Clubs together

LOUISE RISK
Last updated 12:40 06/06/2012
John Hughes, Lynette Fraser and Sue McLean
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ

COMBINED STRENGTH: John Hughes, Lynette Fraser and Sue McLean say the Cosmopolitan Club in Hamilton should merge with other city clubs to create a modern super-club.

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A supporter of a proposed Hamilton super-club says the chartered clubs around the city should pool resources while they are strong rather than waiting until their fate is beyond their control.

Talks began recently between the Cosmopolitan, Glenview, Combined Returned Services and Hamilton clubs about the possibility of pooling their resources and members to create one modern facility with the potential to attract more national and international events, and the somewhat-elusive younger market.

Cosmopolitan Club secretary Richard Shepard said an amalgamation between the clubs would be best addressed now while the clubs were all in relatively strong positions.

"We should be dealing in strengths and what each club can provide; we shouldn't be dealing in weaknesses.

"We don't want to be in a situation where we've got no home to go to."

Mr Shepard admitted that with a large building that needed earthquake-proof upgrades by 2019, the "Cossie" was in a weaker position than some of the other clubs in some respects.

"But what we can offer is more members."

He said the family-friendly clubs were run for their members, with affordable entertainment, drinks and food, and a friendly atmosphere, and ultimately the decision whether to merge would come down to them.

Hamilton Combined Returned Services Club president Rod Gill agreed it would be the members who decided the future of the clubs, but it was not an urgent matter for them.

"Our club is mortgage-free and we've got money in the bank," he said.

Attracting the younger generation was a difficult task, he said, but each month they were gaining 20 new members of various ages.

He believed an amalgamation might not happen for a decade or more, but he was attending the meetings to keep the members of his club informed of the possibilities.

Glenview administrator Emma Taplin said Glenview was also "just looking in to see what happens".

Meanwhile, Narrows Golf Club manager Sandra Buchanan said the negotiations that began last year about a possible merger between Tamahere's Narrows and Lochiel golf clubs were ongoing, but if it happened it would not be for some time yet.

"There's a lot of consequences that need to be looked into first ... It's the members that decide," she said.

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- Waikato Times

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