Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club

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The Fremantle Licensing Bench gave further consideration yesterday to the application of the Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club for a licence to sell liquor on their premises, in Packenham-street. Mr. E. P. Dowley, R.M., and Messrs. Purdie and Nicholas, J's.P., were on the Bench. Mr. F. G. Unmack represented the applicants and Mr. M. Lavan appeared on behalf of 20 resident objectors.
Mr. Unmack in presenting his case repeated the objection he had formerly made to Mr. Lavan's appearance, on the grounds that the necessary notice of objection to the licence had not been given. The application, he said, was made by Mr. H. Taylor, secretary of the club, and while it was popularly known as the Workers Club its rules did not restrict other than workers from joining. It would be found, continued Mr. Unmack, that the 20 resident objectors were all licensed victuallers, and in lodging their objection their motive could hardly be more than a mercenary one. It was a peculiar thing that these 20 residents had not lodged any objection when other sections of the community had organised their clubs. One objection which the opposition cited was that the premises upon which the club was established were not suitable. It was, he thought, a peculiar thing that this objection had never been mentioned when the old Fremantle Club occupied them. Another form of objection would be offered by the Municipal Council, but he held that the Bench were not able to entertain such. The police had no objection to the application, and he failed to see why men of the labouring class should not have the club benefits which other sections of the community, enjoyed.
Herbert H. Taylor, secretary of the club, said that all the necessary formalities of the application had been carried out.
To Mr. Lavan: The rules of the club, to the best of witness's belief, conformed with the provisions of the. Act. The club had an option of purchase over the premises, but it had not definitely closed on the offer. If the present application were disallowed the club would not be abandoned, but would apply again at.the next sitting of the Court. There were about 120 members enrolled, and approximately £42 had been collected, about £37 being from fully admitted members. The purchase price of the building was £2,000, payable in a weekly rental of £5. It was not intended to conduct the club under a tied covenant with any wholesale house.
To Mr Unmack: The club was now in possession of the premises.
To Mr. Dowley: There were now actually 100 members, who had paid in £34. The fee for membership was £1 per annum, payable quarterly in advance.
Inspector R. Taylor was the only witness called by the opposition. He said that he was an inspector of the Municipal Council, and as such he had made an inspection of the premises, and he would say that they were unsuitable for a club. The sanitary appointments were defective.
To Mr. Unmack: He had known the premises during the last 40 years, but he had never known the council to lodge a report before the Licensing Bench.
Mr. Dowley: What report?
Mr. Unmack: A report, sent in by the Fremantle town clerk and now on the file. It is a most unheard-of procedure.
Mr. Lavan, in addressing the Bench, directed their attention to a circular calling a public meeting to consider the opposition which his clients had made. He characterised the publication of the circular, which was signed by the applicant, as contempt of Court and gross intimidation to his clients. The circular suggested boycott. Happily the meeting was a fiasco, and therefore the purpose of the circular failed. His first objection to the granting of the licence concerned the rules of the club. These did not define, as the Act required, the qualification required by persons desirous of becoming honorary or temporary members. Secondly, the premises, according to the evidence of Inspector Taylor, were unsuitable. Thirdly, the list of names of members presented in court did not comply with the Act, as many as 17 addresses being gven as "Trades Hall, Fremantle," which, he contended, was not a sufficient address. The fourth and strongest objection lay in 33H of the club's rules, which made provision for any person or persons to take over any part of the club's business as the committee might authorise. Under that rule the club could immediately sell out its bar trade. Section "G" of the same rule permitted the committee to enter into a tied covenant with a wholesale firm, and that section of the Act requiring the management of the liquor traffic to be in the hands of the whole of the members had not been observed. These, he thought, were good and suifcient reasons for dismissing the application.
In his address, Mr. Unmack contended that the rules made provision for the election of honorary and temporary members beyond the limit of 15 miles and over the age of 21 years. They did not desire to admit any honorary or temporary members within the limit of 15 miles. Mr. Lavan had referred to the sanitary arrangements of the club premises as a "menace to public health," but he thought it peculiar that this state should have been allowed to exist so long without previous objection. If the Bench were satisfied that such a terrible state existed, he hoped they would visit the premises and see for themselves.
Referring to the address "Trades Hall," given by 17 of the members. he contended that it was a sufficient postal address, and therefore complied with the Act. The objection to Rule 33. Sections H and G, was not a matter for present consideration, as it was only a surmise as to what the club might do. If the club did make use of the rules as Mr Lavan suggested, then the matter could be made a point of argument on an application for a cancellation of the registration.
Having considered the matter for some minutes, the Bench announced that they would deliver their decision at 11 a.m. today.

The West Australian, Tuesday 24 March 1914, page 8

[This report mentions that the Club premises were in Packenham St. This may be an error on the part of the reporter, as the Club has always been in Henry St, afaik.]

Fremantle Workers Club.

Application for Registration Refused.

The reserved judgment of the Fremantle Licensing Bench (Mr. E. P. Dowley, R.M., and Messrs. F. Nicholas and Purdie. J's.P.) was delivered this morning in connection with the application of H. H. Taylor (secretary of the Fremantle Workers' Social and Leisure Club) for a certificate of registration for premises in Henry street, proposed to be utilised for purposes of a Workers' Club.
The R.M. said that he and his colleagues had given the matter very careful consideration, and the decision they had arrived at was that the rules drafted did not comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act, and that the sanitary arrangements were incomplete. He would say that they had a good deal of sympathy with the application, but on the above grounds they felt bound to refuse the application.
Mr. Unmack asked that the Court be adjourned sine die, as it was the intention to renew the application. The request was refused.

The Daily News (Perth), Tuesday 24 March 1914: 10

Workers Club.

Herbert Henry Taylor renewed his application for a club certificate for premises in Henry-street, known as the Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club. Mr. P. Unmack represented the appellant.
The police submitted a report favorable to the application.
Taylor gave evidence that all the necessary notices and rules had been delivered to the Clerk of the Court, and he had fulfilled the conditions demanded by the Licensing Act. The present membership totalled 198. In reply to the chairman, witness answered that it was the intention that the committee should elect the members. The chairman remarked that it was an extraordinary position that a committee of perhaps five men could elect a member, who may be objected to by 200 members. Counsel stated that it was the general rule of such institutions.
The bench granted the application as from today, June 2.

