THE CLUBROOMS PROJECT
Clubrooms in Quarry Road and the subsequent extension both became reality in the third quarter-century of the Club (1969-1994). From the ‘Golden Jubilee History’ written by Jack Clemens it is clear that the building of clubrooms was first mooted in the mid-thirties; was discussed again in the fifties before serious fundraising got underway in the mid-sixties.
In 1969 the Building sub-committee authorised Owen MacDonald to produce tentative plans of the clubrooms. At this time the Club was using the Crown Hotel as its headquarters. The AGM of 1970 established a sub-committee to find a suitable building for leasing as clubrooms. Early that year the Club leased the Kiwi Traders premises in Sophia Street. This proved an outstanding success but the rooms did not comply with the health regulations and they had to be vacated. In late 1970, the Club hired the Evans & Co. premises in Turnbull Street. This also proved very successful and patronage through the Summer months was particularly good.
The search for a suitable site for the clubrooms continued. A property in Turnbull Street was looked at but eventually the prospect of building at School Park was investigated. The playing fields and changing sheds belonging to the Timaru Boys’ High School already existed, adding to the attraction. The Headmaster, the School’s Board of Governors, the Department of Education all gave their approval of the project, so when in April 1972 the Town Planning Committee of the Timaru District Council gave their consent the Clubrooms were set to become a reality.
Plans were drawn and approved and in December the lowest tender of six received, $52,865 submitted by C.J. McMillan, was accepted subject to finance. The tender was let, the work began in March 1973 and was completed seven months later. The first committee meeting in the new clubrooms was held on November 19 and the official opening took place on December 1, 1973.
The honour of opening the Club’s new headquarters was bestowed on foundation member Gordon Lawson. H.E. ‘Dooley’ Coxhead donated a colour television set to the club in honour of the Lawson family and their considerable contribution to the Old Boys Club.
As early as 1976 the new lounge was considered overcrowded on some Saturday nights. Use of the complex continued to grow and the subject of extensions to the lounge was raised at every AGM until 1984. The incoming committee was directed to proceed with the venture.
Once again Owen McDonald was approached to produce drawings and he sketched extensions which would cost $150,000. This would more than double the floor area of the lounge and included the addition of a glass back squash court.
Hall and Duncan were the successful tenderer and the extensions were duly opened on March 1, 1986. On this occasion, life member Alan Galbraith was given the honour of performing the opening. This was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the building of the clubrooms in the first place.
TIMARU OLD BOYS
R U G B Y A N D N E T B A L L S P O R T S C L U B