Club News

2021

Leon Ross awarded life membership

Congratulations to Leon Ross on receiving Life Membership of Mulgrave Country Club at our July 2021 AGM. Leon joined the Club back in 1997. He has served on the golf committee and in 2001 was appointed to the Board of Management where he served the Club for 18 years until 2019 spending the last 12 years as President. A deserving recipient of Life Membership.

Peter Mannix awarded life membership

A big congratulations to Peter Mannix on receiving Life Membership of Mulgrave Country Club at our July 2021 AGM. Peter joined the Club in 1976 and was one of the founding members of the tennis club. Over the years Peter has played tennis, squash and golf for the club. He was inducted into the Mulgrave Squash Legends Club in 2007 having played 25 years of Pennant Squash. He has been on the snooker committee and spent a total of 19 years on the Board of Management from 1994 – 2000 and then again from 2006 – 2019. A deserving recipient of Life Membership. 

Ted Vale awarded life membership

Congratulations goes to Ted Vale on receiving Life Membership of Mulgrave Country Club at our July 2021 AGM. Ted joined the Club back in 1970. During his time at the Club he has served of both the tennis and squash committees and spent a total of 12 years on the Board of Management from 1983 – 1988 and then again from 2012 – 2019. Ted was the Squash Club Champion for many years and was inducted into the Mulgrave Legends Club in 2007 having played 25 years of Squash Pennant. A deserving recipient of Life Membership.

The Meeting was duly held on 18th April 1961 and the following matters were resolved: (1) The Memorandum & Articles or rules were adopted and a Company was to be Incorporated to take over the temporary body established in December 1960. The subscribers to the New Club documents were fifty four (54) innumber and their names are listed on the wall adjacent to the bistro. (2) The first Club President was Mr. Les Allen. (3) Club finance was to be provided by way of Member Subscriptions and compulsory debentures of £50 each, additional finance would come from voluntary debentures as well as Annual subscriptions paid in advance. It was hoped no monies would need to be borrowed from banks or other institutions. Interest was payable on the Debentures and these would all be redeemed in due course. (4) The property to be purchased was our current site and the vendor, Mr Doug Belcher agreed to sell it to the Club for £10,000. The terms were 10% deposit and the balance in 5yrs (interest @ 6½% p.a.). Such generous terms would enable the building of the clubhouse a soon as permits were issued. Les Allen said of the property: “The land was a bit flat for vegetables but the largest trees were apple box, a sign of good soil”. Thus the Club, as an entity, was off and running.
We had Members, Money, Property and Club Rules (same as today). Mr Morduant Mitchell, a local home builder and member was appointed to build the Clubhouse and would be assisted, where appropriate, by voluntary labour from various members & donations of materials (Percy Childs supplied the steel). Mr Jim Gardner was appointed to lead a group of members to attend to clearing and fencing of the property in preparation for the new Clubhouse. As previously stated, one of the main reasons for establishing the club was for the members to avail themselves of more liberal drinking hours. With this in mind the liquor control commission was approached to establish what needed to be done to obtain a liquor licence.
We are told by a couple of foundation members that the discussion went something like this: “We’ve formed a club and are going to build a clubhouse and we would like to be granted a liquor licence”. “Why do you want a liquor licence?” “Because we’d like to have a drink after normal trading hours”. “You can’t be granted a licence just because you like a drink. You need to be a sporting body or the like. What do your members do for a living?”.