The Daily News (Perth), Tuesday 2 June 1914, page 8

Club License Granted.

Perth, June 2.

Herbert Henry Taylor renewed his application for a club certificate for premises in Henry-street, known as the Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club. The police submitted a report favorable to the application.
Taylor gave evidence that the present membership totalled 198. In replying to the chairman, witness answered that it was the intention that the committee should elect members.
The chairman remarked that it was an extraordinary position that a committee of perhaps five men could elect a member, who may be objected to by 200 members.
Counsel stated that it was the general rule of such institutions.
The application was granted.

Kalgoorlie Western Argus, Tuesday 9 June 1914, page 9

West Aust 1914

Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club.--Last night about 100 members and their friends of the Fremantle Workers Club assembled in one of the club rooms, the occasion being the official opening of the club by Mr. R. J. Burchell. Mr. Paton presided in the absence of the president (Mr. W. Roache*). In addressing a few words to the assembly Mr. Burchell stated that it was time Fremantle possessed a club for the workers. Every port in the Commonwealth had one. He paid a great tribute to the foundation members and to those who had selected the club premises. The main object, he said, was to conduct the club on model lines and keep out the gambling element. During the evening a musical programme was rendered by Mrs. Parsons, Messrs. Taylor, Meyers, W. Howell, Salter, and J. Sands.

The West Australian, Thursday 4 September 1914, page 6

[*Usually spelt Roche]




PERTH, March 14
At the Criminal Court to-day William Jones was charged with having violently assaulted Thomas Doolan at the Fremantle Workers' Club. Jones, it was alleged, had a dispute with Doolan, and knocked out one of his eyes with a glass.
Jones, in defence, said he drank five bottles of Sedna—a beverage alleged to contain cocaine and caffeine—and that these drugs temporarily deprived him of his reason.
Mr. Justice Burnside, who told the jury that if Jones was acquitted he could be detained in a lunatic asylum, said Sedna was not responsible for the offence, but something else. He sentenced Jones to 12 months' hard labour.

The Register [Adelaide], 15 March 1916: 5




After the Rev. F. T. Bowen had concluded the burial rites of the Church of England on the remains of the late Mr. Thomas Edwards at the Fremantle Cemetery yesterday afternoon, Mr. Thomas Walker, M.LA., mounted a small platform at the head of the grave, which was draped with the Australian Flag.

Mr. Walker said: Friends. This is a sad occasion to me, as it is to you, to 'be here to bid a long farewell to a fallen brother — a brother fallen, at (principle, and for his fellow men. It is not a time when we should raise bitter feelings, when we stand by the graveside in the presence of the bereaved — it is our duty to think but kindly of the departed, and to give nothing but sympathy to those who may survive. And yet I venture to think there is scarcely one here in the fulness of life but admits that between us and the barren and cold heap of eternity we feel a spirit of human comfort that in the very midst of life, in the service of his friends, in the service of humanity, Tom Edwards should go to his last long dreamless sleep. We feel there is engraved in the hearts of all a touch that will not be buried with him. I have been informed that the deceased was a man who loved has home, and was in his home beloved. It was not only the love he gave to his wife and family that endeared him to us all, not only the warmth of a large heart and the support he gave to his comrades, but, above all, he was a good citizen. His large heart beat with sympathy for the homes of those that were breadless, with a great desire for the betterment of those who had suffered so long in apparently hopeless despair. We part with him, true, but not with his spirit.
That sad Sunday morn when he received the wound that has brought him here, he was doing his worship, feeling that for justice all places were a temple, and all seasons summer. A victory has been won for the cause his fellows have been fighting through the centuries for — and we still have to fight until every home is bread-supplied and garnished with comfort.
That cause he has assisted and honored by his martyrdom. We shed our tears for one who has died for us. His death, his blood, is consecrated to that noble cause which exists alone for the betterment of the lowliest of mankind, the coming manhood and womanhood of every toiler — the right of happiness.
The added happiness of your lives should be rendered as thanks to him who sleeps in the cold grave. Though you leave him — or his remains — there in that sacred spot, his memory will be in your minds as an example, and in your hearts an inspiration, and his life a solace to his comrades, and a bond between them, stirring humanity to its very depths until all slavery and bondage have been abolished, and happiness prevails in every home.
Good-bye, comrade! A long farewell to you as you lie there, but never forgotten—an eternal hope and stimulus to all of us to do our duty as courageously as you have, to fulfil our part as bravely as you have, to love our fellow men so much as to risk all we hold as you have done. Good-bye!
The following is an official list of the representative men present at the funeral...

[very long list omitted, which included the names of W. Roche as secretary of the Fremantle Tally Clerks Union, and A. E. Pryce as secretary of the Fremantle Workers Club]

The Daily News [Perth], 10 May 1919: 3

Tom Edwards funeral

Very poor reproduction of a photograph of some of the very large crowd at the funeral of Tom Edwards

