Morisset Country Club ceases trading, ending 50 years of history in the town

COMMUNITY HUB: Anzac Day services at Morisset Country Club are huge. A meeting on Friday will explore contingencies in the wake of the club's early closure on Sunday. Picture: David Stewart
COMMUNITY HUB: Anzac Day services at Morisset Country Club are huge. A meeting on Friday will explore contingencies in the wake of the club's early closure on Sunday. Picture: David Stewart

THE end has come early for Morisset Country Club which shut its doors and ceased trading on Sunday after 50 years in the town.

On May 15, the club received a notice from the landlord, Drysdale Metals Pty Ltd, to vacate the property by August 15.

The club had originally planned to continue trading into August.

But board president Erica Ford said the decision to cease trading was made after the club's annual general meeting on Sunday, and following advice from the club's auditors.

"The decision was made primarily due to the notice [to vacate] being issued at the critical time of annual membership renewals," Ms Ford said.

Those renewals typically generated about $330,000 in revenue, she said.

Because the club was now unable to provide the usual 12 months of entitlements due to members, it was considered inappropriate to expect members to make any payments, even on a pro-rata basis, Ms Ford said.

Club auditors advised against continuing to trade under such circumstances.

"We just couldn't afford to take the risk," Ms Ford said.

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The golf club operations have also ended, although people are still wandering out onto the course to play.

The flagsticks have apparently been souvenired, though.

The club is much more concerned about other pieces of golf course equipment.

"We'd recently spent $90,000 and bought a new tractor and mower. We're hoping another golf club will be interested in those."

We just couldn't afford to take the risk.

- Erica Ford

On Tuesday, Ms Ford and a few staff were cleaning out the licensed clubhouse, compiling stock and items of historical significance.

One of the club's founding members had been collecting and preparing to store the club's trophies and honour boards in the hope that they could one day be reinstated, she said.

"It's been really hard for the older members..."

On Friday, Ms Ford will attend a stakeholder meeting convened by Member for Lake Macquarie, Greg Piper, who will consider contingencies for the club's role as an evacuation centre for the district in times of disaster, home for South Lake Macquarie RSL sub-Branch, and the site of a Return and Earn reverse vending machine.

Drysdale Metals has yet to reveal its plans for the site.

Lake Macquarie City Council said there were no current rezoning or development applications for the land.

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