The Federation of Community, Sporting and Workers Clubs Inc. boast three fantastic New South Wales coastal holiday destinations:
Across these three locations, 110 modern two-bedroom and three-bedroom, completely self-contained units and an apartments are available for holiday rental throughout the year. Each site also has specifically modified, fully-functional and accessible units for disabled patrons and their families.
While prices vary according to peak and off peak periods, holidaying at any of these terrific locations is always affordable for couples and families alike. Special rates are also available for members of Affiliated Clubs and Associations.
In the Second World War, it wasn’t always easy to get a beer. Supplies were limited, trading hours restricted and publicans could be very selective about who they served. Not all patrons were welcome. This did not sit well with a lot of groups, particularly with the coal mining communities in Lake Macquarie and the Hunter Valley. Once the war came to an end, however, the miners had had enough of these limitations and decided to form their own club.
This is the history of the Federation of Community, Sporting and Working Clubs, from their humble beginnings in Sydney, their work in supporting and developing workers’ clubs and associations across New South Wales, and their continued commitment to providing high-quality holiday centres from 1949 – the present.
1887 – The Lithgow Workmen’s Club and the Helensburgh Workmen’s Club were the only licensed workers clubs.
1939-1945 – miners, particularly from the coal mining communities in Lake Macquarie and the Hunter Valley are refused service by several publicans, and approach their local Labor Politian, who informs that NSW liquor licences will be relaxed.
1947 – The West Wallsend School of Arts (Incorporating the Returned Soldiers and Workers Club) is the first workers club to receive their certificate of licences after the war within the Hunter region.
1946 – It is suggested between the regions workers clubs to form a union, with the hope that this would encourage the government to move more quickly at freeing up liquor laws and issuing licenses
January 1949 – several new workers clubs are given licences in NSW and talk began again about becoming a union.
25th February 1949 – The Union of Registered Workers Clubs is formed between Weston, Cessnock, Wollongong, Lithgow and the Sydney Trade Unions on 188 George Street, Sydney. Elected President was Jim Comerford and Vic Workmen was named Secretary. The first issue to be discussed would be the shortage of beer faced across the NSW clubs. They’d even been forced to drink “Mudgee Mud” in their desperation.
1950 – Mario Kapral and Val Yanko open the Brookvale Union Brewery. It boasts a German brewer and initially produced Union Pilsener and Honey Stout. The Union of Registered Workers invests 20,000 shares into the brewery, at the cost of 1 pound per share.
1951-5 – Union meetings are plagued by complaints about leaking wooden kegs, slow delivery and sour beer. The Brookvale Union Brewery concentrate on making bottled beer, and call it “Union Beer”. It is received well.
1955 – Work begins on the Fingal Bay Family Holiday Centre in Fingal Bay. The URWC obtain a lease of 5.5 acres of land, after the annual Easter fishing competition makes the area a popular tourist spot.
1956 – Unable to compete against brewing giants such as Tooth and Tooheys, Brookvale Union Brewery shuts. It had never made a substantial profit and the clubs that had invested in it had lost money.
1958 – Newcastle Workers Club build two holiday style units in Fingal bay, which create interest from other clubs.
1962 – Shellharbour, Muswellbrook, Swansea, Dora Creek and West Wallsend contribute fourteen fully furnished cabins and a toilet black. Rent sits at 4 pounds per week.
1968 – The URWC/Federation support Bulli Workers Club with a loan of almost $5,000, and supervise the management and finances of the club until they were operational.
1969 – The Union of Registered Workers Club meets for an annual general meeting in Dubbo, NSW. There they ask for a constitution that allows eighteen year olds to become members of their local clubs, as by eighteen, many men are working. Several other key changes, including the introduction of an industrial section, turned out badly for the Union and several workers clubs disaffiliated.
Twenty five (25) units have been constructed by fourteen (14) affiliated clubs at Fingal Bay
Member clubs raise $1,500 for a surfboat for the Fingal Bay surf-lifesaving club, and name it “Spirit of the Eureka”
Members of southern clubs are worried about not having the same amenities as Fingal Bay in their local area. It was decided to acquire land on the southern side of Sussex Inlet and call it the “Haven.” A lease is obtained for 4.6 hectares of property.