Additional proceedings at the inquest on the death of Thomas Edwards, the lumper who died as the result of injuries received in the disturbance on the Fremantle wharf on Sunday, May 4, which were not included in our report yesterday (except in Stop Press) are given below. The inquiry was conducted by the Coroner, Mr. E P. Dowley. R.M. Sir Walter James, K.C., appeared for the Crown, and Mr. Walter Dwyer for tbe widow of the deceased.
Continuing under cross-examination, William Renton, president of the Fremantle Lumpers' Union, said he understood that it was the crowd that had followed him that had thrown the stones. Witness did not throw any missiles, but he saw the police pick them up and throw them back. When the crowd had exhausted their ammunition they commenced to retreat.
Sir Walter James: The police dropped their batons and bayonets, and commenced to throw stones?
Witness: No, it was not necessary for them to drop their arms.
To Mr. Dwyer: The Riot Act was read after he was "knocked out."
This concluded the evidence.
Counsel did not address the jury.
The Coroner (Mr. E. P. Dowley) said that the jury's duty was to find out and say in their verdict how Edwards came to his death. This wasthe only part of the verdict which would give them much trouble, because as to when and where death occurred there was no dispute. The jury was not concerned with anything else. There had been a lot of evidence placed before them— to which they had listened most patiently— much of which did not bear on the real issue. There had been about 18 witnesses brought to the Court who had told them what happened on the wharf on the Sunday morning. The jury had viewed the body, and seen the wound on the head, and Mr. Rowe had identified it as the body of the deceased. Inspector McKenna had given them along narrative of what took place that morning, how the police had been brought on the wharf, the disposition made of that force, and the instruc- tions given to them. The latter was briefly, to put people off the wharf, and stop them coming on. At first the people appeared to have gone off fairly quietly, but afterwards in the vicinity of 'C' Shed there seemed to have been some violence shown to the police, and apparently the police retaliated with their rifles, batons, or whatever they had available. This was in reply to violence shown to them. They had been told the police had been instructed to resort to no violence if it could be helped, and only to use violence to protect themselves. All the witnesses seemed to agree that the police did not resort to any violence until itwas shown to them that stones, bars of iron, etc., were thrown at them by the crowd they were trying to drive off the wharf. In carrying out their instructions to get the people off the wharf, the police were justified in using violence to oppose that which was offered to them. There had been a lot of evidence given about the movements of the launches. It was not part of the jury's duty to decide anything about these boats, only how deceased came to his end. If he, the Coroner, was acting there as was done in other places, without a jury, he would simply address himself as to how and when deceased was wounded. There could be no doubt that thewound on his head had caused deceased's death. Dr. Kershaw told them the wound was caused by a fracture of the base of the skull, that deceased lingered a day or two, and died. The doctor said there was a mark on the skull which might not have caused the fracture, and seemed of the opinion it might have been caused by a fall. It was for the jury to consider whether it was the knock on the head thatcaused death or not. They would remember there was a regular conflict between the police, who were carrying out instructions, and a crowd who seemed determined to prevent them carrying them out. In opposing the police, the crowd threw missiles. The deceased had been amongst that crowd. He had got hit in the melee, and, as far as they could see, his injuries resulted in the wound that caused his death. There was little to say. A number of witnesses had deposed as to the damage to the launch. There was no need to refer to this. Then a number of witnesses seemed to all express the same opinion as to the happenings on the wharf. A body of men came together, stones were thrown, men on both sides were hurt, and amongst them was the deceased, and it was for the jury, if possible, to say where he got that wound from. It added to the jury's responsibilities that no witness had said who struck the blow. If any witness could have identified the man who hit deceased the case would have been different The only thing the witnesses, or some of them, said, was 'it was a policeman.' Of course it must have been a policeman! The crowd threw things at the police, and the latter retaliated.
After ten minutes' retirement the jury returned the following verdict:— 'That the deceased, Thomas Charles Edwards, came to his death on May 7 at the Fremantle Public Hospital from a fracture of the skull caused by a wound on the head received on the wharf at Fremantle on May 4. Weare unable to say who had caused the wound. Death was accidental.'





The final public sitting of the Royal Commission on Licensing was conducted at Parliament House yesterday afternoon. There were present Messrs. Mann (chairman), M'Callum, O'Loghlen, and Richardson, M.'s L.A.
'What is done with the profits of your club?' was an inquiry the chairman put to Mr. Wm. Roche, secretary of the Workers' Club, Fremantle. "We haven't got any," was the quick reply. "Any surplus money is used upon improving and keeping the building and equipment in order." Mr. Mann then wanted to know the liquor consumption per head. "This statement (produced) says £35 odd," said the chairman. "Rather high, isn't it?" Mr. Roche was ready to defend the club members. "The average worker is a pretty heavy drinker," he parried. Then the witness explained that the £35 was estimated strictly on financial membership at the time. If an estimate were made on the usual membership the figure would be substantially reduced and an additional factor was the large amount of tobacco, which was included in the bar trade tally. Mr. Roche said that, owing to the conditions of employment peculiar to Fremantle, it would not be fair to compel the club to close the bar to members before midnight. The strangers' room was consistently closed at 9 o'clock. It was not true that the club was unduly liberal with honorary members' tickets among the passengers and crews of visiting vessels.
Archbishop Riley said he was in favor of doing away with the gallon licence. He had been a member of clubs for a good many years, and was not aware of undue late drinking going on in them. It was years since he had seen a drunken man in a club. He knew that the opportunity to obtain liquor on the railways was abused, but thought it would be hard to deprive a railway traveller of the right to procure liquor. He had stayed in very many hotels in this State, and he had always found them very well conducted, although in the country districts their sanitary arrangements could be much improved. He thought the hours for hotel trading should be reduced. He would like to knock an hour off in the morning. In London the hours were from 11.30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and from 5.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m., and if they could do that in London there was no reason why it could not be done in this State.
Witness agreed that the liquor trade should be taxed, but not unduly so. Why should he, if he liked a glass of whisky, be heavily taxed for taking it? He was perfectly amazed with the anonymous letters he had received from temperance reformers. Some of them expressed a wish thathe would go to hell and hear the shrieks of the damned because he would not support prohibition. The difficulty he found with regard to local option was that it was not effective where improvement was most needed. He did not think that a large percentage of the people travelled five miles or more on Sunday to enable them to get a drink. He knew that publicans in the city would be glad to have the bona fide traveller clause done away with altogether, as it would give them a chance of having a day off in a week. In the country the bona fide traveller distance should be 50 miles or 100 miles. He quite disagreed with those who said 75 per cent. of the crime in this State was due to liquor. He did not think the percentage was anything like that. During his long residence in Western Australia he had noticed a wonderful improvement in the sobriety of the people. This was very noticeable on the goldfields, particularly since the men took to drinking beer instead of spirits. He had tried for years to bring in an anti-shouting law, but no one would help him. It was not the first shout that did the mischief. It was the second, third, and so on. The objection some persons had to an anti-shouting provision was that it was opposed to hospitality.
Mr. Wm. Geary, Public Health Board analyst, deposed that he had examined thousands of samples of liquor, and, generally speaking, he had found that the spirits in Australia were good. It seemed a strange thing to say, but nevertheless he was satisfied there were not sufficient drinking places in Perth. By that he meant there were not sufficient places where a man could obtain eatables and drink together. There should be more drinking places and longer trading hours, and then there would be less drunkenness. That was the experience of European countries, where there were drinking houses continually open all over the place, and drunkenness was almost unknown. He agreed that all whisky should have at least 25 per cent. of pure pot still spirit in it.
Mr. Patrick Healy, president of the Barmaids and Barmen's Union, declared that his union was absolutely opposed to the proposed registration of barmaids or barmen.
Mr. H. A. Lightfoot, president of the West Leederville branch of the Anti-Liquor League, advocated the adoption of the British Columbian system, whereby any person desirous of drinking had to secure a permit to do so at a cost of £1 per annum. He estimated that such a system would in this State bring in a revenue of £100,000 a year.
Mr. O'Loghlen: And provide free institutions for the teetotallers at the expense of the drinkers. Has British Columbia discarded prohibition?
Witness : That is so. He added that the whole of the liquor trade should be in the hands of the State, and run on the Gothenburg system.

