The two-storey Returned Service League (RSL) building opposite the Cairns cenotaph, includes a first floor museum and offices for the local RSL, and on the ground floor, RSL Club facilities including a licensed bar and restaurant. Part of the site was a Rest Home situated on The Esplanade, which was developed from the Tower Villa boarding house and dates from at least 1909. In 1917 the RSSILA, precursor of the RSL, approached the ladies of the Welcome Home Club to ask if they would take on the task of raising funds for a home for returning servicemen. It was a long and difficult process—firstly to raise funds and then to obtain a suitable premises.
In 1918 the site was purchased from George Mayers and the "Rest Home" was constructed. The Club rooms were gutted by fire in 1963 and then later rebuilt in 1965.
This site is now the headquarters to the Cairns branch of the Returned Service league and the new museum contains an extensive collection of military memorabilia, some of which is over a century old. Many of the artefacts have been donated by RSL members. Volunteers are progressively developing its displays and donations are actively encouraged.
Please note that opening times are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Also note that this RSL and museum forms part of the Cairns Region ANZAC Trail. To see more information about this trail, see the below links: