VIDEO: Catherine Hill Bay landmark could close

TIME is catching up with a Catherine Hill Bay landmark.

Despite members digging deep into their time and energy reserves to keep the Catherine Hill Bay Bowling and Community Club functioning, it looks set to close at the end of this month when its liquor licence expires.

A new licence might be approved in time to continue trading but a break-in earlier this month has given members more serious problems. Thieves caused damage and stole $5000.

Club secretary Lyn Hall  said the break-in could not have come at a worse time because the thieves took items essential to trading.

In response to community needs, the club has been used as a church and for funerals.

‘‘It’s never been the normal registered club type place.

‘‘We got a pulpit and turned it into a church.

‘‘People would take the coffin down to the cemetery and we’d reconvert the place into a club and they’d come back for the wake,’’ Mrs Hall said.

The greens are in top condition after a complete rehabilitation that was finished this month, Mrs Hall said.

She said the club’s circumstances mirrored the deteriorating condition of the town as a whole.

‘‘We’ve lost every bit of infrastructure apart from the surf club and the pub,’’ Mrs Hall said.

She said Catherine Hill Bay had suffered first from losing mining and, later, delays in new residential development, heritage restrictions and investor properties left empty for much of the year.

She estimated about two thirds of the residents had left and vandalism and  antisocial behaviour were problems.

The club has a complicated history, including an amalgamation with Swansea RSL in 2006 which led to upheaval and uncertainty.

Controversial development has put the town frequently in the headlines.

Those of the Rose Group have been the subject of intense opposition by residents’ groups.

‘‘There is definitely a split in opinion in what’s right and wrong for Catherine Hill Bay,’’ Mrs Hall said.

Rose Group announced last month it would delay for a year the release of land at its 556-lot Catherine Hill Bay development.

Mrs Hall hopes the club’s application for an on-premises licence will be successful and replace its present limited function licence.

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