The Daily News [Perth], 17 June 1922: 2

1923: Roche incident


Secretary Arrested at Southern Cross

The Commissioner of Police (Mr. R. Connell) yesterday received a wire from Inspector Houlahan that William Roche, ex-secretary of the Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club, for whom a warrant was issued on September 18, had been arrested at Southern Cross.
The charge against Roche is having stolen various sums amounting to £40 14s, the property of the club mentioned.
Roche will be brought before the court at Southern Cross and remanded to Fremantle.

Sunday Times, 30 September 1923, page 1



Perth, September 30.
Information was received at police headquarters on Saturday that William Roche, at one time secretary of the Fremantle Workers' Social and Leisure Club, had been arrested at Southern Cross on a charge of having stolen sums of money totalling £40/14/-, the property of the club. For many years the accused was well-known in Labor circles at Fremantle.

Geraldton Guardian, 2 October 1923: 3


Charges Withdrawn.

By Fremantle Workers Club.

William Roche (60), previously secretary of the Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club, appeared at the Fremantle Police Court yesterday morning to answer six charges of stealing. The charges were that on December 23, 1922, at Fremantle, being the servant, or clerk, of the club, he stole the sum of £6 18s., the property of the club; that on July 14, 1923, he stole the sum of £28 16s.; that, on the same date, he stole the further sum of £5: that, on June 23, 1923, he stole the sum of £20 19s.; that on June 30, 1923, he stole the sum of £25 2s.; and that, on July 7, 1923, he stole the sum of £26 17s.
After the charges had been read out to the accused, the president of the Fremantle Workers' Social and Leisure Club (Mr. Moore) informed the Bench, which consisted of Messrs. H. Parker and W. J. Sumpton, J's.P. that restitution of the stolen money had been made, and that, at a meeting of the members of the club held on Sunday last, it had been unanimously decided that the charges against Roche should be withdrawn. He made application for the withdrawal.
Detective-Sergeant Dungey, prosecuting, entered a formal protest against the withdrawal of the charges. He said that the department viewed with disfavour actions of this kind, as restitution of stolen money, though in this case satisfactory to those who had laid the complaint was not always conducive to the ends of justice.
Commenting that Roche was a very fortunate man, the Bench permitted the charges to be withdrawn. The accused, who appeared to have been much affected by the proceedings, completely broke down when this announcement was made, and, sobbing convulsively, was assisted from the dock by the Court orderly.

The West Australian, 10 October 1923: 7


The funeral of the late Mrs. Ruth Gregg, wife of Mr. Alfred J. Gregg, of the Fremantle Workers' Club, and of 226 High street, Fremantle, took place on Friday afternoon, the 28th ult., and was largely attended. The deceased lady, who was 39 years of age, leaves one son and one daughter to mourn their loss. The funeral cortege moved from Messrs. Arthur E. Davies and Co.'s private mortuary, Fremantle, and proceeded to the Fremantle Cemetery, where the remains were laid to rest in the Roman Catholic portion. The Rev. Father J. Ahearne, O.M.J., officiated at the graveside. The chief mourners were — Mr. A. J. Gregg (husband), Alexander Gregg (son), Miss V. Smith (sister) ...

The Daily News [Perth], 2 October 1923: 1


Card presented to James Croll in 1924 by the Fremantle Workers Club 'as a mark of esteem for services rendered'

Click on the image for a larger version. The text on the card is as follows.

Presented to Jas Croll Esq. by the members of Fremantle Workers Social & Leisure Club, as a mark of esteem for services rendered, Oct. 31st 1924.

G. A. Phillips, Trustee
T. W. Flannaghan, Trustee (Flanagan in the Club records)
H. G. Lynn, Trustee
L. J. Carey, Vice Pres.
W. Moore, President
Alf Gregg, Sec.
Jas Cherrie, Committee
W. Pearce, Committee
Thos Doolan, Committee
? Keerey, Committee
Jas Croll [centre bottom]

James Croll was the President of the Lumpers Union in 1905 and probably other years. He was a member of the Club Committee in 1919 and 1921-1925.

The photograph in the middle of the card shows the Club's premises when it was in the former Lodges Hotel. The present building dates from 1956; that older building was removed in favour of a carpark. The building adjoining to the left in the old photograph is at 3 Henry St: it is part of Quartermaine's Building, 3-5 Henry St, which was a warehouse and is now residential.


Thirty-Five Hotels licensed

The Licensing Board—Messrs. W. L. Owen (chairman) and J. Lyon Johnston—sat as the annual Licensing Court for the Fremantle districts at the Fremantle Courthouse yesterday. In granting a number of hotel, and wine saloon licences, the Court required an undertaking from the licensees that automatic glasswashers would be installed and flyproof screens, fitted on the windows and doors of kitchens and dining on the condition that a club rule should be made that when a member became six months in arrears with subscriptions he should automatically cease to be a member. In regard to improvements to certain hotels recommended in the police reports, the Chairman stated that, pending the result of the coming prohibition referendum, he would make no order, but put a note on the files.

