Fire – 21/4/2017

On 21st April 2017, the historic Ivanhoe RSL club was destroyed by a fire, just days before Anzac Day.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) declared the roof of the building to be completely destroyed and much of the second floor had collapsed. Our grand building was built in 1913, and was in near original condition after our committee members spent endless months painting and bringing the unique building back to life.

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The Ivanhoe RSL is located in a beautiful old house that is architecturally significant to the Heidelberg district. Prominantly situated on the top of a hill, “Clairvue” is the grandest example of the Queen Anne Style in the area. It was built in 1913 by John W. Brown for Fitzroy timber merchant Wallace Stone. When the house was sold after Wallace’s death in 1935 it was described as boasting a “wide entrance hall panelled with fiddleback Blackwood, a Queensland maple staircase, a drawing room, dining room, bedrooms and a breakfast room, whilst upstairs was the billiard room … it also had a beautiful flower garden”.

Today the house in in near original condition and retains most of its grounds and outbuildings.

Ref: G. Butler: Heidelberg Conservation Study, 1985

Ivanhoe RSL Clairvue Building History

The Ivanhoe RSL is a treasure trove of historical and military memorabilia. Some of these may be viewed by appointment. Letters such as the John Curtin letter, reproduced in the link below, pose a fascinating insight into the operations and process of diplomacy that underscored every fateful decision made by Australian military commanders during World War Two.

John Curtin Letter 22 May 1943

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