Our ANZAC Day Parades There.  It Was Such a Successful Parade That Members, That Is the Returned Chaps, They Were Members of The Wanneroo Sub-Branch and They Thought Why Don’t We Have Our Own Sub-Branch Up Here.  A Lot of Them Didn’t Want to Go Down to Wanneroo for Meetings.  They Urged Us to Organise Our Own Sub-Branch, Which We Did, and I Was Elected as The First President and Nobody’s Been Stupid Enough to Take It on So Every Year, I Get Re-Elected (Laughs).

Interviewer:   Where Do You Hold Your Meetings?

RENKIN:        In the Pub.  We Hold Them on The First Tuesday of Every Month.  We Used to Hold Them in The Evenings but A Lot of The Lads Didn’t Like Going Out in The Evenings as They Got Older and Numbers Began to, Fall Off So We Had A Meeting And Decided We’d Have Our Meetings During The Day, Which We Do.  We Hold Them at Eleven O’clock on The First Tuesday of Every Month and That’s Followed by Fellowship (Chuckles). 

Interviewer:   What’s Fellowship?

RENKIN:        Well After the Meeting Are Over and All the Business Is Done, Drinks Are Provided and We Have a Social Side (Laughs).  We Have a Get Together and Tell Yarns.  The More the Beer Flows the Bigger the Yarns Become.

Interviewer:   Tell Me Mr Renkin, Are They Mainly Australian Ex-Servicemen?

RENKIN:        No, no, A Lot of Them Are English.  See The RSL—Any Member of The Allied Forces Can Be a Member of the RSL.  It’s Not Exclusively Australian and We’ve Got a Lot of American and Quite A Few English Members.

Interviewer:   What Is the Role of the RSL?  Is It a Social Gathering Or…?

RENKIN:        No, The RSL Is an Apolitical Organisation, but It Carries a Lot of Political Clout and We’ve Got Certain Old-Fashioned Ideas on Morality and Freedom, That Type of Thing.  Our Charter Is a Most Remarkable Charter and We Have Our Annual Congress but It’s Mainly Welfare, Looking After the Interests of Returned Service Personnel and War Widows.  That’s The Main Object of The Exercise.  The Fellowship Is Only a Minor Part of It.  It’s Not the Real Part.

What We Really Do Is We Want to Preserve the Principles for Which We Fought, And for Which a Lot of Our Comrades Died.  And It’s Getting Harder to Do That with The Moral Decline That We’ve Got at The Present Time.  It’s Increasingly More Difficult and Therefore the Role of The RSL Is Becoming More Important and Unfortunately the Age of The Members Is Getting Greater and Greater.  With The Vietnam Veterans, They’ve Got Their Own Association.

I’ve Got A Few Vietnam Veterans in Our Sub-Branch. We’ve Got to Encourage the Younger People to Come in And Take Over And Of Course The RSL Is Admitting Now Regular Service People Providing They’ve Just Served Six Months In The Services Because Ultimately If We Don’t Get The Younger Members Taking Over, Then It’ll Just Die Out.

Interviewer:  Can We Move on To the Things You Were Involved With?  What Was the First Thing You Became Involved in After the Golf Course Episode.

RENKIN:        Yes.  Well, There Was the Formation of The Sports Club, The Yanchep Sports Club, Originally Called the Sun City Sports Club, It’s Changed Its Name Now to The Yanchep Sports Club and I Was One of The Original—Well Not the Foundation Secretary, The Next Secretary.  It Hadn’t Really Been Formed When I Took Over as Secretary.  We Had No Club House at That Time or Anything.  So, I Was Secretary and Later on Treasurer, Vice President, Committee Man, and I’m Still Connected with It.

Interviewer:   So, In Those Early Days Where Would You Meet If You Didn’t Have a Club House to Congregate?