A preliminary sketch was prepared showing the proposed clubhouse with two tennis courts and a putting green in front on the clubhouse (on the Wellington Road side) and a bowling green on the north side of the clubhouse. This sketch was not proceeded with, but, permits having been issued, work commenced on the clubhouse and sports facilities would be established by members’ voluntary labour and, where possible, donated materials. Working bees were well attended, trees were gel ignited (one large limb nearly destroyed a member’s Humber Super Snipe), fencing erected and Jim Gardner supervised the levelling and drainage for the new bowling green (all by hand).
The removal of trees and undergrowth disturbed a family of foxes (not the ones currently in Saturn Court) and the non-farmers proposed the implementation of a relocation programme (must have been a politician amongst them). The farmers had a more immediate and permanent solution and all the non-farmers had to do was dig a deep hole. We are told twenty to thirty men attended each working bee and free beer and sandwiches was provided for the workers in Doug Belcher’s shed behind his house (which became Perc Burdeau’s property and then the club’s property) after the day’s work was completed. Apparently a few members suggested that the club was becoming short of funds because of the “free grog” and interest on debentures could be affected. “Free grog” and working bees attracted three or four members and progress almost came to a standstill.
BYO drinks and sandwiches prepared by the ladies revived the social aspect of the working bees and the enthusiasm returned when the workers could see the significant progress being made. As with all projects, there was the occasional hiccup. For example, we are told that one of the members “borrowed” a large impact roller (used in road making) to level the site for the bowling green. Jim Gardner had men working in front on the roller shifting soil and the result was a level area so compacted that water couldn’t penetrate it and grass wouldn’t grown on it. Of course the site was simply “dug up and redone”. And so the clubhouse was constructed, fences erected, bowling green established and landscaping commenced. Let the games begin! To be continued. PETER MANNIX, Past Director

Mulgrave Country Club's first club

In the 1950’s and early 1960’s, this area was largely farmland, predominantly market gardeners, a few small businesses and a sprinkling of private residences. The local watering hole, the Wheelers Hill Hotel, was where the hard working locals rewarded themselves with a cold drink at the end of a long hard day. The publican of the Wheelers, Mr George Dixon, was liberal in his interpretation of the rules regarding 6 o’clock closing until a new licensing inspector caused a change of attitude. Being unable to acquire drinks after 6 o’clock was considered to be most unsatisfactory and it was suggested that the group establish a club and thus more liberal drinking arrangements.
A meeting, attended by 18 hardworking and thirsty gentlemen, was held on the 14th December 1960 where Les Allen was appointed Acting President and John Boucher appointed Acting Secretary/Treasurer. The meeting proposed the formation of a non-profit club for social and recreation entertainment and the purchase of approximately 5 acres of land, on which a clubhouse and ‘say’ bowling greens, tennis courts etc. could be erected. Finance would come from subscriptions and debentures. The club was to be called the Mulgrave Country Club, an unincorporated body, with a view to arranging for a non-profit company with limited liability, to take over the affairs of the unincorporated body in due course.
During the following three months, meetings were held and it was agreed that an entrance fee of 10/- per member would be levied. A land committee was formed to explore the avenues of obtaining a suitable site for the club establishment. A large number of sites were examined, including the land in Jells Road near Columbia Park where remnants of the original house can still be seen. The choice was narrowed down to two properties and these were to be submitted to the members for a decision.

A rules committee was also formed and with legal assistance, a memo and articles of the proposed company was drawn up to be submitted for adoption. It should be noted that a number of the original 18 members wanted the club to be a “men’s only” club. (Names available but not included here!) A finance committee authorized the secretary to submit budget and cash flow particulars, regarding property purchase, building costs, members contributions etc. to a meeting to be held in April 1961.
On the 6th April 1961, a letter was circulated inviting members and prospective members to a meeting to be held in Dunscombe Hall, Glen Waverley on Tuesday 18th April 1961. Matters to be considered included purchase of property, club rules (memo and articles/by laws), members contributions, clubhouse building, facilities, finance etc. The letter of invitation included a paragraph which reflects the foresight of our founders and we think it’s worthy of being reproduced in full here:-
“After all, there is no reason why our proposed Club cannot enjoy the financial success other similar clubs do. At this early stage we have amongst our members capably, solid citizens of the community in rural and other pursuits and on the administration side we have members from the legal fraternity, an architect, a public accountant, men in high executive positions, a banker and those versed in Municipal affairs, to single out but a few, and in years to come we feel our decision to proceed on the broad lines of the foregoing, will earn we foundation members gratitude of those following in our footsteps in years to come.”
At the meeting on the 18th April 1961, decisions were made which formed the basis of the club we have today. To be continued. PETER MANNIX, Past Director

AnnetteName: ANNETTE CLAUSEN

Where do you work at the club? ADMINISTRATION OFFICE

How long have you worked here for? 31 YEARS

Your hobbies are: GOLF, GARDENING, WALKING, SOCIALISING WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS

