Chairman’s Message – COVID-19

Posted on Thursday, 19 March 2020


In the midst of this unprecedented global pandemic, I hope you and those close to you are keeping safe and well.

The last time I delivered a video message to you it was a very positive one as we celebrated the approval of our stage 1DA, which has enabled us to press on with our Air Space Project.

Today, only a few months later, our world has been turned upside down by the devasting impact of COVID-19. As you know, it is having dire consequences both here in Australia and globally.

It has caused a tremendous amount of concern and even panic. It has led organizations to

  • mandate that their staff work from home indefinitely,
  • warn against taking public transport,
  • not patriciate in large gatherings.

(Just this morning, the Federal Government has required that people should not congregate in numbers exceeding 100.) Universities have cancelled face to face lectures, schools are likely soon to make similar arrangements to protect children and families and sport is presently happening behind closed gates.

The virus has certainly not spared our club. As a result of the measures people are understandably taking to protect themselves and families, visitation to our club has fallen dramatically. Our gymnasiums are down by 50%, Zest Restaurant is down by 60%.

Our gaming installation is presently suffering a 30% downturn in revenue and that figure is likely to increase. The Lower Bar is presently a very lonely place for want of customers.

Hopefully, you would have seen the recent message from our CEO Marcelo Veloz, who wrote about our commitment to do all that is necessary to protect the long-term viability of the Club. It is with all this in mind that as of today, our Club is regrettably and reluctantly forced to take the following actions;

Our Gyms will close as from this Saturday afternoon until further notice.
Members are already staying away, and we are acutely concerned about the risk that one or more of our valued members, particularly the senior ones, may contract the Virus in the tricky gymnasium environment.

Our Lower Bar cannot remain open with no patronage, so we will be closing it until things return to normal. Members can still use the space to read and relax, but there will be no service in the bar.

Zest Restaurant will be only open for Lunch until further notice. Due to the very low numbers we will for the time being, withdraw breakfast and dinner service.

Legends Diner will be open for dinner only, to service those who continue to come to our Club after work to watch sport on the big screens.

The Dining Room will also be closed until further notice.

Given the Federal Government’s advice relating to gatherings of over 100 people, we will stop hosting functions and delivering entertainment until things change.

Members will still be able to access food and beverage from our Silks Bar on the ground level 7 days a week.

Members, as our CEO noted in his recent email, we have spent the past three years enhancing our Club, making it a more entertaining, fun filled and welcoming place.

So, all of this is extremely disappointing and disconcerting, especially in what is our 125 Anniversary year!!

The world and our Club has been forced to change in the face of this extraordinary occurrence, but rest assured that we will not lose sight of what needs to be done to protect our Club; to punch on; to get back on top and proceed to celebrate our 125th Anniversary, although we will inevitably lose some time in our planning in this regard.

Thankyou in anticipation of your patience, understanding and continuing support.

Patrick Campion