RENKIN:        Well First of All We Used to Meet Over in The Pub, We Used to Meet There, We Had a Lot of Public Meetings There.  When We Were Forming the Sports Club, We Used to Meet in The Sales Office of The Yanchep Propriety Limited Office Which Was Down at Yanchep.  The Building Has Been Removed Now and We Used to Meet There Until We Got Our Own Club.

Interviewer:   What Was the Aim of The Club?

RENKIN:        Well Actually It Was Going to Be an Umbrella Club for All Sporting Activities.  That Was the Original Intention.  What We Wanted Was a Piece of Land on Which We Could Build the Club House And, In the Centre, All the Sporting Facilities, That Is Football Ovals, Cricket Pitches Around.  That Didn’t Quite Come to Fruition and Still Hasn’t Because When Yanchep Sun City Propriety Limited Was Pushing St Andrew’s Estate They Built a Park and Built a Playing Oval And Of Course The Cricketers and The Footballers Got Down There You See.  So, When We Built the Club House, Or Stage One of The Little Club House, All We Had Was Tennis Courts and Bowling Greens.  That’s What the Club Is Mainly Now, Just Recreation: Tennis Courts and Bowls.

Interviewer:   So, When Was the Club House Built, Do You Remember?

RENKIN:        Well, The First Stage of The Club House Was Built In 1987, I Think It Was. That Was a Small Brick Toilet and Bar Area with A Colourbond Shed Tacked On To It As The Lounge.  That Was the First Stage.  The Council Built That.  And The Two Tennis Courts Were Built. We Built the Two Bowling Greens Ourselves Which Was Quite a Big Job for Elderly Gentlemen (Chuckles).

Interviewer:    So, The Development of It Was a Community Effort, Between the Community and The Council?

RENKIN:        Yes, That’s Right.

Interviewer:   And Joint Funding?

RENKIN:        Well, It Wasn’t Joint Funding in The Sense That Council Built the First Stage, Yanchep Sun City Propriety Limited Vested the Land in Council for The Use of The Sports Club.  Also, Yanchep Sun City Propriety Limited Provided the Materials for Us to Lay the Water on And the Reticulation.  They Provided That and They Also Provided the Supervision.  We Did the Actual Work and That’s How We Got It Up and Coming.

End Of Interview – 1995.

Once The Land Was Allocated, The Community Rallied Together, And Constructed the Bowling Greens and The Shire of Wanneroo Built the Small Toilet Block In 1987.  Those Community Members Were Made Up of Mainly Veterans from WW2, Korean War, And the Vietnam War Era’.

As The RSL Is an Unincorporated Association (They Are a Charity) Those Members, Established the Sun City Sports Club Inc (Now Known as The Yanchep Sports and Social Club Inc) To Hold the Liquor Licence and Oversee the Fare Running of The Facility at Lot 1 Yanchep Beach Road.

Over The Next 34 Years, The RSL Was Heavily Influential on The Direction of Lot 1, Both with Volunteers and Financially. The then Kitchen Was Upgraded and Paid for By The RSL. ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day Were Held at Lot 1 Along with The Traditional Gunfire Breakfast, And Many Other Events Though Out the Years.

During The Third Quarter Of 2021, The RSL Yanchep Two Rocks Sub-Branch, Made the Difficult Decision to Vacate the Yanchep and Sports Club Facility, Known as Lot 1 Yanchep Beach Rd (Better Known by Everyone in The Community for Many Years Now, As The “RSL Club”), The Land and Facilities Are Owned by The City of Wanneroo and Leased by The Sports Club For $1.00 Per Year.

After Increasing Disrespect by The Then YSSC Committee Over the Past Months, If Not Years, Where They Regularly Voiced the Preference for The RSL To Not Be Located at That Facility, For One Reason or Another:

We left.

Currently we are campaigning to RSLWA, LGA, State and Federal Government Representatives, to Allocate Land in Yanchep, to Open Our Own Club House and Veteran Support Centre.

Watch This Space for Future Developments.

Lest We Forget.