What energizes you outside work? EXERCISING, FRIENDSHIP, WINING & DINING
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from? IF YOU CAN’T SAY ANYTHING NICE DON’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL FROM MY DEAR MUM

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? THAT I LOOKED LIKE I WAS IN MY LATE 40’S WHEN I WAS 60

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A TEACHER

If you had to pick one age to be permanently, which age would you choose? 40-45

What three words would your friends use to describe you? SOCIAL ORGANISER, FRIENDLY & CARING

Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? CAN WOLF WHISTLE REALLY LOUD

If you could choose a name for yourself, what would it be? HAPPY WITH ANNETTE

What’s your favourite sport and which team do you barrack for? GOLF/ESSENDON

What trend do you hope makes a comeback? DINNER PARTIES

What’s one hobby you’d love to get into? WINE MAKING & GOLD DETECTING

What’s the first concert you ever went to? DAVID CASSIDY

What’s your favourite place to eat? THE MEAT & WINE COMPANY

What’s your favourite TV show? THIS IS US

What’s your favourite movie and actor/actress? DANCES WITH WOLVES / KEVIN COSTNER

What’s your most hated household chore? EMPTYING THE DISHWASHER

2019

Our December Happy Day which was our Jane McGrath Fundraising Day was very successful. With our raffle table, silent auction, scratchies, lucky numbers, donations and the swear box we raised $1,776.

Twenty bowling teams participated. The Mulgrave Country Club Board rounded our donation off to $4,000. A big thank you to everyone who donated, spent money and supported this day in different ways, it was a wonderful effort. We also had some very famous ballerina bowlers wearing pink tutus.

Lawn Bowls Pink Ribbon Day

A Letter from Taylor Sullivan:

Hello, my name is Taylor Sullivan, and this is MY DAD Brian Sullivan. He is an A Grade player for our club and one of the best in Australia. He has won Gold Medals all over the country and he went to China and won a gold medal there. My Dad joined Special Olympics as a swimmer nearly 23 years ago and then moved on to play basketball. I’m going to be as good as MY DAD one day, because he is now a coach as well and he can teach me how to be as good as he is.

We are both in Special Olympics because we have an intellectual disability and it’s harder for us to learn the way to play sport and to learn the rules. When MY DAD first started travelling all over our Country and the world, The Mulgrave Club was approached to help get him there. They were very generous with a donation and have supported him and our athletes ever since. Now they are supporting me and helping me get to my first interstate competition. Junior National Games in Tasmania next year.

I am so excited and some of my family will be there to watch myself and some of my team mates. I also play Bocce and my Coach Michael Migliaccio is teaching me very well, I hope one day I will be able play as good as Michael can. But I’m only ten so I have a long time to learn it all.

MY DAD and I and our club would like to Thank the Mulgrave Club for the many years of support they have given us. If you would like to know more about us, please contact our Membership Officer Helen Sullivan on 0404 100 924 or at hj.sullivan@bigpond.com. Oh! By the way, Helen is also my Nanny and MY DAD’s mum. Bye for now, Taylor

Special Olympics Australia - Taylor Sullivan

A Letter from Maddie Tarabay:

Dear Mulgrave Country Club, I am writing to say a very big thank you for sponsoring me and also to let you know how I went at the School Sports Australia Track and Field Championship in Darwin. I am pleased to let you know that I had an incredible time.
I am not sure if you remember but I competed in a number of events. In my individual shot put I came first in Australia for my age and in my combined event (100m and 800m run, long jump and shot put) I came third! I am absolutely thrilled with my results. I also got the opportunity to participate in several educational opportunities: a hands on wildlife incursion and a Jumping Crocodile Cruise! Some of the crocodiles were huge!! One of the best bits was making new friends! Thank you once again, I am very grateful for your support. Maddie

From Maddie’s parents:

On a personal note, my husband (Matt) and I are so very grateful for the support of Mulgrave Country Club – thank you! The opportunity for Maddie to compete against some of the best Track and Field athletes in Australia was amazing. She has returned even more determined and hopes to be a part of Team Vic in the future.

