Moss­man Bowls Club Wel­come to a new era

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

MOSS­MAN’S lat­est as­set is a real jewel, the newly re­fur­bished and ex­panded Bowls Club, which sets a bench­mark for other clubs in the re­gion.

There was ef­fu­sive praise for the club at its of­fi­cial open­ing last Satur­day, and rightly so.

As Mem­ber for Cook David Kempton said in his ad­dress at the open­ing cer­e­mony, it is a first-class fa­cil­ity and no mat­ter how far you travel you will strug­gle to find another small club that is its equal.

Di­vi­sion 10 coun­cil­lor and Dou­glas Shire mayor-elect Ju­lia Leu con­grat­u­lated the club on the out­stand­ing qual­ity of the fa­cil­ity and she com­pli­mented Bruce Clarke on the de­sign.

She said such a first class fa­cil­ity would make the Moss­man club the envy of oth­ers in the re­gion.

And she echoed re­marks by Mr Kempton that she was look­ing for­ward to Jan­uary 1 when ‘‘we can ac­tu­ally fo­cus on what we need to do in our com­mu­nity, and then the de­ci­sions in our own com­mu­nity on what those things are.’’

The steady evo­lu­tion of the club­house up to its new stature is tes­ta­ment to the qual­ity of its man­age­ment and the fore­sight and ded­i­ca­tion of its com­mit­tee, led by chair­per­son Kay McDon­ald.

Mrs McDon­ald told the Gazette that the se­quence of projects un­der the club’s belt had been tricky.

The greens needed to be resur­faced and there needed to be a cover over the play­ing area too. And the club­house needed do­ing.

The greens went first, even though it was a ‘‘chicken be­fore the egg in my mind, but we didn’t have the money to do the roof too’’, Mrs McDon­ald said. When it came time to con­sider the roof, though, her vi­sion was for much more than that – she wanted to do the club­house too.

‘‘The ex­ten­sions and the roof to my mind were one and the same thing,’’ she said. ‘‘Ba­si­cally we put it to the mem­bers to do both. It meant we had to look at a loan but they were more than will­ing to bite the bul­let, so it was agreed.

‘‘We’re more than happy with how it’s gone,’’ she said.

‘‘De­spite the dis­rup­tions we’ve gone very well, peo­ple were still com­ing in.’’

On Satur­day, she along with sec­re­tary man­ager Kevin Rynne, com­mit­tee mem­bers and staff en­joyed pub­lic recog­ni­tion of the suc­cess of that vi­sion and hard work.

Cost­ing about $1.8 mil­lion, the ren­o­va­tions and ex­pan­sion be­lie the small mem­ber­ship base. The ma­jor works have been pos­si­ble be­cause of the solid earn­ings of the bar, the bistro and the gam­ing room, plus the loan.

‘‘It’s a very pleas­ing point to reach in the de­vel­op­ment of the club,’’ said Mr Rynne.

‘‘Busi­ness has been up and down so we took a fairly cau­tious path, and reached a point where we knew we had crit­i­cal mass, the busi­ness was vi­brant enough and we had fi­nan­cial back­ing in the bank. We had the small bor­row­ing, but we knew we were on safe ground and we went for it.’’

Bor­row­ing to com­plete the fund­ing did not present a big risk.

‘‘Our bar trade was go­ing well, the bistro was pop­u­lar and get­ting more pop­u­lar so we knew we had the abil­ity to make re­pay­ments with­out any prob­lems even in the worst case sce­nario.’’ How long to pay it off? ‘‘About three or four years – not too bad.’’ And what’s next for this dy­namic club? ‘‘We do be­gin to think about what’s next. The club has done anal­y­sis ses­sions and has a strate­gic plan.

‘‘Now that we have de­vel­oped this much we are land­locked.

‘‘But we might be look­ing around . . .’’

Pic­ture: AN­THONY CAPOGRECO

OF­FI­CIAL OPEN­ING: L-R, Doug Mur­ray, Bruce Clarke, Ju­lia Leu, Kay McDon­ald, Doug Pitt and Kevin Rynne

CLUB SPIRIT: Bob Cole­fax, MP David Kempton and Terry Melchert

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