The New and the Old – 新與舊之感 – 鍾百焜作

“THE NEW AND THE OLD” by Charles Chung

Time has gone by very quickly. It is now over 43 years ago since the Chinese Community Club has been established.

Today our dream has come true because at last we have our own new Club House members can have meetings and enjoy club functions.

I believe that all members of the Chinese community in Tasmania should be very proud, as I am, of what the present and past Club Committee members, restaurateurs and general members have achieved through hard work, generous support and donations. I believe that credit should go to Mr. Peter Chung, the Club President for so many years.

I am also reminded of the tremendous ideals of those people who pursued the idea of forming the Chinese Club to fruition over 43 years ago. These included Mr. Chung Sim, Mr. Gordon Henry, Mr. Joe Chung Gon from the north of the State, Mr. Lawrence Wong and many others.

They met together in early 1968 with a plan to get all the Chinese Community in Tasmania together for then and all future generations. The purpose was to promote the general welfare of members, co-operation between other communities in Australia and so forth. We must not forget to thank these people who put in so much time planning and organising the Club for the benefit of our community.

Finally in October 1969 the Chinese Community held its first meeting at the Golden Dragon Restaurant in Hobart. There were over 100 members present. They passed the motion to form the Club and named it “The Chinese Community Club of Tasmania”. A ballot was held and the Club’s first office bearers were appointed. They were:

President:                    Charles Chung

Vice President:           Gordon Henry

Treasurer:                   G.T. Henry (Fon)

Secretary:                   T.B. Chan

Assistant Secretary:   Katie Young

Committee members: Chung Sim, Chan Chew Wa, Y.H.Quon, L.T.K.Wong, Gladys Chung Gon, Bernard Lee, Joe Chung Gon, Irvin Fong, Y.M.Yan, Ivy Chung, E.R.Dixon, V.L.Taylor

In November 1969, the Treasurer requested that members subscription revenue was $1,495.00 and members donations for foundation funds amounted to $10,490.00. To give you some idea of the worth of that money, a 3 bedroom weatherboard house in Newtown was around $11,000.oo.

Many thanks are owed to the Club legal advisor, Mr. R.B.Chen who assisted in the writing of the Club’s Constitution. With the authority from the Committee, I applied to State Corporate Affairs to have the Club incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1964 on 11 December 1969. Our Club’s main aims were:

  • To promote the general welfare of members
  • To provide classes in the Chinese language and culture
  • To promote friendship and co-operation with other communities in Australia etc.

Later in December 1969, the Club held an extraordinary general meeting and decided to buy the property at 120 Albert Road, Moonah. The area of the property was approximately ¾ of an acre. There was plenty of room for future extension of club activities, e.g. adding larger club rooms, sports facilities, car parking.

Not only that, the location was very central and convenient to our members. At that time most of our members lived at Glenorchy, Moonah, Lenah Valley and other city areas. Not too many lived in Sandy Bay. The cost of the Club House was $15,396.22. At that time, the Club did not have enough money so we resorted to borrowing the balance from the Hobart Building Society.

As the Club House at Albert Road only had small rooms it was not suitable for large functions and general meetings. We planned to make one side of the Club a large hall so we could cater for and seat over 100 members. We also wanted to alter the kitchen and add more toilet facilities.

In February 1970, the Club held a general meeting and approved the proposed alterations for the Club House, as outlined in the plans drawn up by Mr. Joe Chung Gon. Work commenced in April after approval by the Glenorchy Council.

In September 1970, our alterations to the Club house were completed and thanks were due to those members who donated tables, chairs, a wall painting, kitchen facilities etc.

After a general meeting, the members agreed to holding a special opening function. On the Club opening day we had invited the Leader of the Opposition Mr. Reece, Senator J. Marriott and Dame Mabel Miller who attended together with all club members.

The opening dinner function was catered and organised for by Mr.Chan Chew Wa, Mr. Ronald Ng, Fon Henry, Mrs.Chung Gon and many other members. A great time was had by all.

During my two years as President, we held committee meetings every month and posted news of meeting activities to every member.

We were very busy setting up Chinese language classes, making contact with Chinese overseas students and trying to assist them and organising social function for club members such as dinners and Christmas barbecues and fund raising activities such as the open market fair. I sincerely thank all those members who assisted in these activities.

At the Annual General Meeting held at the Club House on October 1971, members suggested that I continue as President. I thought that I should step down so that the more educated younger generation of members with new ideas would have the chance to expand the Club’s activities. At the same time I was also very busy with my business commitments. So I apologised to the members with regret that I was not able to accept the kind request.

In conclusion now that a new Club House is here, you will all be aware that there is plenty of hard work to be done. It is my wish and hope that all our members will continue to support and develop a solid foundation for the Club in the future.

 

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