Maddie

It was great to see so many Ladies dressed up in their Spring Fashions, in such fine spirits. Fashions on the Field and Best Hat competitions were hotly contested with some very worthy winners. It was a lovely gesture also, to know, that thanks to the generosity of Mulgrave Country Club a portion of each Oaks Day ticket was donated to Breast Cancer Australia.

Oaks Day Hat Competition Winners

Showcasing our new Café, it’s spacious, comfortable and welcoming.
And whilst you’re there, treat yourself to one of our new beers on tap: Great Northern Super Crisp, Pure Blonde or Fat Yak Original Pale Ale.

Mulgrave Country Club's New Café

Robyn, or Aunty Robyn as she is fondly referred to by the staff, started at the Club on the 17th April 1984. How did Robyn come to be employed here?
Well President Ken Armstrong, played bowls with Robyn’s husband Allan, and one Saturday during conversation after a game whilst downing a frothy, Ken asked Allan if he knew of anyone who could provide assistance in the office at the Club.
Well, as a matter of fact, Allan did know someone, and suggested to Robyn that evening. So, as it went Robyn decided to provide some part-time assistance for three days a week, as she was able to ensure that her young daughter, Michelle was well looked after and she enjoyed the challenge of working in this new arrangement.
Robyn became a permanent member of staff in 1985, moving into full-time employment. As the Club’s longest serving member of staff, she has certainly seen huge changes in her time at the Club. Robyn remembers how limited the office area and facilities were back then. There was a very small space down the back of the building and a shed just outside the back door, where barrels of beer were stored.
Position descriptions were unheard of as staff had to be flexible in those days, as everybody was expected to pitch in and do whatever needed to be done to keep the Club running. It could be preparing a newsletter, working on member records, rolling barrels of beer to the bar area or taking money as patrons arrived for functions.
Initially Robyn basically had to do everything – payroll, fees, everyday administrative tasks, newsletters, organise a Christmas party, helping at the Sportsman’s breakfasts, sometimes helping at the bar, raffle assistance, counting money, going to the bank, and even handing out parking tickets for football days at Waverley Park to members for their guests. She even had to report any break-ins!
Robyn loved working with and for the Club members. She saw the relatively early stages of development and has grown with the Club. She liked the culture and the people; and it was comfortable, and yet there was always something different happening that made for very interesting work. Robyn has enjoyed attending and organising the annual children’s Christmas parties for the members children & grandchildren over the years and seeing how many of those children have grown up and are now bringing their own next generation children to the Club!
Robyn became an active tennis player, and enjoyed success playing alongside other club legends, like Dorsy, particularly in the midweek ladies’ competition when she still worked part-time, even winning the flag one year. In earlier days, she’d play tennis on Tuesday morning, then change and move into her administrative roles. Unfortunately, her tennis career at the Club ceased when she had a major back operation in 1992, but that hasn’t stopped her putting in many years of service in the office since.
Although many of the early office tasks were much different from today, the purposes were still the same – to support the members of the Club as required. In truth, Robyn had many roles at Mulgrave, especially in the days before there was a paid manager in the Club and very few others whom to call on to share jobs. It should also be remembered that Robyn commenced work before any of the major building renovations and extensions took place and has been part of one early renovation which was the new Club entrance and office along with dining room that meant no more shoe box office to work out. Twenty years after Robyn commenced, the Club had its first major expansion undergoing a redevelopment in 2004, creating the enlarged administrative office area upstairs that we all still work in today.
Robyn has had an ongoing interaction with directors and other major office bearers of the Club and has been a long-term member of the Sections committee. In her role, Robyn has had to work with many people from all walks of life and pays tribute to Presidents Ken Armstrong, Bob Hookey, Geoff Woodley and Ken Kinson, as well as club stalwart Molly Simpson, who ran Bingo and held other committee roles as well.
Robyn’s favourite part about being a staff member for so long with the Mulgrave Country Club was the ‘Huge challenges’ (a very nice way of putting it) and wonderful friendships formed with so many people. Robyn has some very strong memories of productive and satisfying times at the Club. These include organising the 25th anniversary celebrations in 1986, along with the 30th, 40th and 50th anniversary, the opening of the new building in 2004 with a gala night, and a special afternoon tea for members held to celebrate 25 years or more of membership. With our 60th anniversary looming in 2021, we may call on Robyn to assist on the organising committee once again.
Probably the biggest impact on the Club that Robyn has seen over the years was the introduction of poker machines in 1993 and the closure of Waverley Park, when the AFL stopped playing football across the road in 1999, thus ending 30 years of football fans swelling the Club on game days, along with the finishing of the Annual Sportsman’s Breakfast.
Some of the other tasks Robyn performed in the early years at the Club was organising Club Functions, Friday social night bookings, all outside company functions for Christmas, along with Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve bookings and the annual Club Championship Dinner.
The Club newsletter was initially printed away from the Club, as there was no appropriate equipment to produce it in the office. When newsletters came back for distribution, some staff and volunteer members would go out to the shed to prepare them for mailing. Ken Kinson, a Past President, often helped, along with Geoff Woodley and other volunteers and/or staff. Ken edited the newsletter himself for some time. It was Ken’s idea to get hold of an old washing machine with a wringer attached, and to use the wringer to assist in the folding.
Volunteers would fold newsletters into envelope size and feed them through the wringer to compress the folds so newsletters would fit into an envelope. An old canvas mailbag was hooked up to the output of the wringer.
Once they were flattened this way, newsletters were then stuffed into envelopes, addressed and bagged for despatch. Robyn James remembers the days of lugging the bag to the post office where over 900 envelopes were posted out.
Of course, when office facilities and equipment like typewriters, were introduced during the 70s and 80s that helped to produce the newsletter in-house and it was an exciting time.
Most club records in its early days were, at best, typed using carbon paper for copies, and the good old-fashioned method of handwriting which is how most of the early meeting notes were recorded. Times continued to see changes in technology with equipment and production methods, as newsletters are now electronic, online, and distributed in printed booklet form around the Club.
Robyn has had the pleasure of seeing all Life Members and Meritorious Service Members receive their awards.
Robyn has worked for 8 different managers during her time at the Club. Neil Fairburn, Bob Beecroft, Paul Bowen, Christine Stredwick, Paul Morwood, John Laughton, Michael Silcock and yours truly. It is so pleasing to know that I was her favourite.
On a serious note we thank Robyn for the last 35 years of service to our great Club. She has worked at the Club half her life but now it is time for her to take a step back, look after her health, let husband Allan run around after her, and enjoy spending time with her two beautiful granddaughters, Mia and Ava.
We all wish Robyn a long, healthy and happy retirement and of course look forward to her visiting us often in the future.

