Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club
Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club

Our story

At CMNL our people, places and community
are all connected.

From inception, at our first gathering place in 1947 Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club has a history of evolving with the community by creating vibrant places that bring people together and provide experiences that connect and support them, places where people are proud to belong.

In 2022 we have grown from one place to many, providing a variety of venues and experiences that enrich our neighbourhoods and support our community. Today our CMNL family incorporates;

  • Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club
  • CMNL Academy
  • Anytime Fitness Hurlstone Park
  • Magpie Sports Club
  • Bargo Sports Club
  • Camperdown Commons
  • Camperdown Tennis
  • Marrickville RSL Club

no matter where you are,
you belong to CMNL


We want everyone – our employees, members, customers, students, suppliers and community partners to know and take pride in something greater, as we continue to evolve and create vibrant places for people to gather for connection, celebration, learning and wellness.

Gathered under our new masthead – CMNL, we continue to evolve and create even greater experiences at all of our places, and share a stronger sense of belonging, as we come together to have a positive connection to our broader community.

Much has changed in our society over the last 75 years, and our organisation has evolved into a large and diverse business, however, we remain committed to the idea that Clubs must continue to play a vital role in serving and connecting their ever-changing communities.

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Our heritage

Our story is rich in heritage and begins in a time when people were reaching out for connection, needing places to gather with like minded people to share stories of shared experiences, to support and be supported through a period of adjustment, after returning home from defending our country.

our history 


As we reflect on our story so far -from establishment, through modernisation and growth with the needs of the community, we continue to evolve.

Firstly, let’s take a trip down memory lane, where there are many surprising ‘firsts’ and strong connection to community going back over decades.


Through natural evolution, and a culture of pioneering and moving forward, we carry this legacy. We share the stories of our heroes of past and present into the future, so that the resilience of people through time is known, understood, and not forgotten.

a place
to belong


Establishment 1916 – 1970


RSL Clubs began to form to meet the needs of soldiers who had returned from war. Fresh back from battle, many missed the companionship associated with wartime, and welcomed a place to gather with like-minded men.

“The voice of stability in changing times’
Albert Abbott QLD Branch President


Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Sub Branch had it’s early beginnings. Local groups including volunteer firemen and members of Canterbury Cricket Club would meet at the fire station on the corner of Church St and Canterbury Rd. This gathering of volunteers soon outgrew the fire station and started meeting regularly in Sunrise Hall on Canterbury Rd.


The Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club was officially formed. Our Sub Branch ‘third’ of the RSL Sub-Branches opened in the Old Boy Scouts Hall at a meeting convened by Warwick Caruthers, Bert Crook and Bert Trout. Further meetings of the RSL would be held in halls and homes.


The Sub-Branch received it’s charter. Informal meetings would be held on Saturday nights at various members homes, and a keg would be brought along to keep them company.


A Women’s Auxiliary was constituted, and supported the Members with many tasks and activities, most importantly raising funds.


Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club was founded by returned service men and women as a place that could help veterans and families reconnect with their community and help them build a better life.

The Club acquired two ex-army huts and
put them on the corner of Crinan St on Canterbury Rd.

With Bert Crook as Secretary-Manager, and a staff of two they seeded the growth of our great club, we honour Bert to this day as our name’s sake “Bert Crook Memorial” where every year gather for commemoration services.

The Women’s Auxiliary assisted materially in rising funds through holding a carnival in Yeo Park to purchase the site on Canterbury Road. It is believed a Coogee woman owned the land, and that she was the mother of one of the groups that began it all in 1923 at the local fire station.

Our Pioneers

Bert Crook – our 1st Secretary Manager, and Sub-Branch Memorial namesake.

Dick Franklin – our 2nd Secretary Manager, and previous Sub-Branch President.

Bobby Stevens – RSL and Sub-Branch Life Member and Club President 1996-2005.

we evolve
with our community

Official Opening of Building Extensions
26 September, 1970

Modernisation 1970-1999

Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club is a pioneering returned and services club that takes pride in their history, adherence to the values of the RSL movement and connection to community.

As industry leaders & proud innovators we were continually upgrading the club for our members by keeping our facilities modern and investing in technology as it became available.

