Christine Benham | Director
Here we are in 2021 already! What a challenging year was 2020! Dorothea Mackellar described Australia well in her poem, “My Country” with the drought and flooding rains, but we also had massive bush and grass fires, and along came a visitor that we came to know as COVID-19. We have known that there can be pandemics, as they seem to be the main exclusion in our travel insurances. Did we ever think we would experience one? – Probably never.
The rapid spread of the coronavirus and the illness and deaths was something we could never have perceived, but there is a lot to reflect on.
Australia has a lot to be proud of. Admittedly, we are lucky to be an island nation, making close-down a successful option, but all Australians should be proud of themselves in what in what has been achieved. When Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said “stay home” we did. Medical chiefs became well known faces and Government stimuli were massive and not really expected. Thank God for “JobKeeper” that our wonderful staff, who were stood down, were eligible for during lockdown.
I believe that we have had plenty of time to reassess what is important in our lives, respect one another and become a more caring lot. How wonderful was Anzac Day 2020, celebrated in our driveways! People have been looking after each other, and let’s hope this is the way our lives will continue.
Our Senior Management team displayed their great leadership right from January, when we started to hear about the coronavirus, preparing a plan for what had to occur if shutdown were to happen, then carried the plan out expeditiously. The Club was shut down for ten weeks, providing opportunities for undertaking works which were necessary, but difficult to carry out while the Club was operational. These included the demolition and re-build of amenities in the gym and refurbishment of some washroom facilities.
Of course, all our sporting sub-clubs were greatly impacted by COVID-19. After a season disrupted by ground closures, washouts, match cancellations due to extreme heat and poor air quality (because of bushfires), senior cricket grand finals were cancelled in mid-March, probably the first of our sports affected, and could not be held. We were delighted that Community Sport was able to resume (albeit with shorter seasons), and with lots of challenges. Probably the last sport to resume was Swim Club in early November 2020.
Limitations imposed for the bulk of the COVID period had major impacts on all our core businesses. Some major changes to the way the restaurants operated had to be made, but how wonderful it was when the Club was able to re-open from 1 June (with limitations) to again see the welcoming faces of our fantastic chefs, cooks and wait staff, who do a great job.
So, what is upcoming in 2021? As promised previously, the Sports Bar is scheduled for a renovation, while still retaining all the Pool Tables and Darts Boards. This will be a great place particularly for young people who are looking for a good safe place to have fun. While the Club will continue to focus on debt reduction during 2021, there is always the need for a capital spend on maintenance, which is never neglected, and which is why the Club operates so well. Now that the major construction phase for the Club is almost complete, members will see our energies concentrating on community matters. After all, Clubs are for the community and are owned by their members.
We look forward to a great year for Revesby Workers’ Club in 2021!
Christine Butters | Director
I last wrote in the Journal twelve months ago and at the time we were planning a celebration for International Women’s Day to be held in March. Unfortunately, the 2020 event was cancelled for a number of reasons.
Now as we see a way out of the pandemic which has been consuming everyone’s lives and activities, we are again planning an event to celebrate International Women’s’ Day (IWD) on the 8th March.
We hope many of our female members and indeed some of our male members may be able to join us at this event where we will have several guest speakers and support the Women’s Community Shelter soon to open in the Canterbury Bankstown LGA.
At the height of the pandemic in 2020 most of you will be aware that not only did the Club close but the activities of most of our sub-clubs shut down as well.
This was particularly difficult for many of our older Club members who rely on their Club activities for socialising, human contact and variety. ZOOM became the new norm for meetings and technology was either your friend or your enemy depending on how reliable and efficient it was.
Toward the end of the year some Clubs were meeting again, and most sporting bodies had reactivated albeit with brightly clad COVID Safety Officers in action to ensure social distancing, signing in and not commingling. As 2021 gets underway we are hoping for a smooth “cluster-free”, “outbreak free” lifestyle where we can once again go about our activities without fear of catching COVID and devoid of all the frowns whenever someone coughs or sneezes.
At the AGM last year, I was very humbled to be awarded Life Membership of Revesby Workers’ Club. To hear my life history read out made me realise just what a rich and diverse life I had been leading since coming to Australia back in 1984. To have made the community connections and friendships amongst young and old and to be able to serve the community in which I live is something I am very proud of and will continue to participate in while ever I am able.