WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN ? ? ?
In the last twelve months our Club membership has increased dramatically and we thought a brief history of how it all began would be of interest to new members.
The Club was founded in 1986 by Betty and Joe Masters, together with Merle and Sel Pointon, Robyn and Bob Keenan.
Betty and Joe owned the Country Gentleman Restaurant in the City and when it was sold they got together with some of their regular customers to form a Country Music Social Club. This was because there was nowhere in the City offering similar entertainment.
The first official meeting was held on 20 July 1986 at the Pointon's residence and a Committee was formed of which Betty was Treasurer. At this stage the name "Stetson Social Club" was decided on and as a point of interest the Club's minute Book still has the draft of the "Stetson" used in our logo. Sel Pointon was a signwriter and it was he who created our Club logo. We have sent him one of our Club badges as a token gesture.
A constitution was drafted and the Aims and Objects of the Club are:
- Such as decided upon by the Management Committee from time to time to promote the Social and Recreational interests and for the mutual benefit of the Members of the Stetson Social Club Incorporated and to promote local Country Music and artists in general.
- To apply for and hold a Club Licence or a Club Charter or any other Licence under the Sale of Liquor Act 1962 or any other subsequent legislation.
In the beginning the Club did not have premises so in order to raise funds, dances were held at the Auckland Leagues Club with Al Hunter Band and Shores Country being two of the bands hired. Club members also met at the Shakespear Hotel.
In October 1986 club rooms were leased in Dominion Road and extensive renovations were put in progress by volunteer Club members. Unfortunately, this venture proved to be too ambitious financially and we were "locked out" by the landlord ! ! Obviously we had reached troubled waters and had debts amounting to over $5,000.00.
Not to be daunted we continued to hold dances at the Carlton Rugby Club and Takapuna Cosmopolitan Club as well as smaller get-togethers at Club members' homes. One such get-together saw Club members clinging to the rafters ! ! in an effort to show their fitness? Tote tickets were also being sold and these proved to be valuable income.
By the May 1988 AGM all debts had been paid and once again we were in the "black". Club get-togethers were continuing at various venues such as the Keynotes Club in the City and the Prince Arthur Hotel.
December found us in our own club rooms in Botha Road, Penrose. This venue used to be a canteen for Freightways and was a perfect set-up for the Club as it had a good kitchen, a bar and lounge area. This became our "home" and during this time all Club functions were held at these premises. We introduced Sunday afternoon concerts once a month in which we invited individual Country Music Clubs to provide entertainment for the afternoon.