[section omitted]

Clubs.—Commercial Travellers' Club; liquor purchased during year £1,546, licensing fee £77; Italian Club, liquor purchased during year £577, licensing fee £28; Fremantle Bowling Club, liquor purchased £92, licensing fee £5; Fremantle Buffalo Club, liquor purchased £1,370, licensing fee £6S; Fremantle Exchange Club, liquor purchased £232, licensing fee £11; Fremantle Golf Club, liquor purchased £150, licensing fee £7; Fremantle Workers' Social and Leisure Club liquor purchased £6,582, licensing fee £320.

The West Australian [Perth] 5 December 1924: 11



Fremantle Club's History

Once the Resort of Titled Exclusives — Now The Rendezvous of Brawny Toilers— A Queer Metamorphosis

IMAGINE Bill Bowyangs, resting his dungareed legs in the inviting depths of the Weld Club lounge!
Imagine the present haven of wealth and social distinction, so far forgetting its destiny as to turn over its handsome premises to the workers. It would take some imagining!
But there is extant a similar case where a club, once as exclusive and restricted to the men of long purses, has since passed into the hands of the workers.
What the Weld Club is to Perth to-day, the old Fremantle Club was to the Port. Housed in a fine three-storey building—the first in Fremantle—beautifully furnished and carpeted, its Chinese service a thing of wonder the Fremantle Club was
Inside the portals of the club no stranger might set his profaning foot, and the luxuries and the privilege of membership were restricted to a select few.
Among its members during the early years of the century were the late A. J. Diamond, M.L.A., Messrs Laurie Alexander, Frank Cadd, Sir Edward Wittenoom, A. J. Leeds, Dr. Hope, A. Hamilton (manager of the A.U.S.N. Co.), E. A. Moxon (manager of the Adelaide S.N. Co.), and Fred Moore (of the firm of W. D. Moore and Co.
The transfer of the head offices of many of the big firms to Perth seriously affected the club's membership, and the formation of the Commercial Travellers' Club took its toll of the younger members. The result was that eventually the Fremantle Club became non-existent. Later it was taken over by the Fremantle Workers' Club, whose membership consists in great part of lumpers, and
has resulted, one that is a credit to any seaport town.
The top storey is not now used, but the two lower storeys are fully occupied. The library, comprising some 6000 volumes, is one of the finest of its kind in Australia, and the entertainment and amusement of the workers is contributed to by the provision of card, dining, sitting and concert rooms.
In the Workers Club, Fremantle has much of which it may be proud.
But the ghosts of some of the long-dead autocrats who first occupied the buildings as a club must turn in their graves occasionally!

Mirror, 24 January 1925: 11


The Fremantle Workers Club make a practice of sending a percentage of the money collected in their sporting competition to the Fremantle Hospital. Last month the hospital benefited by £8/3/6. The secretary, Mr. Greig [actually Gregg], is arranging a series of entertainments for the winter months.

Mirror, 18 April 1925: 8


The first of the series of socials was held on Tuesday night when the club room was crowded with members, and their wives and families and friends. A splendid programme was presented, items being contributed by Messrs. Rita Flaherty, Ada Coultas, K. Duggan, Hazel Collett, Messrs. J. Harman (cornet solo), Herbert Gibson, Foley and Merilles, Geo. Shepherd, Percy Cowan, W. Reeves, F. Greenwood and Percy Woods, with Fred Reeves at the Piano, whilst items were also contributed by the Club Orchestra. A dainty supper was provided and a very pleasant evening was spent.
The Art Union in aid of one of the club members in Mick English, who had been ill for some time, resulted in a sum of £30 being available. Thus once again the members showed their genuine sympathy with their fellow clubman in his trouble.

Mirror, 1 August 1925: 9




The Workers Club

The plans are now completed for the reconstruction of the club premises and it is expected to get the work started in a few days. When finished it will be one of the finest Working Men's Clubs in Australia, and will contain card rooms, locker rooms, billiard room for three tables, large library and concert hall to seat about 500 with stage and retiring-rooms. It will be necessary to obtain temporary premises until the building is completed, but the committee have already made full arrangements.

Mirror, 18 July 1926: 3


The Fremantle Workers' Club have for some years conducted a goose club each member of which pays in one shilling per week, and the goods are distributed at Christmas time. This year over £830 worth was allotted, consisting of hams (£325), turkeys, geese, ducks, fowls, wine, beer, etc. The poultry bill came to over £200. Through the kindness of Mr. Tom Newbold, the committee were able to use his fine markets with adequate poultry runs and store for the distribution.

Mirror, 18 July 1926: 3



The committee of the Workers Club are busy arranging their series of entertainments for the coming winter months, and these are to exceed in number and variety any yet held. A glee party is being formed, the orchestra is hard at it getting new items ready and the jazz band is being increased in number. Mr. Alf Gregg, the secretary, is a busy man, but sad withal—some person having carried away the manuscript of his new march, 'The Lady Betty.' It has been suggested that the Royal Marines be sent in search of it.

Mirror, 21 May 1927: 12



Club Secretary Fined

Alfred Gregg, secretary of the Workers' Club, Fremantle, was fined £10 today for having sold liquor on Sunday, August 12. Messrs. H. J. Craig, R.M., and W. Hamilton, and J. Stevens, J's.P., occupied the bench.

Daily News, Tuesday 21 August 1928



President Farewelled

On Tuesday evening in the Fremantle Workers Club, the big concert hall with its capacious balcony and annex was filled to overcrowding with members and their families as well as friends who had gathered to wish the president, Mr. W. Moore, a safe and happy journey on the occasion of his taking a holiday after 31 years spent in the railway service.
Mr. J. B. Sleeman, M.L.A., presented Mr. Moore with a handsomely fitted leather suit case and travelling rug from the members. The committee contributed a set of pipes and the cricket club and social committee also made presentations. A long musical programme was given, including items by Harry Pola (ventriloquist), Fred Lopoz (Illusionist), Mesdames Hazel and Roma Collett, Rita O'Flaherty, Kath Duggan, Jean Wellington. Olsen, Reed, Verna Hales, L,uxton, Violet Walton, Messrs. Ted Irvine (piano), Don Greenwood, Bill Reeves and George Harvey, and the famous Fu Fu Band.
Refreshments were served by the ladies' social committee and the general arrangements were in the hands of Mr. Alf Gregg. The next concert and social will be held early in June.

