ROTA History - Timeline from Tobruk House News & Other Sources.

20th June, 1940 France capitulated in WW2.

April 10 to Dec 7, 1941 Siege of Tobruk in Libya.

7th Dec, 1941 A Day of Infamy. The last Rats were evacuated from Tobruk and
""""" the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour, bringing the USA into the war.

19th Feb, 1942 The Japanese bombed Darwin. Australia had been attacked by the
"""" same Japanese Carrier Force that had bombed Pearl Harbour.

26th October, 1944 Rats of Tobruk Association, NSW, created by Nick Woodward. ROTA Badge designed by Nick Woodward, 1944.

September, 1945 Mel Harris & Jack Braham decided to create an Association in Victoria.

2nd October, 1945 Rats of Tobruk Association, Victorian Branch formed. 1st Inaugral Meeting.
""""""" 60 Rats attended the first Association Meeting at Anzac House.
""""""" A Provisional Committee, Mel Harris as President.
""""""" Jack Braham as Secretary.

30th October, 1945 First Association Members General Meeting held at 3AW Studios.

1946 Queensland South Australia and Tasmania formed Branches.

1946 Federal Council created with Constitution covering all States.
"""""" Federal Council first President was Mr Lumley of Tasmania.

10th June, 1946 Victory Day March.

22nd October, 1946 Authority given for 1st Victorian Sub Branch, Central Gippsland, to be formed.
January, 1947 Membership for Victoria was 620.

5th July, 1947 ROTA Members welcomed Viscount Field Marshall Montgomery
"""" at Lower Melbourne Town Hall.

January, 1948 Victorian Membership was 1100.

22nd September, 1948 Committee formed to raise Finance through a Building Fund.

1949 Bendigo Sub Branch formed by Ossie Blair as President and
"""""" Norm Wintle as Secretary. Treasurer was Eric MacCallum.

October, 1949 Patriotic Building Fund formed.

October, 1949 First Tobruk Echo, Vol 1 No 1 October 1949, was produced. Price 1 Penny
""""" Colin Pura was 1st Editor of Tobruk Echo.

November, 1949 First Raffle run, Prize was a Vauxhall Car.

21st March, 1950 Sub Committee formed to divide Victoria into areas, for
"""""" allocation to future Sub Branches.

July, 1951 Tobruk Echo's First Editor, Colin Pura, resigned, due to ill health.

1952 Hamilton Sub Branch formed with Herbert G Fraser as President.

6th Feb, 1952 King George VI passed away.

Feb, 1952 Max Rogers became Secretary.

Mar, 1952 Hamilton Sub Branch Formed.

June, 1952 Card Index System set up.

26th June, 1952 Hamilton Sub Branch officially opened.

12th July, 1952 First State Conference, Central Gippsland, Bendigo, Hamilton Sub Branches.

Oct, 1953 Memorial Plaques introduced for Next of Kin.

10th Jan, 1954 Chester Wilmot, Wartime Journalist, died in the crash of BOAC Comet.

25th Feb, 1954 HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Duke of Edinburgh at MCG Ex Servicemens
""""" and Womens Rally.

28th Feb,1954 Shrine Court Dedication by Queen Elizabeth

May, 1954 First Junior Rats page published in Tobruk Echo, by Brer Rat, Mr A Fowler.

14th May, 1954 Lt General Sir Stanley Savige passed away. Ex Brigadier 17th Brigade.

20th Feb,1955 WW2 Memorial Unveiled at the Shrine of Remembrance.

7th July, 1955 Brig Evans urged a Deposit be paid on Tobruk House, Victoria St Albert Park.
""""" ₤100 Interim Deposit paid.

7th March, 1956 Tobruk House purchased for a Total Price of ₤9654.1.7,
""""" ₤3,000 of which, was covered by a First Mortgage.

9th March, 1956 Moved into Tobruk House, 44 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park.

28th March, 1956 First General Meeting held at Tobruk House. 100+ Members.