Nepal Build 2019 by Kerry Scarlett

Living conditions in NepalNepal was struck by a huge earthquake in 2015 which caused devastation, significant loss of life and over 800,000 homes were destroyed. In April I volunteered with my girlfriend to help these people put their lives back together and give families a real home and a new place to live by assisting with ongoing efforts as part of the earthquake reconstruction project in Kavre, in the Kathmandu Valley.
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday April 25, 2015 caused considerable devastation and loss of life. It was followed by another magnitude 7.4 earthquake to the north east near Mount Everest on 12 May. According to the government of Nepal, more than 8,800 people were killed. The effect on housing was devastating, with more than 800,000 homes destroyed and damaged.
Since the earthquakes, the recovery process in Nepal has moved from the emergency phase to recovery and now, reconstruction. Despite challenges caused by political upheaval, fuel shortages and difficulties navigating the mountainous terrain, Habitat for Humanity has been able to undertake disaster recovery efforts to help families rebuild their homes and lives.
We were a part of a group of 30 volunteers from all over Australia and New Zealand and we kicked off with a visit to an incredible not for profit organisation called Seven Women which was in Kathmandu. Seven Women was founded by a young Melbourne woman Stephanie Woollard over 10 years ago when she was just 22 years of age. The organisation helps young women in need through training, scholarships and education. These women have been rescued from some of the most horrific conditions and they now have a chance to live a normal life through the help of Seven Women.
It was very emotional to hear some of their stories from human trafficking, arranged marriages at the age of 12 to being left on the street to survive. These women were inspirational, having suffered and conquered. Stephanie’s team is doing amazing work empowering women, making change and rescuing those in need and giving them hope. I had a strong urge to assist this organisation in the future and have a fundraising night organised at the club on November the 26th where Stephanie will be in attendance. I recommend reading her book with the title ‘From a tin shed to the United Nations. How every one of us can make a difference’ …

