Bangalow Bowling Club was jumping on Friday night as the club opened its doors for the first time since coming out of voluntary administration a little under a month ago.
More than 300 townspeople turned up in time for the opening speeches at 6.30pm – a healthy cross-section of old and new Bangalow. The smell of fresh paint was in the air and people seemed genuinely excited to see their old club looking so smart.
Queues at the bar suggested a good amount of money was going through the till and food by new caterer Open Table was tasty, well priced and very well received.
Friday the 13th might not have seemed the most auspicious date for a reopening but there was a reason: it was on Friday January 13, three months to the day, that the club went into administration.
New club president Brian Mackney thanked all involved with the relaunch, whether financially, through in-kind support or volunteering time and effort towards the makeover.
‘Congratulations Bangalow,’ he said to roars of applause. ‘You’ve shown what a marvellous community you are and the effort that people have put in is nothing short of amazing.
‘It’s over to you now. The board can put in place proper processes to ensure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past but it’s up to the community to make the club a success.’
Byron Shire Councillor Tony Heeson said clubs all over NSW were closing and it was to Bangalow’s credit that the town was able to buck the trend.
Ballina MP Don Page told the crowd, ‘I normally don’t like to have to queue for a drink but I was very happy to wait in line tonight.’