History of Tobruk House 1920 - G Makin-Laundry, 1920-I Young & Co-Grocers, 1924-I Young & Co - Liquor License.
1926-Property Subdivided-#46 -Miss L Cross-Dance Academy.

1928-Power & Penfold-Building Surveyors, 1930-L Martin-Billiards Saloon.

1940-F Bennett-Billiards Saloon, 1950-R Rischin-Billiards Saloon.
1954-T E Honig-Billiards Saloon, 1956- Rats of Tobruk Association.

April, 1956 General Meeting Date changed to 4th Friday in Month.

31st May,1956 Major General G E M Lloyd, CBE, (Gaffey) of West Australia, passed away aged 57 years.

29th September, 1956 Official Opening of Tobruk House by Lieut General Sir Leslie Morshead.

9th Febrtuary, 1957 Warrnambool Sub Branch formed, Jack Caple President
""""" and Ray Robinson Sec/Treasurer.

22nd February, 1957 Ballarat Sub Branch formed, Ken Lane President, H Davidson Sec/Treas.

July, 1957 Final Payment on Tobruk House

23rd June, 1958 Canberra Branch of Rats Inaugurated.

24th October, 1958 Sunraysia Sub Branch formed, Alex McNeill as Secretary.

28th November, 1958 Scale Model of the Tobruk War Memorial unveiled at Tobruk House Annual Dinner.

11th April, 1959 Rats Memorial Hall opened at Redfern, Sydney, by Sir Leslie Morshead.

11th September, 1959 Geelong Sub Branch formed, Mr Dunbar President, W H McTaggart Secretary
""""" and Stewart W P Tilley Treasurer.

1960 Rats of Tobruk Memorial Pipes & Drums Band was formed.

31th July, 1961 ROTA Marching Girls "Tobruk-Ettes" formed at Tobruk House.

5th May, 1962 GV & NE Sub Branch formed, D Franklin President and L D Loughhean Sec/Treas.

1964 Melbourne Sub Branch formed, President William J Porter.

1967 Ballarat Sub Branch closed until 1974

1974 Ballarat Sub Branch reformed.


15th May, 1979

The "T" Tobruk Siege Medal was made by ROTA for ROTA Members.

First order for Tobruk Badges placed with Amor, Sydney.


February, 1985 Rayda Noble became Editor of the Junior Rats page in Tobruk House News.

16th April, 1991 Time Capsule Service at Tobruk Memorial Canberra.

11th November,1993 Service at the AWM, Canberra, for the Unknown Soldier.

November, 1997 Warrnambool Sub Branch closed, with only 7 Members left.

19th Feb, 2006 Fig Tree Dedication in the Shrine of Remembrance Gardens.

1st May, 2006 Re-Dedication of the 9th Div Memorial at El Alamein, attended by
"""""" David Hampton, 2/12 Field Regiment and Jack Caple, 2/24 Battalion

August, 2006 Last Report from Ballarat Sub Branch - Tony Smith.

19th April, 2007 Tobruk House auctioned. The auction was won by Mr Bill Gibbins, FCL Interstate Trucking,
""""" for $1,700,000. The new owner said the Hall could be used by Military
""""" organizations, indefinitely.

December, 2007 The Executive Committee decided at last General Meeting there would
"""" no longer be Membership Fees and Subscriptions to the THN Newsletter, by Tobruk Veteran Members. THN #49a Dec 2007

9th April, 2008 The Final Meeting of the Rats of Tobruk Federal Council was held.

22nd October, 2008 City of Port Phillip named the Rats of Tobruk Reserve, opposite Tobruk House,
""" Victoria Street, Albert Park, to Honor the Rats of Tobruk.

26th February, 2010 Rats of Tobruk presented a cheque for $1,500,000 to the Royal Childrens
""" Hospital, being part of the proceeds of the sale of Tobruk House to Mr Bill Gibbins.
October, 2010 Cheques for $30,000 were presented to each of,Belmont High School and
Warrandyte Primary School.

10th April 2041 Opening of Time Capsule to be performed at Tobruk Monument in Canberra. Ref THN 8/95 September 1995

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