1970 – The lease of Fingal bay is converted into a conditional purchase at $22,500.
1975 – Development at Sussex Inlet is slow compared to the rapid expansion of Fingal Bay. There are 12 holiday units established at Sussex Inlet.
1978 – Brick units are built at Fingal Bay, with two of these catering for disabled persons and their families.
1990 – The Federation makes a push to replace all fibro units with permanent brick apartments in Fingal Bay.
1993 – The United Voice NSW, now an associate member of the Federation, financed three extra chalet-type units for Sussex Inlet.
Similar to Fingal Bay the Sussex Inlet centre was controlled by the southern region committee. Some members of the committee were Warren Kemp, Pat Newton, Maureen Mackay, Vince Condon, Boris Beluski, Terry O’Loughlin, Jim Cudmore and Brien Higgs. The Sussex Inlet continues, to this day, enjoy the popularity and tranquillity of the NSW south coast.
1994 – An Option paper is sent to clubs requesting them to consider future options for ongoing development by the Federation. The opinion returned of construction of a third Holiday centre between Port Macquarie and Ballina, following the successful implementation of Fingal Bay and Sussex Inlet.
1996 – The executive of the federation sees the opportunity to save the Urunga Golf and Sports Club, which was in receivership, as a valuable amenity for the community. At the same time, the federation acquires land to build a forty-unit Holiday Centre. This plan is accepted on the 27th July. The community of Urunga and the Bellingen Shire Council support the proposed plans.
1997 – Meetings are held to save the Golf Club and the project proposal is officially put forward for a new lease, which is granted on 21st January. Rosalie Stollery, an architect from Urunga, designs the development on behalf of the Federation.
Flood studies took longer than previously thought and the National Bank threatened to close the Golf Club. To show commitment, the Federation, in conjunction with Revesby Workers Club, purchased new poker machines to improve finances.
On 29th September, plans were approved for forty holiday units at the site in Urunga. The representatives who have served during those years were Ray Pugsley, Ken Conway, Bob Broadfoot, Ed Camilleri, Pat Rogan, Bob Humphrys, Dennis McHugh and Terry O’Loughlin.
1998 – The Land and Water Conservation offered a forty (40) year conditional lease to the Federation known as Lot 273 to allow the construction of the units.
The project is outlined to Federation Clubs and the Revesby Workers Club, Blacktown Workers Club, Mt Pritchard District and Community Club, Newcastle Workers Club and Sutherland District Trade Union Club pledge finance for the construction of twelve units.
3rd July 1999 – Bellingen Shire council, Cr Sue Dethridge performs the “first turning of the sod” to mark the commencement of work on Urunga
8 April 2000 – building of stage I and stage II of Urunga is finalised and officially opened by the Mayor Gordon Braithwaite. By the 16th of December 2000, stage III is complete and 8 extra units are added.
2006 – 7 – Stage IV of Urunga was completed, adding four extra units to the facility.
2009 – 10 – Stage VI of Urunga was completed, adding eight extra units to the facility.
2016 – onwards: The Federation of Community, Sporting and Workers Clubs currently oversee operations of Holiday Centres in Fingal Bay, Sussex Inlet and Urunga. The Federation has a commitment to supporting member clubs and the community for many years, and has in the past, managed the finances and supported other clubs at risk of going into administration.
The Federation, in conjunction to the RSL and Services Clubs Association, C.ex Coffs and the Blacktown Workers Club, are committed to providing Australian veterans, particularly those with serious health and injuries as a result of military service, accommodation at one of the Federation’s Holiday Centres. This is made possible with a donation of $10,000, and is offered to twenty (20) families a year.
The success of the Federation of Community, Sporting and Workers Clubs cannot be put down to one person. Over the years many have made a dedicated and professional commitment to the Federation and it is only fitting that these persons have been rewarded for their dedication and service by having life membership bestowed upon them.
Haven Holiday Resort – Glenn Hayek Appointed 20 June 1990
Seaside Holiday Resort – De-Anne Anderson Appointed 28 December 2009
Riverside Holiday Resort – Rebecca Beaton Appointed 26 September 2013