Mildura Weekly : Friday August 12 Vol 10 No 40
NEWS 13 FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2016 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU hole’ in the country...bar none! achieved world record status when it was rebuilt to include a hook at one end of the t-top. Not only was it the longest bar, it was built to the highest standards, featuring hand- crafted Redgum panels throughout its length. At the height of its popularity, members recall the long bar being seven people deep with thirsty patrons, who were served chilled beer from 32 taps. In fact, during its peak, the Mildura Work- ing Man’s Club was reportedly Carlton Unit- ed Brewery’s best customer in Victoria. By the 1980s, times had changed and it was becoming increasingly evident that the long bar was not only failing to draw the pa- trons it used to, but was actually blocking de- velopment within the club, which was need- ed to keep up with changing trends within the industry. As Eric wrote in his history of the club: “Members’ tastes were changing, and a need for a downstairs entertainment area was becoming more apparent. But the long bar was in the way of development. In addi- tion, stricter drinking laws were discouraging many from a social drink at their club – at least for daily socialising. For the ‘off’ days, many chose to drink at home. The huge length of the bar made it a costly exercise to staff for a significantly reduced number of customers. “As that decade progressed, members regularly found large areas of their long bar being closed, awaiting busier times. With a limited capacity to run live shows in a useful auditorium, plus substantially reduced liquor sales through (a) diminishing member audi- ence, it was becoming a real concern that the club may soon face financial difficulty. “Other clubs could readily embrace the newly legalised poker machines, but this club had nowhere to put them. The long bar was again in the way.” So in the early 1990s, the decision was made to remove the long bar, but not every- one agreed. Eric was actually one of those vehemently opposed to the move, and went to the extent of starting a petition to overturn the decision, however it wasn’t enough to stop it. Looking back now, Eric, who was not a di- rector at the time, said removing the long bar was the right decision. “I just didn’t like change. I loved that old bar so much. The fact that it was the longest bar in the southern hemisphere, I just didn’t want to see it go,” he said this week. “I ran the petition in about mid-to-late 1994, and of course, for all the effort I went to, it didn’t change anything. “Looking back, I know it had to happen. The club would have died if we’d have kept that long bar.” Eric, along with other Mildura Working Man’s Club members, still has a special keep- sake with which to remember the old long bar – one of the hand-crafted Redgum panels that were used in its construction, which were sold off to members as souvenirs when it was dismantled. While the club has since endured a couple of rocky patches, it has successfully made the shift into the modern era with several ma- jor renovations, the most recent of which has established the venue as one of the best equipped in regional Australia, with mem- bership increasing at a rate of more than 300 a month. MILDURA WORKING MAN’S CLUB MILDURA WORKING MAN’S CLUB • The Mildura Working Man’s Club’s long bar in all its glory. At its peak, its 32 beer taps served so much beer that the club was Carlton United Brewery’s best customer in Victoria. Chaffey Secondary College Deakin Avenue, Mildura | P: (03) 5023 0538 www.chaffeysec.com YEAR 7 BIG DAY OUT & TEAM BUILDING On Wednesday 3rd August, our Year 7 students participated in a team building ‘Big Day Out’ at Jaycee Park and Sunraysia Ten Pin. Activities included rob the nest, bean bag relay, tunnel ball, poison ball, hula hoop relay and human knot. After a delicious lunch, students walked to Sunraysia Ten Pin and pitted their skills against one another in games of bowling. All of the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and they all should be commended on their participation throughout the day.
Friday August 5 Vol 10 No 39
Friday August 19 Vol 10 No 41