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We write in response to May Monash Bulletin put out by the City of Monash and distributed to all residents and businesses within this municipality, which included an article authored by Cr Lake.
Established almost 60 years ago, Mulgrave Country Club is a grass roots community club with over 6535 members. Our club is a fundamental part of the community, providing social, sporting and leisure infrastructure that keeps residents healthy, vital and connected. Our club is the conduit for people to socialise, exercise, communicate, participate and be involved on boards, in teams, in groups for dining, as volunteers and spectators. We offer squash, racquet ball, lawn bowls, indoors bowls and yoga onsite and off-site cricket, tennis and social golf. Even the Mayor is a current member of the Club and has participated in bowls play.
Our club is legally bound to provide for posterity and as a Club it is prohibited from distributing any income or assets to any individual. Our club is an investment in the community itself.
The Club acknowledges that gaming machines can cause harm to some users. In addition to all the statutory harm minimisation measures, such as RSG training, self-exclusion and voluntary pre-commitment, our Club takes a hands-on customer care based approach. Gambling is a legal activity and the last thing our Club wants is for our members and their guests to gamble in a way that does harm to themselves and others.
To compare a community Club like ours with Hotels is demonstrable of the lack of understanding of the author and is a deep insult to our Club. We believe our venue provides a far more protective environment than a pub venue.
Gaming machines are a lawful recreational activity enjoyed by many. It is demeaning for those opposed to gaming machines to judge those who enjoy playing them.
Around 35% of our revenue – being $3,616,730 per annum is returned to the State and Local Governments in the form of taxes and rates, which is then directed to schools, hospitals and other vital infrastructure. The Club spends around $4,400,000 per annum on wages and operating expenses, including using local suppliers who serve our club. These are real wages and dollars in the pockets of local families.
Anything that is left is returned to the community. Mulgrave Country Club’s 2019 audited accounts show the club:
• made cash donations to sporting clubs, schools and charities of $299,277
• returned over $330,000 to members through benefits, cash draws and other incentives;
• paid $3,616,730 in gaming tax to the State of Victoria – invested in schools and hospitals;
• paid $326,249 in rates, local taxes, utilities and insurance.
Our great club provides so much to the Monash community. As well as the cash contributions above, we provide subsidised or free access to our facilities and thousands of dollars in bistro vouchers each year to many fundraising groups.
Over the past 10 years Mulgrave Country Club has handed out $1,828,706 is cash sponsorships and donations.
Furthermore, it must be noted that although Cr Lake is concerned that our board is made up entirely of “old white men” it must be emphasised that composition of the board is a decision of the membership at large. For these men have been voted in by the membership. They should be applauded for putting up their hand and giving up of their time so freely. The assertions on the Board of Directors and the Mulgrave Country Club leadership structure does not take into account the three women who are all in executive leadership positions which includes the long serving General Manager.
We are immensely proud of our role as a vital hub within our local community. We are a not-forprofit enterprise and operate gaming machines to support our reason for being as a sporting, charitable, social and community-based club. Gaming is always secondary to what we as a community club offers our members and wider community.

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2018

Our Pink Happy day is always a great success and this year was no exception. Although the weather started off a bit on the chilly side everyone seemed to enjoy the day. The bowlers raised $1700+ and the Mulgrave Country Club added more to round off the day with raising $4000.00. A big thanks to all bowlers and our parent club.

2018 Pink Ribbon Day at Mulgrave Country Club

Jack Ross drafted to the Richmond TigersJack Ross (Oakleigh Chargers Football Club) has been drafted to the Richmond Tigers at pick number 43 in the 2018 AFL National Draft. The 2018 Best and Fairest winner, Jack is a strong inside midfielder. Effective at clearances he uses the ball well by both hand and foot.
We thank the Mulgrave Country Club for their continued support of the Chargers program aiding us in developing young footballers like Jack across the inner east of Melbourne.
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