Coledale RSL's future hangs in the balance. Picture: Facebook

Last drinks will be served at Coledale RSL Club on 11 December despite a valiant attempt to keep the NSW coastal venue open. Despite merger talks and a Go Fund Me campaign that raised almost $6000 for the struggling venue – which has now been returned to donors – the club north of Wollongong will close this weekend.

In a letter headed “Cessation of Trade”, Club secretary and director Warrick Try announced news of the closure.

“It is with great regret that your Club Board of Directors are announcing the closure of the Coledale RSL Club. Despite many attempts to turn around the adverse trading results, it has proven impossible to do so,” he wrote.

The club will hold its last Christmas ham raffle on Thursday, 8 December and last drinks will be on Sunday.

“We look forward to welcoming you all in our last ever week,” he wrote.

The Coledale RSL Club’s customers have changed significantly in the past decade as sea-changers, Sydneysiders and commuters snap up coal miners’ cottages on the escarpment for a couple of million. But they don’t play the machines and profits had been “practically non-existent”, in recent years, Try said. 

Coledale RSL was formed in 1944 with 18 members, each contributing £10 towards £2000 build costs. The hall was constructed from an army hut brought from Lismore. 

The venue opened on 31 July 1948 as the Soldiers’ Memorial Club and for the past seven decades has supported local community and sporting groups via sponsorships and donations.

The Coledale RSL Memorial Hall as it was then and now.

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