A PERMANENT base for the Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game Fishing Club will finally be realised this weekend after a quarter-century of planning.
The association was formed in 1978 and serious planning to establish club rooms started in the late 1980s, but only now will members finally have a place to call home — located in the heart of the city’s angling activities.
Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh will open the new premises on Sunday, located near the harbour pavilion and yacht club at the city breakwater precinct.
Life member Neville Dance said the club held its meetings at a multitude of venues and the lack of proper clubrooms made administrative activities difficult.
“We’ve held meetings in pubs, schools, school halls, lounge rooms and everywhere else, so having a proper base is something we’ve been working towards for years,” the past president said.
“In the 1980s, we used to host meetings in the old high school on Hyland Street (now Community College Warrnambool).
“Not having a clubrooms meant that a lot of club history has been lost and its been a challenge keeping up with all the changes that have occurred over the years.”
The club was formed in 1978 by fishing identities Viv Balmer and Bruce Everard, who wanted a boat owners and anglers association that improved safety at sea and allowed members to share fishing knowledge.
Mr Dance said the club’s membership base developed rapidly and had managed to finance 10 land-based marine radio stations through fund-raising.
During the 1980s, the club supplied several members’ boats for rescue work until the Warrnambool Coastguard was established in the past decade.