Well, here we are at the end of August. I figured I’d better give you a sham update, lots has been going on. Here are the headlines:
- The Petersham Bowling Club has decided NOT to sell off the bottom green to ABC Childcare. This decision came at the end of a mammoth meeting of members on Sunday, in which angles and counter-angles were discussed and teased out until we nearly dropped off our chairs with fatigue. It was clear that the current board of directors had put a lot of work into researching and establishing this sell-off as a workable solution.
Essentially, what would have happened was this: the bottom bowling green would be sold (actually “leased for 99 years”) to Universal Childcare (a subsidiary of ABC Childcare) and they would set up a childcare centre in the space. The land is zoned “open space” but due to a loophole in zoning, childcare is one land use which is allowed. The sale would have brought in nearly one and a half million bucks. Half a mil is needed for renovations to the crumbling club. This would leave money in the bank, and the club would retain control of it’s own future.
In fact, rationally speaking, it was a pretty attractive option. The only glitch was that rationality does not always reign supreme. The sale got voted down about 42 to 14. It seems that Universal/ABC are just not trusted to be good neighbours. (Essentially, the feeling is that they are property developers who happen to dabble in childcare in order to exploit the open space zoning loophole, and not very ethical corporate citizens…) Whether this feeling is unfounded is irrelevant. Belief led to reality. The land hasn’t been sold.
But now, the hard work REALLY begins. How to re-jig the club, AND retain autonomy in its running, with no cash at all? There’s an AGM in a few weeks time, and members will be asked to step up to the plate to join the board of directors. Personally, I don’t want to become embroiled to that extent. But I’m happy to help out as I can, like making their website for them…
- The Sports Pit, the gym I went to during April, burned down some weeks back. Lisa, who lives only a few doors down from the gym, sent me a text message saying “pity about your gym”. Sure is. No more treadmill work for me. Luckily I hadn’t paid my membership up yet…However, I entered (and won!) a competition for some new underpants, on the strength of my entry exploiting the story of the fire. A bit dodgy, I know, I know…
See my entry, and pix of the burned gym, here:
There was another fire in the sham, on Crystal Street, though I didn’t see it, just read about it on Mr Walker’s flickr site:
- No news on Richard, the fella who ran the vintage toy store on Stanmore Road. Word is that many many folks contacted the journalist who wrote the article about his death, wanting to help out. A good sign. But the journo has been SLOW in getting back to us about what we can do to avert his “destitute funeral”. I’ll keep you posted, hope it’s not too late…
More material, man! I’ve done a few interviews and wot-not lately about the sham project. Check ’em out in the media section. (The best, I reckon, is the FBI radio one).
Also, I’ve put up a PDF version of the blog, so you can print out your own copy to read at your leisure. And an audio recording of Vanessa Berry’s 1976 Parramatta Road tour is available for download too.
I’ve only just discovered your blog – I love all this local stuff, yup I’m a ‘shamster (how come I never hear about these projects until they’re over, though?!)
Great to hear about the bowlo not leasing out to the evils of ABC.
I’ve not been to the bowlo before as the sham is too far for me to peddle, but have been following the plight of the club. So – two birds one stone – does the bowlo have a room to put gym equipment in? Could they make a space to bring health to hearts in a more convivial environment than the gym for all those people growing wider since the fire? Admittedly it may not quite raise 1/2 a mil, and may have a small capital outlay but it is a sports and rec club and presumedly has a membership system and change room already set up..
thanks fiona, i like your blog too! i have a thing for librarians!
stef, good idea! i will pass it along to the folks at the PBC.
Any idea where the sports pit has moved to? They were supposed to relocate somewhere in leichart but i am afraid they have taken the cash and flown to Mexico!@
Any help appreciated.
sPiNcYcLe: damn, I don’t know. I would have thought they should have contacted existing members by now. They do have our contact details. If I find anything out, I’ll let you know…