AFTER years in the planning, the members of the Hawks Nest Bridge Club celebrated the official opening of their new Club House in great style last Friday.
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The rainy day didn’t deter more than a 150 members and supporters from attending the opening of the new building located in the old car park in Yamba Street.
MidCoast Councillor Len Roberts gave an informative Welcome to Country speech followed by Bridge Club President Glenn Conroy who spoke of the many people involved in turning the dream of a purpose-built clubhouse, into a reality.
Other guests including Federal Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie who told News Of The Area, “It’s a wonderful building and club, and a wonderful achievement.”
“Bridge is such a good thing, in Australia’s oldest community, an activity like this keeps people mentally young and active.”
“It’s also good at preventing early signs of dementia, so go play Bridge,’’ encouraged Dr Gillespie.
Other dignitaries in attendance included, Catherine Cusack MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Digital Inclusion who represented the Premier of NSW, MidCoast Mayor David West, Bruce Neill, President of the Australian Bridge Federation and former Governor, Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair.
Port Stephens MP Kate Washington said, “I am in awe of the Bridge Club, in awe of their tenacity and fundraising efforts, and then to have the vision and have them pull it all together is incredible.”
Bridge Club President Glenn Conroy would also like the building to be used by other community groups.
“We’re in talks with the U3A, we’ve got great acoustics and av equipment and reasonable hourly rates.”
More than $350,000 was raised through grants, donations and loans to build the clubhouse on land provided by MidCoast Council.
If you’re interested in using the space for your community activity, call Charlie Shuetrim on 0416 215 251.
By Margie TIERNEY