Mirror, 20 April 1929: 4


1932 Ctee


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: Gregg incident


Workers Club Secretary


Alarmed at the failure of her husband, Alfred Gregg, secretary of the Fremantle Workers Club, to return home from the office last night, Mrs. Gregg made a search and found him lying in South Terrace. He said he had been attacked by thieves while on his way home, struck on the head and sandbagged and his key stolen.
It was found that £100 was missing from the club safe.

Lismore Northern Star, 2 November 1932, page 4


Committee Acts


Following a special meeting of the committee of management of the Fremantle Workers' Club last night, the secretary (Mr. Alfred Gregg) was suspended.
The meeting was called by the president (Mr. W. Moore) after disclosures by the club's auditor (Mr. J. S. Johnstone), which indicated that £252 10s was missing.
The meeting decided to relieve Mr. Gregg of his duties and to place the auditor in charge pro tem. A thorough examination of the club's books is to be made immediately. The preliminary audit of the books was made consequent on a report to the police by Mr. Gregg on Monday that he had been assaulted and robbed of the keys of the club's safes. When the police visited the club shortly after 4 a.m. on Monday the keys were found in one of the safes from which money was missing.
On Monday Mr. Gregg estimated that £146 10s was the amount taken from the safe.

Daily News, 3 November 1932, page 1

Club Secretary Suspended

MR. ALFRED GREGG, the secretary of the Fremantle Workers' Club. The Fremantle police were jnformed that while he was going home late on Sunday night, he was assaulted, and his keys stolen. Subsequently it was found that £252 was missing from the safe. Mr. Gregg has been suspended from the secretaryship pending an inquiry. A meeting of the full committee of the club will be held to-morrow.

Mirror, 5 November 1932, page 1


The Secretary Suspended

Mr. Alfred Gregg, secretary of the Fremantle Workers' Social and Leisure Club, was found walking in a dazed condition in South-terrace, Fremantle, in the early hours of Monday morning last.
He later reported to the police that he had been struck on the head and rendered insensible in Howard-street, while on his way home from the club on Sunday night, and that the keys of the club's safe had been removed from his pocket.
A subsequent investigation revealed that the safe had been opened and Mr. Gregg estimated that funds amounting to £146/10/ had been removed. An auditor's check, however, revealed that a sum of £252/0/10 was missing.
Mr. Gregg stated that the bunch of keys stolen included the keys to the safes in the office of the club, but not that to the front door of the building. He apparently suffered no serious ill-effect from the assault, but he stated that he must have been unconscious for about four hours.
As a sequel to the affair, the president of the club (Mr. W. Moore) said on Thursday that Mr. Gregg had beensuspended and the club's auditor placed temporarily in charge.

Sunday Times (Perth) Sunday 6 November 1932, page 3



On Thursday last the 21st anniversary of the Fremantle Workers Club was celebrated at a social, which was largely attended. The president (Mr. G. Edinger) was in the chair.
After the loyal toast had been honoured, Mr. Bromley proposed the anniversary toast and praised the work performed by the president and committee. The toast of 'Kindred Clubs,' proposed by Mr. W. Sweet, was ably responded to by Mr. R. Seminora, president of the Italian Club. He referred to the club home life, and stated that not only did the club cater for its members, but it also gave consideration to members' children by providing an annual Christmas tree. The Workers Club library, said Mr. Seminora, was one of the best he had seen. In every respect the various clubs in the State should take an example from the Workers' Club. The proceedings closed with drinking the health of the president, at the instance of Mr. Forster, who expressed, on behalf of the members, appreciation of the club's hospitality.
During the evening, musical items were contributed by Messrs. P. Lester, D. Greenwood, A. Douglas. E. Brickhill, R. Russell, H. Webster, E. Scott and the Fu Fu Band. The accompanist was Mr. Mecklin. Community singing was led by Mr. P. Lester.

The West Australian, Wednesday 12 June 1935: 5



Extension to Workers' Club.

A new social hall attached to the Fremantle Workers' Social and Leisure Club was opened on Monday night, the occasion being celebrated by a smoke social, which was attended by several hundred members and friends. Measuring 77 feet by 100 feet, the hall is on the first floor of the club's building in Henry-street and part of the new hall was formerly a billiard room. With a stage at one end, the hall will be used for social purposes by members, their wives and children, and for occasional lectures.
"We have the satisfaction of some thing attempted, something done," said the president of the club (Mr. G. Edinger) in declaring the building open.
"Within the past four years about £5,000 has been spent by the committee of management in additions and improvements to the property, and nearly £2,000 of this has been devoted to the erection and furnishing of this beautiful and spacious hall). Those here will agree that it is bound to become a sound investment. As the years roll by members will meet here together and on special occasions the hall will be used for concerts, dances and occasional lectures."
The aim of the club, continued Mr. Edinger, was not only to provide for the comfort of its members, but that the club should become the most exemplary not only in Fremantle, but in the whole of the Commonwealth. The library, containing over 5,000 volumes, was one of the most valuable assets and was greatly appreciated by members and their families.
The toast of "Parliament" proposed by the vice-president of the club (Mr. G. Andrew), was acknowledged by Mr. J. T. Tonkin, M.L.A. As well as the loyal toast, other toasts honoured were "The City of Fremantle" and "Kindred Clubs." The speeches were interspersed with musical items contributed by Messrs. Don Greenwood, Allan Stapleton, W. Smith, R. Russell, M. Ward and Harrison, ten minutes of magic, a humorous monologue by Mr. Percy Lester, and orchestral numbers by Jack Nice's band.

