Coinciding with their centennial celebration taking place next year, the Yass Soldiers’ Club is set for a complete revamp and remodelling of its facilities, with construction expected to begin in October. The revamping will be largely internal, updating amenities and rooms to bring the club up to modern standards, as well as to provide a more family-friendly environment.
President of the Yass Soldiers’ Club, Ross Webster spoke to the Yass Valley Times about the project, how it will affect day-to-day business and patronage, as well as lending the Times a bit of knowledge about the history of the club as it faces its milestone birthday.
“We’re in the process of going through a massive expansion, basically a complete renovation of the internals of the club”, said Ross.
“It’s 27 years since we did any type of remodelling, and it’s badly needed. Various areas are starting to look old so this will bring it right up to a modern club with greater facilities for families”.
Ross confirmed that the preliminary paperwork, including Development Applications and selection of contractors, has been completed, with the club simply waiting on financial confirmation and details before proceeding further.
Internal renovations include a new dining area, coffee shop area, new bar, a revamp of the auditorium, relocation of poker machines, new toilet facilities, designated sports bar, furniture and carpets, as well as an indoor children’s playground, with the latter aimed at making the club more accessible for families, therefore bringing in a wider array of patrons.
For patrons concerned about how the development will impact day-to-day functions of the club and general accessibility, Ross assures them that while areas will be blocked off from time to time depending on the stage of remodelling, business will carry on as per usual, with regularly attended areas predicted to have minimal impact beyond a few days closing.
“The areas they’ll be working on will be completely shielded off, however, the club will continue to function as normal. There will probably be a small window where we’ll have to close the dining room for a couple of days later on”, said Ross.
Upon beginning remodelling in early October, the process is anticipated to take about forty-five weeks to complete the whole revamp.
The remodelling comes as the Yass Soldiers’ Club prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, with the Yass & District Historical Society preparing a centennial information booklet. The club, formed by WWl veterans, has maintained a connection with its history, through its connections to groups such as the Yass RSL Branch and commemorative services, most recently hosting veterans and RSL members for the Vietnam Day 50th Anniversary.
“We’ll be celebrating 100 years of the Yass Soldiers’ Club having been formed by WWl veterans, hence the name Soldiers’ Club. It was an area where retired servicemen could and still can go back and have a few drinks together, so we’ll be celebrating 100 years next year”, said Ross.
“We’re going to publish a booklet on the first 100 years, the Yass & District Historical Society is preparing that now and we should have it by December. People will be able to get a complete review of how it was initially and how it has expanded over the years”.
As well as connections to clubs and groups such as the Yass RSL, the Yass Soldiers’ Club prides itself on its strong connection to the Yass community, through quality service and hospitality, with Ross crediting dedicated and talented staff.
“We have very good staff members, some excellent chefs and caterers, and we’ve got a strong record of providing good service to the town”.