Coffs Harbour Ex-servicemen and Women's Memorial Club

Coffs Harbour Ex-servicemen and Women's Memorial Club, exteriorCoffs Harbour Ex-servicemen and Women's Memorial Club, with Coffs Harbour Cenotaph in the foreground
Description

The history of the Coffs Harbour Ex-servicemen and Women's Memorial Club dates back to the 1940–50s. Planning and fundraising began in 1945, after Dorrigo Shire Council granted a block of land in Fitzroy Park for the purpose of building the hall (Daily Examiner, 16 March 1945).

On Wednesday 6 March 1946, a public meeting was held at the School of Arts to discuss the erection of a memorial club. The Coffs Harbour Club Committee was formed and by early June 1947, ₤1,200 had been raised. An executive was formed to prepare a constitution for the club.

In March 1948, the committee was asked to "investigate the possibilities of proceeding immediately with the construction of a portion of the proposed club" (Daily Examiner, 20 March 1948). A sub-committee was created to investigate a building programme.

In September 1948, the Minister for Lands, Mr Sheahan, visited Coffs Harbour and met with the club committee to discuss the proposed club and its location. Initially Mr Sheahan was "in principle ... opposed to the alienation of any section of land dedicated as a public park." However, he was prepared to make exceptions if the works were in the "public interest" (Coffs Harbour Advocate, 17 September 1948).

One month later, on 26 October, tenders were advertised in the Coffs Harbour Advocate. Because of costs involved, it was decided to proceed with a portion of the building only, including a lounge, bar, billiard room, memorial alcove, cardroom, cool room, office, two bedrooms, showers, and a bathroom. 

By February 1949, two tenders had been received and the one from Sydney-based contractor R.W. Bateman was accepted, at a cost of ₤6,752. Construction began around April 1949 and the foundation stone was laid by Colonel G.A. Patterson E.D. on 9 July (Coffs Harbour Advocate, 14 April 1949; 12 July 1949).  

The club was officially opened by Governor of New South Wales General John Northcott on Saturday, 3 June 1950. The ceremony was reported in the Daily Examiner on 5 June. During his speech, club president Mr C.H. Everingham said the club was "a memorial to those who died in the two wars and would also be of service to those who returned."

Over time, the building has been expanded and is now a two-storey structure. Facilities include several dining options, TAB and Lotteries Agency, two bowling greens, an auditorium for touring acts, and undercover parking. The modern club building stands on the original site of the club. It is now known as C-ex Coffs or Coffs Harbour Ex-Services Club.

Club management and the Coffs Harbour RSL sub-Branch organise various commemorative services on site, as well as at the Coffs Harbour Memorial Wall, which is located in Anzac Park on the eastern side of the building.

Access inside the building is restricted to the opening hours of the club. 

Materials
  • Brick
  • Bronze
  • Concrete
  • Glass
  • Other stone
Inscription

Exterior sign

C.ex Coffs

Address
Coffs Harbour Ex-Services Club
2-6 Vernon Street
Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
Local Government Area
  • Coffs Harbour, City of
Setting
  • Roadside
Location status
Original location
Memorial type
  • Building
Recorded by
Graham Wilson
Established date
1949–1950
Established Date format: 
$e_original_date = $entity->field_established['und'][0]['value']; if (!empty($e_original_date)) { $changed_date = strtotime($e_original_date); $new_date = date("d F Y", $changed_date); print '
Established date
'; print $new_date; } else{ print ''; }
Dedication date: 
06/03/1950
Dedication date
03 June 1950
Conflict/s
  • First World War, 1914–18
  • Second World War, 1939–45

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