South Australian disabled veterans, returning from World War One, met daily under a Moreton Bay fig tree in Victoria Square. The fellowship they shared showed the value of their mutual support, and the idea for a TPI Association was born. Each member contributed one shilling, and in May 1937 the TPI Association SA was incorporated, with meetings held in a room in Page Street, Adelaide.
For the following 18 months membership increased steadily, resulting in moves to progressively larger premises. The next decade was a time of growth in numbers and prosperity for the Association, resulting in a decision to purchase premises of their own. This led to the purchase of a building on the corner of Hutt Street and South Terrace known as, “Davaar”.
The property was purchased for £15,000.00, which included £10,000 from Association funds and a £5,000.00 mortgage. A further £3,500.00 was raised through a special appeal. Davaar House was refurbished to provide accommodation and meals for all our members. From 1955 to 1959 renovations and extensions were undertaken to create extra accommodation, a large dining room and a laundry.
In 1961, under an initiative called TPI Homes for the Aged, a block of eleven units was purchased at 315 South Terrace. In 1969 a further eight units were purchased at that address. A special appeal was launched to raise money for the purchase of the remaining two office blocks and two units after the death of the property owner. In September 1972, the Association was the owner of 35 units, two office blocks and Davaar House on adjoining properties. In 1986 the sale of all the Association’s residential property was successfully negotiated with Southern Cross Homes.
The Association continued using Davaar House. Functions and monthly meetings were held in the main hall, offices for staff, visitor accommodation, the Ladies’ Auxiliary room and an office rented by the Limbless Soldiers Association. After the Ladies’ Auxiliary closed in 2007, the Management Committee investigated the relocation of the Association, resulting in the purchase and renovation of our current premises. TPI House was officially opened by Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce (Retd) Governor of South Australia on 28 January 2009.
Our new premises offer modern facilities for both members and our volunteer staff. It houses an extensive display of military memorabilia and a comprehensive library. The facilities we enjoy together foster a high level of camaraderie and goodwill among members, creating a welcoming, positive and supportive environment. We are proud of the achievements of TPI-SA and we look forward to welcoming new members as we continue to support disabled veterans.