Our History


Smithfield RSL was founded by the late Norman McCarthy. In the early 1950s, Norman gave the Sub Branch of the RSL a triangular-shaped block of land on which the Skylight Lounge stood for many years (and now Bar360 Sports) and loaned $2000 to erect a building on the site. For the nominal amount of $160, he also sold the Sub Branch the block of ground on which the Billiard Room stood for many years (now the Roulette Gaming Room) and the land right through to Neville Street.

For his services to the Smithfield Sub Branch, Norman was made the first life member of the Sub Branch nominated by Smithfield, with approval being granted by the National Executive on 30 December 1948. Norman served as foundation Treasurer of the Sub Branch, a position he continued to hold for eleven years until he retired due to health reasons at the end of 1956, Norman also held the position of Foundation Treasurer for the club from 1953 until his retirement.

Although Norman gave up his official position, he continued in the role of Custodian of the Club’s main source of revenue and his integrity was largely responsible for the sound financial position in which both the Sub Branch and Club are in today. Norman was appointed Club Trustee from 1965 until his death and was made a Life Member of the club on 23 February 1966. His portrait which now hangs at the entrance to the club, was painted by well-known artist Darcy Doyle with the fee for the painting being donated by Mr. Bill Lambert.

The club was named after the late Leo McCarthy,
Norman’s brother whose war record was:
Enlisted in AIF 1916 – served in France until 1918.
Re-enlisted in 1940 with the transport unit.
Taken prisoner in Malaya and died at Sandakan on 2
March 1945.

Trading Hours

Sun – Thu: 9:00am – 3:00am

Fri – Sat: 9:00am – 5:00am