Dear Members,

As I sit down to write my first President’s newsletter, I would like to start by thanking my fellow Board members for placing their trust in me to be the President of this fabulous club for the ensuing year, I am honoured to hold this position and alongside my fellow board members, CEO Bevan Paul and our fantastic staff we will endeavour to make this Club the best we can for our members to enjoy.

Having endured two years of disruption and uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2022/23 we cautiously emerged from the restraints of hibernations and disruptions, only to face an economic downturn with higher interest rates and less disposable incomes. It certainly has been a struggle, but I believe that Central Leagues Club is through the worst and on the right path.

Despite the financial challenges we faced, the Club continued to support our local community sporting and charity groups. Of course, the major group we supported was the Central Newcastle Football Club, gifting them $100k in 2023 as well as other supporting other activities and fundraising in the Club.

This support continues in 2024 with sponsorship, fundraising raffles and our own branded Central beer where 50c from each schooner will go to the football club, drink responsibly but please try it, or several tries.

As previously announced, the clubhouse will see more improvements in 2024 to freshen it up and make areas of the club more usable. I am looking forward to converting the unused functions bar into a cafe that operates all day with its own staff and that offers a wide range of snacks and fast-food options for all ages. Being next to our popular new kid’s area I am sure mums and dads will appreciate this facility and kids will also appreciate the additional play equipment we are currently investigating.

Other items we hope to start soon are the renovation of the southern balcony, commence the process for leasing the crown land to the north of the clubhouse for future-proofing the site, reinstating our damaged solar panel installation, replacing outdated plant and equipment, as well as a general improvement on the clubhouse appearance internally and externally. Members should also note that the north-facing balcony area adjacent to the bistro is available for use and includes an area for smokers.

Finally, I am also pleased to advise members that our new menu was put in place in January, and I am happy to further report that the risotto was lovely, and I am told that the nachos and steak sandwich are also popular.

CEO Bevan is incredibly pleased with the progress of our kitchen team that head chef has put together over the last few months and asked me to pass on his appreciation for all the positive feedback that we have received.

Have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2024.

Dianne Pascoe OAM