Members vote to put Stratford RSA into liquidation

Stratford RSA members voted to liquidate the club on Monday night.
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ

Stratford RSA members voted to liquidate the club on Monday night.

Stratford RSA members have voted to put the financially troubled club into liquidation.

The club, which permanently closed in October 2015, held an extraordinary general meeting on Monday night to determine its fate after being strapped for cash for years.

Honorary solicitor and member of the club's executive committee Ralph Vosseler said about 40 people attended the meeting and there had been resounding support to liquidate the club, which would involve selling its land and buildings. 

"There's no appetite. It was quite apparent at the meeting, to keep the club going or to try and re-open it or re-establish it in any form whatsoever," Vosseler said.

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"Everyone basically accepts that it has run its course, it's dead and needs to be buried."

The association's rules required the decision to be confirmed at a second meeting that will be held in 30 to 60 days time.

Dwindling patronage and ever-increasing running costs led to a temporary closure in August 2014 which was followed by a decision to permanently close in October 2015.

The building, at the corner of Miranda and Fenton Streets, was put up for sale by tender but didn't sell and had been leased to the Stratford District Council while the town's library was relocated.

The lease agreement ended in October 2016 and left the club without a revenue stream.

Vosseler said the club had effectively been the author of its own fate.

"They wouldn't open up the membership to any young people." 

Former president Kevin Holley resigned this month after a letter had been circulated by members wanting to put the club into liquidation, just one year out from its centenary, saying it was a vote of no confidence in the committee.

The club's executive committee also resigned.

Holley, who wasn't at Monday night's meeting, wouldn't comment about the decision when contacted on Tuesday.

Vosseler said no-one knew what the exact state of the club's financial affairs was and there had been no elections held for the past two years.

"It will give us a good opportunity to know exactly what the state of the finances is and look at a marketing plan for the land and the buildings."

He didn't expect there would be any surplus after the club's debts were paid and wouldn't speculate how the money would be used if there was.

Liquidators would be appointed if the decision was ratified at the club's next meeting but no date had been set yet.

 - Stuff

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