From humble beginnings trading out of a small converted Salvation Army Hall on 7 Collins Street Belmore, Canterbury will soon be celebrating its 60th year anniversary on 6 June 2017.
In July 1956 the idea of forming a League Club to service the needs of the football club and local community took physical shape. The Canterbury-Bankstown Rugby League Football Club purchased the former hall for the sum of $3,500 after considering many other locations. The first League Club officially opened its doors for trade on 6 June 1957.
It didn’t take very long for the League Club to outgrow their original premises and the Board of Directors had to once again consider bigger quarters. The impact of television at that time meant that attendance at picture theatres was dropping so it wasn’t difficult to persuade Greater Union Theatres to sell Paragon No.1 Theatre which was located on Bridge Road.
Not wanting to miss out on this momentous opportunity, the Board made an offer of $34,000 on the building in November 1958 and renovated it into a bigger League Club.
From such small roots, Canterbury has only grown from strength to strength, year to year and membership continued to grow at a rapid pace. Several renovations throughout the decades eventually sealed the finishing touches to cement the Club as one of the most prestigious clubs in the state.
For the months of June and July, Canterbury will be celebrating its 60th anniversary with a number of activities at the Club. On Tuesday 6 June at 5pm there will be a special 60th birthday cake cutting ceremony with the Board of Directors and VIP guests; Members and their guests are invited to attend. It will be held at the Indoor Atrium, near the main entrance of the Club.
There will also be a large exhibition wall opposite Reception for those interested in reading the Club’s historical timeline complete with pictures from Canterbury’s archives.
A specially-made 60th anniversary void decoration will also hang in the atrium for two months and Banyan Brasserie will be serving a range of nostalgic delights including Carpetbag Steak, Fettucine Chicken A La King, Vol Au Vent and Seafood Crepe. To give people a taste of the past, Heritage Bar will be serving classic cocktails including Japanese Slippers, Singapore Slings and Brandy Alexanders which would have been similar to the cocktails the former Starlight Lounge would have served.
Canterbury will also be producing a special commemorative edition of the Club magazine which will be available to all Members at the start of May. In a double celebration, C-Life Health Club will also be celebrating a 15th milestone birthday and they will be offering several promotions for the month too.
“We have some great activities planned to celebrate our 60th anniversary and we are looking forward to reaching that milestone. For some of our long-term members who haven’t visited lately, it is the perfect opportunity to come and view all of the Club’s new amenities like our popular Bakehouse Café and lounge area, but also to enjoy our historical exhibition wall which is a nod to our past,” said Dave Brace, CEO of Canterbury League Club.