The West Australian [Perth], Wednesday 25 November 1936: 3


There was a representative gathering on Monday night at the opening of the new Social Hall at the Fremantle Workers' Social and Welfare Club. An enjoyable evening was spent, the toasts list being interspersed with entertaining musical numbers.
In his introductory remarks the president (Mr. G. Edinger) pointed out that during the past four years the committee of management had applied £5000 to additions and improvements to the club. The provisions and furnishings of the new social hall had cost about £2000, but nevertheless it was considered a sound investment.
The club had progressed in recent years and the outlook was bright for the future, for it was the policy of the executive to utilise its funds for the betterment of facilities for members.
The club library, containing 5000 volumes, was a most valuable and cherished asset.

The Daily News [Perth], Thursday 26 November 1936: 12


Workers' Club President

Well-Known Waterfront Identity

Known by scores of people, including many on the waterfront, in Fremantle, Mr. George Edinger can look back upon a considerable number of years' service on the committee of the Fremantle Workers' Club, of which body he has been president for the last five years. At one time he was president—for nine years—of the Federal Clerks' Union In Western Australia. Born in Melbourne In 1873, he came West 41 years ago. G. E. has no particular hobbies, his favorite diversion being camping over at Garden Island.

The Sunday Times [Perth], Sunday 9 January 1938: 3 S



On Sunday afternoon about 60 members and friends of the Fremantle Lumpers' Union paid their annual visit to former members of the union who are now inmates of the Old Men's Home. Christmas comforts were distributed to the old lumpers from Fremantle, and also to seamen, tally clerks and Bunbury lumpers. On behalf of the old members, presentations were also made to Messrs. P. J. Hillbrick and T. W. Andrews, members of the union who have for many years been associated with the union's work of this nature. Mr. George Dickson was another who took an active part on this occasion. The Fufu Band from the Fremantle Workers' Club gave selections during the afternoon.

The West Australian [Perth], Thursday 21 December: 15


Passing of Billy Clare

A dear friend of "The Sunday Times" and of thousands of old goldfielders and of Western Australians generally passed away on Friday in the person of Mr. W. E. Clare at the age of 78.
Billy Clare, as he was fondly known in and outside the profession, came to Coolgardie in the roaring days, founded the first daily paper and led many a stirring fight for goldfields' interests in the years that followed.
Later he figured in journalism in Bunbury and Fremantle, and his virile pen was always at the service of the suffering and oppressed.
He was one of the old-time newspaper men who fought for what he thought was right, and declined to fashion his doctrines to the varying hour, and his generous heart was always ready to respond to the needs of his fellows.
Many will miss him and many will treasure rich memories of their association with his charming and cultured personality.
He was a good journalist, a fine citizen and a dear, friendly soul who drew to him friends from every section of the community.
Peace to him!

The Sunday Times [Perth], Sunday 7 April 1940: 1

The funeral of the late Mr. William Edward ('Billy') Clare, of 31 Ocean road, Cottesloe, who died on Friday last, took place in the Church of England portion of the Karrakatta Cemetery on Monday morning. The rector of St. John's Church, Frmnantle, the Rev. Canon E. M. Collick, conducted the service at the graveside, in the presence of a large and representative gathering. Canon Collick, in the course of an address, referred in very feeling terms to the wonderfully good and useful life of Mr. Clare, whom he had known since they were both young men on the goldfields. The canon said that Mr. Clare was always an inspiration to meet, jovial, cheery, always a bright soul, fearless in his convictions, but absolutely just and fair. His attractive personality was imposing. He (the canon) had journeyed back from England with him on one occasion and during that trip was in very close touch with him and he could truthfully say that Mr. Clare was one who was not only very highly respected, but really affectionately regarded by all. His passing would be greatly felt, as he was one of the State's real pioneers and one who had assisted in no small measure in its progress. On behalf of himself and those present the canon expressed sincere sympathy with the bereaved relatives. Mr. Clare, who was born at St. Helen's, Lancashire, England, came to Australia in 1888. He arrived in Western Australia at the commencement of the gold rush in 1893 and took a printing plant to Coolgardie by team from York. This was in 1894, and on the goldfields his staff included 'Smiler' Hales, the late F. O. Vosper, the late 'Dryblower' Murphy, the late John Drayton and Messrs. J. H. Armstrong and William Robertson, the two last-named being still resident in Perth. Mr. Clare held interests in many newspapers from time to time and was one of the very few remaining citizens who had a first-hand and intimate knowledge of the very early goldfields days. He was of a quiet and unostentatious disposition, but his versatile knowledge of general topics and his extensive travel experience made him a most interesting conversationalist, and he was held in very high esteem in the community. He leaves a wife, two sons, two grandsons, two granddaughters and two great-grandchildren to mourn their loss.

The Kalgoorlie Miner, Thursday 11 April 1940


Steals Loot From Thieves

According to evidence in Fremantle Police Court today 52-year-old clerk Joseph McCracken admitted to the police that he had stolen certain property from the original thieves.
McCracken pleaded guilty to a charge of having been in unlawful possession of 90 rouge compacts, 17 motor headlamp globes, two radio valves and a quantity of bicycle parts.
A fine of £5 with 9/- costs was imposed.
Plainclothes Constable Johnston said that with Plainclothes Constable Grigo and Harbour Trust Det. Prosser he went to McCracken's home today and told him they had information that he was a receiver of goods pillaged from the wharf.
McCracken admitted that he had certain goods. He explained that when secretary of the Fremantle Workers' Club he found the property "planted" at the club. He suspected that the goods had been stolen and, in fact, "stole them from the thieves" by taking them home.
Counsel for McCracken said that his client had a clean record and called evidence of his previous good character.
[Before Messrs J. E. Gustafson and A. Joyce J.Ps. Mr N. de B. Cullen (Unmack and Cullen) for McCracken. Det.-Sgt. Findlay prosecuted.]

