Fremantle Workers Club

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1932: Reopening the Renovated Club

Plans had been made in 1926 to renovate the Club building, the former Lodge's Hotel, and in 1932 it was at last possible to reopen it.


Renovated at a cost of £3500, this building, believed to be 70 years old, will be reopened officially tonight in the presence of a number of prominent Port citizens.

Daily News, Wednesday 13 April 1932: 6


Official Reopening of Club Tonight

Believed to have been erected 70 years ago by the late Mr. Ross Harwood, the Fremantle Workers' Club in Henry-street is a monument to the builders of the early days. The building has stood the test of time, and although there were signs of decay a few months ago, tonight will see the official reopening of the premises following on extensive renovations which had lengthened the life of the building considerably.
Originally, the building was Lodge's Hotel, and traces of the name can be seen on the walls today. Later it became the Fremantle Club, but with the transfer to Perth of the headquarters of many of the Port business houses the club declined, and in February, 1914, the premises were taken over by the Fremantle Workers' Social and Leisure Club. Today the club is in a sound position financially, has over 400 members, and a valuable library of more than 3000 books.
The renovations involved an outlay of £3500. The club has now a spacious billiard room with two tables, visitors' rooms, reading-room and lounge. It is intended in the near future to provide a concert and lecture hall on the first floor.
Mr. W. T. Moore, president of the club, is in his 13th year of office, and Mr. Alf Gregg has attended to the secretarial duties for the past eight years.
Invitations have been issued to prominent citizens to attend tonight's reopening.

Daily News, Wednesday 13 April 1932: 6


A Retrospect.

Established in 1914 in a humble manner in premises in Henry-street, the Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Hour Club will celebrate to-night the reopening of the club, which has been renovated and added to recently at a costof £3,500. To the facilities enjoyed previously by members have been added a commodious billiard room, reading room and library, together with small anterooms for the holding of meetings.
In the days when the club was started there was a pressing need for a place of assembly for the large number of men who earned their livelihood on the wharves at Fremantle and in the town. A few enthusiasts enlisted the support of their comrades and the original club premises were purchased from the A.M.P .Society for £2,000. The club was officially established on February 2, 1914, and the opening took place on June 5 of that year. The membership then was a few hundred. Today it stands at 3,400. In the minute book there is an early entry showing that the secretary was empowered to spend 10/- for the purchase of books for the library. This has now grown to over 3,000 books.
According to members of the club the site of the clubhouse has an interesting history. Originally it was Lodge's Hotel, and was a popular rendezvous for visiting seamen. Later it became a seminary for young women and then was the home of the old Fremantle Club. In that guise it passed through the most interesting phase of its history as in its palmy days the Fremantle Club was the centre at which a number of the big mining deals were put through. When many of the business houses moved their headquarters to Perth, the Fremantle Club declined and the property eventually passed into the hands of its present owners.
From the large number of men who have been members could be selected cricket and football teams that could have formed a State side; at least two international cricketers and several dozen interstate footballers were numbered among the club's members. Apart from the members who are associated with Fremantle district cricket teams, the club supports a team in the Mercantile Association, which has been runners-up for three seasons in succession. The Fufu Band, the pride of club members, appears often in public on charitable occasions.

The West Australian, Wednesday 13 April 1932: page 5


Re-opening Celebrations.

The Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club recently underwent extensive alterations and additions, and to celebrate its re-opening a dinner was held there last night. Among those present were the Attorney-General (Mr. T. A. L. Davy), the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. A. McCallum), Mr. J. Sleeman, M.L.A., Mr. E. H. Gray, M.L.C. and Cr. J. Farrell. Apologies were received from the Mayor of Fremantle (Mr. F. E. Gibson), Mr. G. Fraser, M.L.C., and Inspector Teahan.
In proposing the toast of the Workers Club, Mr. McCallum congratulated the committee on the step it had taken in improving the club's premises. In wishing the club success in the future, he said that, a workers club catered for the social and to a certain degree, the intellectual life of a workman's life. In Scotland there were many fine workers' clubs, and some of the branches of the various Trade Unions had their own golf course.
The president of the club (Mr. W. Moore) said that he had been president for the past 13 years, during which time the club had many vicissitudes, but the various committees had worked together, with the result that the present improvements had been made possible. It was the committee's intention to continue the improvements as soon as funds were available. He officially declared the new building open.
Responding to the toast of "Parliament," proposed by a vice-president (Mr. G. Edinger), Mr. Davy said that the ideal of each individual should be to make the community one big club. He congratulated the club on its taking a forward step in times of financial stringency. Messrs. Gray and Sleeman also responded.
The toast of "Kindred Clubs," proposed by Mr. G. Andrew, was acknowledged by the president of the Fremantle Buffalo Club (Mr. C. E. O'Meara), and, that of the "Architects and Contractors," proposed by Mr. A. Stewart, by Messrs. C. H. Nicholas and R. Misses. The secretary (Mr. A. Gregg) proposed "The City of Fremantle," to which Cr. Farrell responded.

The West Australian, Wednesday 14 April 1932: page 10


Fremantle Workers' Club

New Additions Opened

The big entertainment hall and balcony of the Fremantle Workers' Social and Leisure Club were crowded to overflowing on Wednesday evening when Mr. William Moore, the veteran president, declared the New Club opened.
Tbe building is an historic one, being the first three-storeyed house erected in the State. In the 75 to 80 years of its existence it has done duty as hardware store and bond, hotel, a school house, where many old residents were educated, and the Fremantle Club for years, the
in the State and a sort of holy of holies with Chinese waiters and closely guarded portals. On the establishment of the Commercial Travellers' Club and the removal of businesses to Perth, its glory waned and the doors were closed.
The building came into the hands of the A.M.P. society, who in 1914 sold it to the newly-formed Workers' Club. It was started in the year of the Great War, and its members nobly rallied to the colors, many being left on the Anzac, Flanders and France fields of fame, the club's roll of honor being one to be proud of. Then came the big maritime strike and other misfortunes, but the club was a hardy plant, and
The committee adopted a wise course and for some years all subscriptions have been devoted to a fund for paying for the building and improvements, so that to-day the additions costing £3400 have been paid for. This is due greatly to the efforts of Mr. W. Moore, for 13 years president, the fine old veteran pressman 'Billy' Clare, the committee and Mr. Alf Gregg the secretary. All were
on Wednesday night. The function was attended by the Hon. T. A. L. Davy (Attorney General), Messrs. E. H. Gray, M.L.C., J. B. Sleeman, M.L.A., Councillor J. Farrell and representatives of the leading public bodies. The toast list was short and the speeches likewise so.
A fine musical programme was rendered by Mr. I. Nylander's orchestra, Messrs. E. Maltman and Frank Fenn. Mention must be made of the performance of a young lad, Master Lewis, whose entertainment brought down the house. His skit on Petro de Winsky de Pop Off, a Bolshie, was the hit of the evening.
The club is to be congratulated on its enterprise.

Mirror, Saturday 16 April 1932: page 14

1932 Ctee

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