The Club expanded it’s footprint on the corner of Crinan St, as it continued to grow the club facilities in keeping with the changing needs of our community

Proud moments in time

  • Our 1st extension in 1954, Sub-Branch Memorial Chapel
  • 1st mixed bar
  • 2nd biggest Club in NSW
  • 1st to install digital signage
  • Largest T.A.B in NSW
  • 2nd longest bar in NSW
  • Contributed to decrease in Membership age
  • Incorporation of a Youth Club
  • Evolution of our membership to include women.

During the period of modernisation, the Club industry was continually evolving. Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club was one of many clubs that took the path to become an icon, and for many years hosted a ‘Club of the Year’ award and recognition event.

Entertainment was and remains to be a big part of the Club’s social calendar. With our proud auditorium, one of the first of its size and capabilities in the area, and in the absence of the large arena’s available today, we were renowned for hosting every major event in the club industry.

Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club
50 Wonderful Years Magazine, 1997

“The Western Suburbs Courier”
23 September, 1970

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Bargo landscape scaled
Camperdown portrait 1

Our growth

Woven through communities far and wide, Club’s are a trusted and valued place to gather and belong.

Our essence and values are rich in heritage from times when Clubs were vital for people to come together.

Over time the needs of communities have evolved, as have relevant places to gather for what matters to people.

During this period of growth we expanded beyond our first venue on the corner of Crinan St into many places across the community.

clubs, social hubs,
places for learning & wellness


With the Community and it’s needs at heart, and with the commercial due diligence of the CHP RSL Board and it’s Members we have diversified into a broad range of places for people.

places to gather
for what matters


  CMNL Academy  (formerly CHP School of Hospitality) was developed to provide relevant training for people in the Club and Hospitality industry as a whole, and we remain the only Club in NSW to be a registered training organization.

Gyms have become the ‘new club’ providing a place to gather and connect health & wellness and. When it was time to evolve the gym within the Club, it made sense to apply a trusted franchise model, and we converted the space into our new gym, welcoming a broader community of members to

 Anytime Fitness Hurlstone Park

At the heart of every Club are it’s people, the members, visitors and employees that these places were created for. Club’s are not-for-profit companies that are funded by their Members, with a commercial responsibility to sustain a healthy business. The preservation of any Club is pivotal to its community, and in instances where a Club needs support to remain in it’s community, they will reach out to join another Club family. 

Canterbury-Hurlstone Park has had three Clubs join the family;

  Magpie Sports

Bargo Sports Club

  Marrickville RSL

Neighbourhoods each have unique interests, and with the evolving needs of the community in the Inner West came the opportunity to preserve the Camperdown Bowling Club green space, differently and so ‘Camperdown Project was formed.

The project revitalised the bowling green into our vibrant social hub

Camperdown Commons also home to an urban farm, operated by our partner ‘Pocket City Farms’ which provides unique spaces and experiences for dining, holding events, or to learn and connect.

When our neighbour over the back fence, beside Camperdown Oval was looking for a new family to ensure the preservation of much needed recreational space
Camperdown Tennis joined the fold.


wherever you are,
you’re a local


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Welcome to CMNL

Under CMNL all of our places will thrive through their connection to a broader community, as we continue to evolve into a new era.

As we begin our new phase of evolution, we have gathered some of the things that matter,

connecting people to
a broader community


fostering partnerships to better our community
providing training for people to learn and grow
developing careers and a strong workforce
sharing our places for functions & events

We welcome everyone to belong, no matter where they are, as we further develop our online neighbourhood, where everyone can connect about things that matter – and be a part of some exciting future initiatives.

we continue to evolve
with our community


With our CMNL connection we will continue to look for welcome areas of growth that will serve the ever emerging needs our great community.


From early 2020, life as we all knew it was forced into a period of fundamental change to combat a worldwide pandemic. During this period, what we witnessed was the power of community to protect and support people across the local, national and international community.

We reflect on this period where a decade of change had been thrust on all of us, compacted into a short time frame. We saw changes in social behaviours, leaps in technology, evolution in workplace frameworks, and most importantly we recognise how together we are so much stronger, and that benefits to community are much greater.

We have always been a group of businesses that have worked together for greater outcomes across our neighbourhoods, affecting people who are at different life stages but are connected geographically, by their aspirations and values.

In 2022 it made sense that we develop a new masthead for our businesses to show that everyone belongs to CMNL no matter where they are, for our community to recognise and take pride that they are a part of something greater.

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Team landscape
n 145 scaled
CMNL Family Tree complete