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Collapse Issue 433 - 27 Nov 2017Issue 433 - 27 Nov 2017
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Nursing home refusal to be reviewed
Woy Woy police station may get officer-in-charge
Sporties' plan attracts 30 submissions so far
Council abandons Australia Day celebrations
Wicks claims achievements
'Dire need' to monitor oyster leases, says Tesch
Ferry service disruptions continue
Charity ball exceeds fund-raising target
MP to hold youth forum
Blaze burns in national park
New interview room at Mary Mac's Place
Mary Mac's collects for Christmas hampers
Guide issued for objectors to Sporties' proposal
Club plans to raise funds through to Christmas
Night work on Rip Bridge
Council agrees to meeting about Umina oval
Group starts to promote shade trees
First fair for the Bays
Call to control cotoneaster
Local charity appoints new chief
Bays' committee members step down
Information walk about bushfire hazard reduction
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
What is the future of the Peninsula?
Loss of iconic club would be huge
Unanswered questions show need for transparency
Creeks are the best form of drainage we have
Lions Park entrance is a major asset
Good public performance venues needed
Clubhouse is not abandoned
They will not supply a dredge - stop asking
We need sharply-focussed and sophisticated plans
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Aged care provider was awards finalist
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Jazz played in arboretum
Choir performs for Mary Mac's
Rotary plans Opera in the Arboretum
History book about The Bays
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
School raises issue of 'inappropriate cyber interactions'
Students help collect soil for memorial
Orchard Hills girls help clean up the Peninsula
School celebrates 90th birthday
New furniture and equipment
Learning about dogs
Students write for Christmas exchange
Celebration
School musical praised
Students sing at shopping centre
Ball games carnival
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
New equipment brings pool to Olympic standard
Umina boxer set for the Commonwealth Games
Killcare surf club rookies go to camp
Charity bowls at Sporties
Fitness program awaits funding approval

Loss of iconic club would be huge

With reference to recent articles about the redevelopment of the Woy Woy Bowling Club site, I wish to add my own perspective as a long-term member of the club, a local resident, life member of the Men's Bowling Club and patron of both the Men's Bowling Club and the Club Limited.

The Club's financial woes began at the end of the last century when the board of directors embarked on a foolish and misguided renovation of the facilities.

At the time, the Club was a very profitable operation with more than $400,000 in the bank, no debt and a rent producing residence adjacent to the club.

Initially, the Westpac Bank knocked the club back for finance to undertake the redevelopment as the bank considered that the club would not be able to continue to trade profitably through the renovation period.

The board of directors then turned to St George Bank and presented a revised business plan which was embellished by an external consultant to show that the club could indeed continue to trade profitably as well as meet the cost of borrowings for the renovation.

This was a fanciful notion of course and the club was soon in deep financial trouble to such an extent that it was placed in receivership.

In the end, trade creditors were paid only a portion of what they were owed but of course St George Bank wanted the full amount it had lent the club for the redevelopment.

Despite many efforts to get another club involved to keep it going as a viable concern, vested interests at the time ensured that other clubs were turned away even if they registered interest in coming on board.

The upshot of all this was that the club was sold to Woy Woy Holdings for $2.3 million.

The receiver appointed by St George Bank turned the club back over to the members on January 1, 2003, and left the club with $20,000 in working capital.

Within one week, this amount had dwindled to $10,000, after wages and trade creditors had to be paid.

I know all this because I became chairman of the club in 2003 as we attempted to restore the club to some form of profitability.

Through luck, some careful management and strong support from our loyal members as well as the local community, the club still has its doors open today.

But who knows for how much longer?

It is a great credit to our members and supporters that we have kept the club going to this day.

The loss of this iconic club will be huge for the close-knit Woy Woy community and that is why local residents are so concerned about the proposed scale of the redevelopment.

The plan for a new social club within a large-scale residential complex and retail facility coupled with a fanciful underground synthetic bowling green will mean that the Woy Woy Men's and Women's Bowling Clubs will need to relocate to other bowling clubs on the Peninsula and the local community will lose a club that has functioned as a bowling club for 85 years.

As local residents have stated, we are not against the redevelopment of the site, but we all want a redevelopment that is compatible with and blends in with the local environment, adequately takes into account local traffic issues and adds to the social infrastructure of this wonderful part of the Peninsula which adjoins the heavily used boat ramp and Lions Park.

We hope that the planning authorities can deliver this effectively.

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