Director Reports November 2022
By the time you read this the Club will have held its biennial election and will have a new Board of Directors for the next two years. A couple of us familiar faces will not be there. By the annual general meeting in late October, I will have served 15 years as a Director and twelve as Vice-President. I am happy to hand over to two new Directors whom I am sure will join with the re-elected Directors to do a sterling job as custodians of the Club’s traditions and progressive program. It has been an honour and a pleasure to represent the members of the Club and to contribute to the development of the facilities and services which I believe are second to none. No institution can do everything, so the Board must make regular decisions on what is in the members’ best interests overall and allocate the Club’s substantial financial and human resources into those areas which have most need and will have most impact.
On Saturday 10th September the Club celebrated its 60th anniversary with a wonderful night of dinner and entertainment in the iconic Whitlam Theatre. President Daryl Melham had energetically contacted the families of our foundation office bearers and members to ensure representatives were present, including the daughter of our first president, Jack Dickens, and family of Brien Higgs, our first Secretary Manager.
Current and past staff joined with representatives of our sporting clubs and interest groups as well as a cross-section of members of the Club. All who attended were given a 60th anniversary souvenir keyring and a USB/thumb drive, containing the full club history, True to our Traditions, by Gary Lester, produced for our 50th anniversary, and a supplement covering the past 10 years. If anyone wishes to purchase any extra USBs containing the history book or any further keyrings, they can be purchased at Reception at the Tarro Ave entrance. The drives cost $2, with the proceeds being donated to the Asbestos Diseases Research Foundation. Keyrings cost $5, with proceeds being donated to the Bill Bullard Charity Committee.
Liaison with Sub-Clubs
Directors of the Club have a number of roles. As officers of a registered company, preparation for and attendance at Board meetings is the most formal and important. I estimate that in my 15 years I have attended well over 200 such meetings, ranging from the regular monthly meetings to extraordinary meetings, such as on planning, required from time to time. Membership of sub-committees is also important, both standing ones like the Scholarships Committee, or short-term and ad hoc. However, the most enjoyable role is looser and that is liaising with the many sporting and special interest sub-clubs. I have been fortunate to be associated with a number over my 15 years, and again it has been a privilege to be able to assist the committee members and general members of these groups.
Sporting clubs we all know as one of the backbones of our communities but less known are the special interest groups which provide recreational activities and support for so many. These are sometimes quite small and autonomous, while others have wider affiliations. I do not wish to leave others out, but I mention as examples of diversity the Revesby Writers’ Group, the Stroke Support Group, and the Australian Native Orchid Club. The unsung heroes of our community are the office bearers of these such groups, who along with the committees of sporting clubs, put in so much voluntary work. I have made many contacts among the members of our subclubs and, if I miss anything about no longer being a Board member, it will be the regular communication with them.
Revesby Workers’ Club is in the capable hands of a united and progressive Board, and a strong, committed management team. I hope to maintain informal contact with them and the many members of the Club I have got to know. I am extremely proud to be a Life Member and thank the members for their support over a significant and enjoyable period of my life. Lastly, I must thank my wife Rose-Marie who has put up with
my many absences, at meetings and functions, daytime, evenings, and weekends. If I ever dared to complain, she told me bluntly that I enjoyed it all. She was right. She may yet regret my having more free time.
If the COVID pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that we cannot thrive in isolation. Our wellbeing relies heavily upon the power of community and connection. On the eve of my retirement from my role as Director of Revesby Workers’ Club, I feel immense gratitude for the positive impact that the Club has had on my life and my community.
I first started visiting the Revesby Workers’ Club with a group of mates in 1967. We were soon swept up in the fun and friendly atmosphere and that sense of connection that we were craving as young people learning about the world. We became members as soon as we could (age 21 back in those days) and set about enjoying all the Club had to offer.
The sporting clubs were very popular, and I soon joined the golf club and the A-reserve cricket team, enjoying success as Minor Premiers and Premiers. Joining these clubs was as much about the friendships and celebrations as it was about the sport. I’ve also represented Revesby Workers’ Club at snooker, darts, lawn bowls and basketball creating some treasured memories.
After meeting a lovely young lady named Lesley on the East Hills train line to work one morning, we enjoyed our first date at the Revesby Workers’ Club in 1969. We had dinner in the club dining room and watched a show in the auditorium. This is still our favourite thing to do on a Saturday night as lucky for me she agreed to marry me, and we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last year.
In 1980 when our daughters were aged 4 and 6 years, we moved to a quiet street in Milperra near the golf course. When developers tried to have the golf course rezoned to permit residential housing on this land, I started a successful small residents’ action group opposing this proposal. Little did I know that this would set me on a path of community service and representation that would last for decades. I was soon endorsed as the ALP candidate in the 1987 Bankstown Council West Ward election, and I went on to be a Councillor for 29 continuous years until I retired in 2016 when Bankstown City Council was amalgamated with Canterbury Council.
I had the incredible honour of being the Mayor of Bankstown for five terms which was a great experience and created
memories which I will cherish forever. Most notable was Bankstown’s involvement in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the partnership we forged with the USA Olympic team as well as countless local projects designed to make Bankstown a great place to live and work.
Throughout this time, I enjoyed a great relationship with Revesby Workers’ Club, feeling very supported in my Council role and in 2006 I was approached to put myself forward for election to the Revesby Workers’ Club Board of Directors. I have been serving as a director ever since and it’s been an incredible privilege to be part of the evolution of the Club into a real community hub encompassing expanded entertainment and dining options, healthcare, fitness facilities, childcare and more.
The time has now come for me to retire from the Board of Directors to spend more time with my two daughters, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, most of whom live in Wollongong and Berry. I leave the Club in very good
hands, with a robust Board and an incredible team of staff. A heartfelt thanks to all the Directors and staff I have worked with over the years. I would like to also specifically thank the people connected to the sub-clubs I have worked with – you represent the true spirit of the Club and its connection to our community. It’s a strange feeling to be retiring from official duties after serving the community for 35 years. You’ll still see me regularly though, especially at the Club enjoying a meal and a show or at Health Mates. The enjoyment and pride that I feel being part of the Club now is no different to what it was when I was a bright-eyed 21-year-old. From the Club’s humble beginnings as a small place to meet for a drink to the thriving hub with some 70,000 members it is today, the essence has stayed the same. We all need that connection and community just as much now in 2022 as we did back in 1962.