2016 was a challenging year for our Club with trading significantly affected by very aggressive competition arising from a number of local hospitality establishments. Members would be aware many of our competitors have invested heavily in extensive capital works over the past twelve months which had had a deleterious effect on our income streams, particularly gaming.
Whilst not unexpected, the dramatic rise in the number and quality of hospitality options available to our local community in essentially a stable demographic area has impacted on our Club requiring your Board to work even harder to ensure your experience at Panania Diggers remains a positive and favourable one.
I will leave further analysis to the Chief Executive Officer in his Report suffice to say that whilst the annual result was profitable, it was well below the record result recorded for 2015. Members requesting further information on the Annual Reports are welcome to contact the Club Reception. On that note I remind you the 2017 Annual General Meeting of Panania East Hills RSL Club Ltd has been set down for 7.30pm on Monday the 3rd April 2017.
During the year the Club invested in a number of clubhouse improvements including purchasing additional ‘The Green’ furniture and placing artificial turf in high wear areas. In response to demand a further function area was established within The Green’ precinct in the form of a 1920’s era railway guard’s carriage which has been well received by members. Also well received was the transformation of ‘The Green’ bar into ‘Molly’s Milkbar’, a concept eagerly supported by the many young families who enjoy our Club facilities. Front façade improvements were also undertaken to enhance the streetscape presence of the Club.
Members would also be aware that on the 30th January 2017 I reluctantly relinquished my duties as your Chairman. Representing our membership and leading the Board of Directors over the past nine years has been a challenging but extremely rewarding task which I have always met with enthusiasm and vigour however a recent incapacitating and debilitating illness has required I reluctantly step back and hand over the reins. As such Mr Tony van der Kley has been appointed by the Board to fill the position of Chairman until the next bi-annual election. Likewise, Ms Samantha Williams was assigned the role of Junior Vice President. Both are long serving members of the Board who bring experience, dedication and commitment to their respective roles.
At the same meeting I requested and was granted permission to remain on the Board in the role of Director with specific responsibility for member’s and veteran’s welfare, an assignment I have a passionate commitment and belief in.
Our relationship with Panania RSL Sub Branch, Panania RSL Women’s Auxiliary, Panania RSL Youth Club and our many associated and sponsored sporting bodies continues to prosper. The enormous success of the annual Anzac Day Dawn Service and the extraordinary number of teams playing under the Panania banner is testament to the many volunteers who unselfishly contribute many hours of their time in ensuring these events and competitions are managed and operated with the highest level of skill and efficiency. I congratulate you all on an outstanding effort.
On behalf of the Board of Management of Panania Diggers, I extend my sincere condolences to the families of our members who have lost loved ones over the past year.
In closing, it would be remiss of me not to once again acknowledge the professionalism and commitment of my fellow Directors over the nine years of my Chairmanship and the excellent work of our staff. Foremost though has been the unwavering support of our many members and sporting and social groups who call Panania Diggers their home.
Garry Murray OAM