Members, another year, another dollar (or in the Club’s case, another $4.2 million). 2015 was a record year for the Club, in profit, trading, donations to the local, and wider, community, support for Oakdene House, local schools, youth work experience, and, of course, the Sub Branch. However, we still support our core business, the welfare of our veterans, both service and ex-service.
Although we made record profits, we also continued with our updating of the Club’s facilities. By the time that you read this report, our ‘forest’ gaming area should be completely finished, with real trees growing in the gaming machine banks, natural light, running water features, and bird noises in the background. The Emporium should also be re-opened, offering a greater range of products to our members and guests, in a superb setting.
Our management team, and the Club’s consultant, do an excellent job in reviewing and updating our Budget. This is reflected in our bottom-line of profit and cash at bank.
Mentioning our cash at bank, we can boast that we now have in excess of $3 million in the bank by the time you read this report, and basically no debt whatsoever. We have also purchased the shops opposite the Fairfield Railway Station and Vine Street, and we are receiving a healthy rental from them, further diversifying our sources of income.
Last year, the Club donated well in excess of $500,000 to community groups, including Oakdene House (to provide Problem Gambling and Alcoholic related counselling), Westmead Children’s Hospital, and the Vietnam Veterans Peacekeeping and Peacemaking Association to provide counselling and assistance to veterans leaving the Armed Forces to claim their correct entitlements from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Our Youth Club, the Women’s Auxiliary, and Legacy were all recipients of generous support from the Club. Fairfield RSL Memorial Club was one of the first Clubs in NSW to agree to support the “Homes For Heroes” Program, and we will continue to do so. Basically, at any one time, there are between 2,000 and 3,000 ex-servicemen and women, who are homeless, and this program offers accommodation, counselling and assistance to return to mainstream ”civvie street”.
The Sub Branch is not forgotten either, as part of our core business, with the Club paying for Commemoration Sunday, ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day. The Club also buys the RSL and Legacy badges, etc, which the Women’s Auxiliary then sell, and the amount of their sales is again matched by the Club, enabling them to donate their funds to the welfare of service and ex-service personnel.
Overall, apart from being a leader in the Club Industry, the facilities that we provide here at the Club, Should provide a sense of pride in every member, let alone management, staff and the Board of Directors. During each year, the Club is visited by Managers and Directors from other Clubs, and even Casinos, to see just what Fairfield is doing now.
It would be remiss of me not to mention our wonderful staff. They not only provide the excellent service that sets us apart from other Clubs, but their Social Justice Committee raises funds to support an orphanage in Vietnam, a school in Burundi, as well as giving up their own time to visit Nursing Homes in the local area every month, as well as Matthew Talbot Hostel to serve meals to homeless men and women twice a year.
I wish to thank my fellow Directors, our CEO, Management, staff, as well as our Administrative staff who keep the Club running efficiently and effectively. Well done! Finally, I would like to thank the members, for your continuing support and trust in my leadership of the Board of Directors. I will continue to serve and represent you in all levels of the Club Industry, as well Local, State and Federal politics, as required from time to time, as long as I have that trust and support.
Paul Bryant, President