THE Wyola Club in Fremantle is broke and set to wind up this week.
Club president Christine Dunbar sent out a letter to members late last week notifying them of a special meeting which was due to be held yesterday (Friday, June 24).
The letter says members will be asked to vote to confirm the club, which until 2010 owned two properties stretching between High Street and Bannister Street, ”has no assets”.
If the resolutions are passed, the club will close immediately and the office bearers will fill in the necessary paperwork to cancel its incorporation.
“Refreshments will be served at the close of the meeting,” was the closest Ms Dunbar came to a flourish for the demise of the historic club.
If Wyola is broke, it means that since 2009 it has churned through somewhere around $3 million, the price it’s believed to have received for the two properties.
One of the sales caused headlines because club manager Phil Douglas had purchased the property for a quarter of its market value thanks to a clause in a lease he’d signed with the club in the early 1990s.
The uproar from current and former members caused WA’s commerce department to step in and initiate Supreme Court action against Mr Douglas.
In the end they reached a settlement, with Mr Douglas agreeing to pay an additional $500,000, reaping Wyola $982,559 all up.
A club member the Herald spoke to said in recent times just a dozen or so stalwarts would turn up for drinks on Friday nights.
Commerce said the Herald’s call was the first it had heard about the wind-up of the club.
No one was answering the phones at Wyola when we called.
It’s been a tough time for Fremantle’s social clubs. The Fremantle Club and the Fremantle Workers Club have both had to sell their CBD premises and have had to move into temporary accommodation.
The Workers Club is hoping to move into a new hub with the local bowls and tennis clubs on Fremantle Park.
by STEVE GRANT