MEMBERS of Newstead Bowling Club broke into applause on Tuesday night after voting overwhelmingly to officially endorse a decision to sell the club.
Mr Norton said the club had adhered to all the guidelines of the Registered Clubs Act of NSW so far, however, the board members decided they did not want to leave anything to chance, after it was found the original decision had not been minuted.
“It was about double dotting the i’s and t’s,” he said.
Mr Norton said, inadvertently, the 'For Sale' sign at the front of the property was not taken down last week, purely as an oversight in the lead-up to Tuesday’s night’s meeting.
Mr Norton said the path ahead for the club was to seek expressions of interest, with tenders to close on August 4, followed by a meeting of the membership two days later.
Mr Norton said the club was obliged to strictly follow obligations under the clubs act in NSW to ensure the interests of members were protected.
This means money from the sale of the property could not be distributed among members, but must be used in the future to provide bowling greens and amenities for members at one of the existing clubs in Orange or any new facility that would be built.
“While the name of Newstead House will remain with the property, the club will continue to retain its name of Newstead,” Mr Norton said.
He said Tuesday night’s decision was the result of four years of intense work by the club to secure its future in the face of growing financial pressures.
“We are fortunate the club has no debt,” he said.
Mr Norton said the club, which was established 60 years ago via a debenture system, had 140 bowlers and 370 playing members.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, of the 69 members who attended who were eligible to vote, 59 voted yes for the sale to proceed, five voted no and two members abstained.
Six of the club’s poker machines have been sold to the Orange Ex-Services Club while five have been retained to maintain cash flow.
“We did not know the Ex-Services Club was the buyer until the documents were signed, as the sale of the machines was organised through a broker,” Mr Norton said.