The club was established in 1972 and was soon playing at the Methodist Church’s Hall in Kent St. By 1979 the club was strong enough to purchase premises in Tawa St, off Parker Avenue.
This building had an interesting past. It had been the Wisharts Factory, a cabinet makers and there is a dance floor near the storage room.
The building cost $21,000 and was renovated and re-decorated by members. The purchase price was raised by members purchasing debentures with the option of no interest payments or minimum interest payments. The club was able to pay back these debentures within five years.
Over the years the club has maintained and improved the facilities. One member made all the wooden card tables which we have used for many years. The kitchen has been upgraded. New chairs were purchased as well as new carpet. Recently the building was reroofed and the car park resealed. The club has 4 heat pumps to heat and cool the club rooms.
There are two photos in the clubrooms one of them is of Beth Blekhorn who was the driving force behind the club purchasing its own building. Before the club purchased the building in Tawa Street it only met once a week and tables and chairs had to be set out for each playing session and removed at the end of play. Once it had its own club rooms the moving of furniture was no longer required and more sessions of bridge were offered to members. Now the club offers 5 sessions of bridge to members.
The other is of Lorna Donnelly who left a substantial bequest to the club. The balance now around $25,000 is available to the club to use in cases of emergencies.
There have been emergencies in the past. Over an 18 month period the floor collapsed in three different places and had to be immediately repaired.
The club has a renovation fund which has $200 a month going into it. This contingency is seen as a way to be prepared for the ongoing expenses which owning a building incurs.
When the building was purchased the neighbours were approached about how they felt about having a club in the street. All were happy as they were expecting flats to appear on the site.
One condition that the council made was that we would not park on the Eastern side of Tawa Street. If you think about it the street would become too narrow if we parked on both sides of the road. On tournament days we put out no parking signs on that side of the street.
There is a more detailed account on the club’s first 25 years available.