Mossman Bowls Club Welcome to a new era
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 . . .’’
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