Redlands Modern Country Music Club
Redlands Modern Country Music Club
Redlands Modern Country Music Club

 

RMCMC Club House History


The following article was taken from the official program on opening day of the Redlands Modern Country Music Club house on Saturday 4th August 1990.


The Club House History

It began in June 1988 when Des Green approached the club with an idea about a derelict house on a block of land at Thorneside. The building was small and in need of repair but basically sound and ideal for a clubhouse. Des told the club committee that they could have it for the cost of removal. After consideration of the idea the committee decided to go for it and accept Des' offer with thanks, and so began the working bees, laughter, tears, frustration and elation that most projects of this kind bring.
Having decided to establish the building as a clubhouse the committee now had the problem of where to put it. Having had dealings with the Redlands Shire Council at various times over the past few years it was decided that Del Moller and Jim Mitchell should approach the council to see if a block of land was available for lease within the Shire. The only other alternative would be perhaps to purchase land but with real estate prices at the time going through a boom this idea was abandoned.

Now it must have seemed an extreme idea to the Council for a small group of amateur musos to request a block of land as well as the idea to move a practically derelict house on to it. It should be kept in mind that within the building industry the RSC is noted for it's stringent standards for buildings and relocation of elderly buildings is unusual in the Redlands to say the least. But we were completely unaware of these possible stumbling blocks at the time, we were confident of the Council's assistance which was completely forthcoming.

On 4th of July 1988 the Shire Council Parks Committee gave approval in principal for the lease of a small block of land at the Pinklands Sports Reserve the approximate location was known but the exact size and other lease details were to be sorted out in the future. The important point was we had a site on which to locate the building.

Now the work began in earnest. Des started arrangements for plans to be drafted and Jim contacted various contractors for quotes to move the building, an engineer was also engaged to provide a report to the Council on the building's condition. By 31st August 1988 it was decided that Crosby House Removals would do the removal and preliminary work was carried out to put the building on pallets at Thorneside.

But now work was needed to prepare the site to receive the building. Discussions were held with the Council and it was agreed that we should clear the site and move the building as soon as possible. By 24th September Tom Parker's bulldozer had moved in and cleared enough room to accommodate the building. That same day Jim Mitchell trapped Mary Genrich and Paul Clauson in a corner at the showground's and demanded money for our project. Paul could see he was dealing with a desperate man and was very helpful, he suggested we approach the arts council through the Premiers Department. This suggestion seemed to satisfy Jim, and so he began his epic saga or perhaps trial by frustration. Forms were filled in in triplicate, letters were written numerous phone calls were made and finally the Premiers Department acknowledged that we had a case and agreed to send us the Application Form. Verbal advice from the Premiers Dept. at this time was it should take about 3 months for the Application to go through.

Meanwhile work continued to progress. The clubhouse plans were approved by the Shire Council with about 14 amendments and finally that great day arrived when the building was moved from Thorneside to Thornlands. On Saturday 29th October at 4am the removalists commenced the job under police escort. It went remarkably well, by 6am the building was on site and at last something substantial had been achieved, our clubhouse was beginning to take shape. Further site preparation went on with logs being cleared by Jim, Des and Dave Hack and with the assistance of Tom Parker with his dozer. Tom refused to accept any payment for his work. On 26 November the club held the first of many working bees for members to inspect the building and assist with spreading topsoil as well as take in the pleasant environment. Many of these working bees continued on into a campfire and sing-along in the evening, with guitars, harmonicas , billy tea and damper, who could wish for more.

Around this time Jim was faced with the problem of having to complete a particularly nasty government form, the formal application for State Government Assistance for the project. This was a daunting task as the questions asked on this form ranged from: How many buses pass the front gate? to What's on at the local drive in tonight ? About the only thing it didn't want to know was What colour knickers are you wearing? The detail required on this form was a real problem as no one could work out where we could find the information. Finally Jim raised the matter with Mary Genrich who said that the Redland Shire Statistician had all the answers, and so Jim harassed the office workers one day for about 3 hours to get this form completed. The completed form was finally lodged with the Premiers Department on 31 January 1989 where he was requested to provide photographs, building specifications, financial statements, a copy of the lease, a certified valuation of the building, and quotes for the work from sub-contractors. Lets leave this area just for a while but remember the saga doesn't end there.

By this time, late January 1989 the lease of the land from the Redland Shire Council had been formalised and the council also assisted by installing a culvert crossing for the car park together with a load of topsoil. Again Tom Parker came to the rescue and spread the load of topsoil free of charge. The grass growing season was now in full swing and Alan Zsolcszay came to the rescue with his tractor slasher, regularly mowing the site and nearby area. There was a great working bee on 19th February and at that time the club juniors held their first practise in the clubhouse despite there being no water, no electricity, no toilets and the building was still sitting on wooden pallets. The chorus of "You Are My Sunshine" filled the air and the clubhouse had it's first Country Music experience.

In late February 1989 the building was finally put on stumps and water was connected to the site. Jim now contacted the Premiers Department eager to obtain permission to commence work. He was told the application is now in the Works Department and will take about a month to clear. In early April he made the same enquiry but still had no permission to proceed.

Unable to start work Jim now concentrated on the planning and estimating associated with the work. The works department finally responded to his enquiries saying that some additional changes were needed to the plans before the project could proceed. Jim approached Bill Trewin for assistance with plan alterations and Bill helped us out on a no-charge basis. The revised plans were returned to the Works Dept in mid-June and after waiting for a month (mid-July) Jim made a call to the appropriate officials seeking permission to start. He was unable to start but some advice should be available in about 3 weeks. Another call was made in mid-August and he was told about 1 week. On 25th August it was "next week". Around this time Jim's notes become harsh and bitter and his personal comments unprintable.

 


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