A COMMUNITY HUB FOR OVER 100 YEARS
A Place for Everyone
This site has been an important centre of community life for over 100 years. In 1919 a committee of local residents, arranged the purchase of 10 acres of an old wooded paddock.
It was for an oval and recreation grounds to be named in honour of returned servicemen, the Edwardstown Soldiers’ Memorial Recreation Ground. “The ultimate aim is to provide, as a soldiers’ memorial, a sports oval, a children’s playground, and gardens” said the newspaper of the day.
From 1922 athletics carnivals and other events were held here. Cricket, football and rugby were played here from the start. Baseball became popular from the late 1920s. From the Oval’s earliest days the RSL has been an active user of the ground. Cricket and football matches had a charitable purpose.
The Returned Soldiers’ Electric Light Cricket Association was a wonderful outlet for returned men in the 1930s, as was the RSL Football Association from the 1940s.
Scouts and Guides camps and rallies were held in the 1930s, amateur cycling and horses-in-action carnivals became popular in the 1940s, and fetes, youth clubs, Carols by Candlelight and Marion’s Centenary Celebrations were heldhere in the 1950s.
The South Road Cricket Club played here from 1942. In the 1950’s the site was transferred to the ownership of Marion Council. The Memorial community hall built in 1958 accommodated a wide variety of groups, bookings for wedding receptions, 21st birthday parties, yoga and dance classes.
In 1960 the Edwardstown Bowling Club was established and built the bowling greens. In 1975 the Edwardstown football club built its two storey complex. In 1981 the RSL Memorial Garden was opened in the Rose Garden established in the 1950’s. The Memorial gates and some of the original roses still exist today. The original honour board listing the names of local servicemen from the 1914 – 1918 conflict has been returned to the site and is located in the sports and community facility built in 2019.
This site has had a long rich life, and this will continue into the future, as it evolves with the community and remains a place of welcome for all.