Strat­ford Club moves back home

Stratford Press - - News - By ILONA HANNE

It’s of­fi­cial — the Strat­ford Club will be re­lo­cat­ing back to Juliet Street af­ter the idea re­ceived over­whelm­ing sup­port at a meet­ing in July to dis­cuss the po­ten­tial move.

Strat­ford Club pres­i­dent Alis­ter Willis says over 100 sup­port­ers turned up to the meet­ing, with a fur­ther 50 putting in apolo­gies but ex­press­ing sup­port.

“Now it’s time to move on that de­ci­sion and get the club back in its old home.”

While the Strat­ford Club pre­vi­ously owned the Juliet Street build­ing, it won’t this time, hav­ing sold the build­ing to a young cou­ple in 2017. The cou­ple have agreed to lease the build­ing back to the club, says Alis­ter, who is de­lighted the club will once again have its own space.

When the club ceased trad­ing at the Juliet Street venue in Fe­bru­ary 2016, club mem­bers used the TET Sta­dium bar and Bistro as a meet­ing point, but Alis­ter says the time is right to go back to their own space.

“Not own­ing the build­ing means we have fewer over­heads this time around, so it is fi­nan­cially vi­able. Some Strat­ford RSA mem­bers have ex­pressed an in­ter­est in also shar­ing the space, with one mem­ber al­ready on the Strat­ford Club com­mit­tee. Alis­ter says he is con­fi­dent the two clubs will be able to work to­gether to best use the club and meet the needs of all mem­bers.

“Po­ten­tially mem­bers may look at a name change in the fu­ture, but de­ci­sions like that need to be made by fi­nan­cial mem­bers ei­ther at the An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing, or some­time later.”

Alis­ter says he and the rest of the com­mit­tee hope to see lots of mem­bers at the AGM, which is on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 21. With a strong com­mit­tee al­ready in place, peo­ple don’t need to worry at­tend­ing will mean they’re sec­onded onto a com­mit­tee.

“We wel­come peo­ple join­ing the com­mit­tee of course, but don’t want peo­ple to stay away be­cause they are too busy to be on the com­mit­tee. The AGM is for ev­ery­one, not just com­mit­tee mem­bers.

“Peo­ple do need to be fi­nan­cial mem­bers if they want to be able to vote at the AGM, so we are re­mind­ing them to make sure their mem­ber­ship is up to date. Com­mit­tee mem­bers will be present for a cou­ple of hours be­fore the AGM starts to take any last-minute ap­pli­ca­tions and pay­ments.”

Since the July meet­ing they have also had sev­eral mem­bers of­fer labour or pro­fes­sional ser­vices to help get the club back to its for­mer glory. They have also had some mem­bers pledge money to help re­build it.

“While we still have things like the pool and snooker ta­bles ready to move back into the build­ing, we need to pur­chase some fur­ni­ture and many other items for the club to prop­erly op­er­ate.”

Plans are in place to have the res­tau­rant back up and run­ning, says Alis­ter.

“We want the Strat­ford Club to once again be a place where peo­ple can come, en­joy a drink or some food, some great com­pany, and en­joy the at­mos­phere.”

■ Strat­ford Club AGM: Mary Alice Chapel, Re­gan Street. Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 21 at 1pm.

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