The Daily News [Perth], Wednesday 2 August 1944: 10



The Fremantle Workers' Social and Leisure Club will contest in court, if necessary, the dispute over the sale of liquor to club members at prices lower than those charged in hotels.
The secretary of the club (Mr. J. Bowe) said this yesterday after a-special club committee meeting had considered legal opinion by a Perth King's Counsel on the dispute.
Mr. Bowe continued that his club would defy the ultimatum issued by the Brewers' Association of Western Australia, and would continue to sell liquor at the same prices it was now charging.
The brewers' ultimatum required club secretaries "as a condition of supply" to sign a statutory declaration each month that they were selling beer, wine and spirits at hotel prices.
The date set for the signing of the first declaration was February 10.
Mr. Bowe said that legal advice received was that the Brewers' Association had no legal right to require the club to sign these statutory declarations.
Mr. Bowe said that he had called yesterday morning on the assistant-manager of the Swan Brewery Co. Ltd. (Mr. A. E. Staines) to put before him the club committee's decision on the legal advice received. He continued that Mr. Staines had told him that there were two legal opinions on the matter.

The West Australian [Perth], Friday 25 January 1952: 4


1953 Ctee


Architecture And Real Estate


(By K.O.M.)

The Fremantle Workers' Social and Leisure Club (Inc.), which is 40 years old will soon start the building of new £58,820 club rooms in Henry-street
The structure and internal fittings will be of a high standard and will cost over £500 a square.
Old buildings on the site, which is about 100yds south of the existing club premises, have been demolished and work on the new structure is expected to begin next month.
The main floor of 8,200 sq. ft. will include a main club room, billiard room, darts room, visitors room, office and committee room, card room, library and reading room, change-room, barber shop, kitchen and a snack bar.
There will also be general storage rooms, toilets and a refrigerated cool chamber.
The structural framework will be of reinforced concrete, steel and brick panel walls and has been designed to take two more upper floors.
Durable Fittings
The finishing materials have been chosen for durability and appearance and will include ceramic wall tiles externally and internally, ceramic rubber lino and asphalt floor tiles, steel door and window frames with a stainless steel and aluminium trim in the entrance lobby and principal rooms.
Mechanical ventilation will be installed in the 77ft. by 34ft. bar and the billiard room.
Ceilings of the principal rooms will be acoustically treated.
Indirect fluorescent tube lighting will be used and direct lighting will be located in positions where concentrated light is needed.
Mechanical and electrical equipment will include an electrically operated lift from the refrigerated cool chamber to the bar, refrigerated storage cabinets, a public-address system and a water bore from which water will be pumped to flow in a trough in front of the full length of the bar.
The architect is Mr. J. W. Johnson and the builder is T. S. Plunkett Pty. Ltd.
The secretary of the club (Mr. Keith Hough) said yesterday that after the move had been made to the new club rooms in about June, 1955, the existing building would be offered for sale.

The West Australian [Perth], 29 May 1954: 8


Jack Sheedy, the East Fremantle rover, and Steve Marsh, the South Fremantle rover, will be collectors for the Torchbearers for Legacy appeal at Fremantle today.
They have made a side-bet on who will collect the larger amount.
• Sheedy, with his blue and white bucket, sells a badge to his clubmate, Bob Pickering, after training at East Fremantle Oval last night.
Sheedy and Marsh (with a red and white bucket) will collect at the Fremantle Workers' Social and Leisure Club between 11.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m.

The West Australian [Perth], 8 October 1954: 26


1955 Ctee


Freo Gazette 1990

Fremantle Gazette, 3 July 1990, page 34


Ron Davidson:
I am sitting at one end of the freshly painted bar at the Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club. It is lunchtime. The bar is busy over all of its 30 metres; as is the café and TAB which in another age was the club library and reading room. I ask my neighbour his name and whether he'd like a drink. His name is Arty and he declines the drink with grace. He hasn't had a drink since 1970. Why then does he keep coming to the heartland of Fremantle drinking? He tells me he is 86 and comes to the club whenever he feels like a chat. He chats of taking over his father's union ticket in 1957 and coming on to the wharf: lumping was a family business then unless you happened to be a footballer. He chats of 400 lumpers' bikes stacked outside the ferry terminal and not one was stolen; and how wharfies came over to the club for their schooners at lunch or smoko and of some solid drinking 'until stumps' (11pm) which destroyed Arty's liver. Also how Paddy Troy, the Fremantle workers' saint, was black-balled from the club and who did the deed. 'There was no Commies in the Workers' Club' says Arty without explaining why. There were also no women and workers could wear their work hats up to the bar. Now there are women everywhere. The club is flourishing again. However, when ships' cargoes started to be carried in containers rather than on men's shoulders, thousands of wharfies and woolies left town. Other clubs closed or became sad places...

Ron Davidson, from The Clubs, 2010, his limited edition book written to accompany a photographic exhibition by FotoFreo


Workers club closes doors

FREMANTLE Workers Club has ceased trading because of financial concerns, according to manager Phillip Jackson.
Mr Jackson said a lack of cash flow and lack of members attending the club forced him to close on May 26.
"We have ceased trading for the time being to evaluate our financial status," Mr Jackson said.
The club has been operating since 1914 and has 1100 members, but many do not attend regularly.
Mr Jackson said the club had been unsuccessful in securing a loan, but amalgamating with the Fremantle Club could provide it with a lifeline.
"We're in consultation with the Fremantle Club and that may be a way out, but it's still hypothetical."
He said claims the club had squandered money from the sale of its carpark seven years ago were unfounded and the club was suffering partly because no one was visiting Fremantle's West End.
"There's nothing else down here to attract people," he said.
"The council is letting the area die slowly – there are small businesses closing everywhere."
He said the club recognised the need to change with the times to attract new members, but it was important not to alienate the club's ageing membership.
"We recognise the old club culture has got to change, but we still have to cater for older people," he said.
"We have to move with the times, but it has to be gradual."

Anni Fordham, Fremantle-Cockburn Gazette, 9 June 2011


Ron Davidson, Fremantle Herald

Fremantle Herald, 28 January 2012

Ron Davidson, Fremantle Society


Fremantle Herald, January 2014

logoFremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club Inc.
9 Henry St Fremantle