Clubhouse History

The clubrooms @ Pat O'Hara Reserve

The Perth-Baywater Rugby Union Football Club clubrooms and home ground is at Pat O'Hara Reserve, Wellington Road, Morley WA 6062. Morley is in Perth's northern suburbs, and Pat O'Hara Reserve is directly opposite Perth's largest shopping complex, the Morley Galleria.
From the founding of Perth Rugby Club in 1928 the club played at Langley Park, now an exclusive and scenic foreshore between the city centre and the Swan River. The club's headquarters were the Grosvenor Hotel (and frequently Hec Bristow's house). Perth City Council would not allow construction of clubrooms on Langley Park so eventually (in 1975) the club gave up its prime home ground and moved north to the then Morley Reserve, under the jurisdiction of the City of Bayswater. The club changed its name to Perth-Bayswater and started plans for a new clubrooms. In 1977 the dream was realised and the new building was built.

An exhibition game was held to celebrate the opening of the new clubrooms between Perth, captained by a slim and good-looking (if somewhat hirsute) Mike Jones, on the left, and an invitation team, captained by the present RugbyWA Chairman, Geoff Stooke, on the right.

The clubrooms underwent several internal renovations. The committee room was sacrificed for a new bar and the old bar replaced by a kitchen. The toilets were swapped around and renovated in 1989. In 1993 the whole inside was repainted, a new floor laid and a shiny new polished wood and brass bar (an essential feature) was added (with thanks to Andrew Hine), named The Hec Bristow Bar in honour of the club legend who was president for an astonishing 25 years.

As the club grew the clubrooms proved too small and for the last ten years a bewildering variety of plans have been drawn up, accepted and discarded to enlarge the building. The most desperately needed improvement was in the changerooms department. The two tiny Council changerooms next to the clubrooms far from enhanced the club's reputation, and the improbability of coaxing hot water from the showers was a thing of legend in Perth rugby circles. But help was at hand and in May 1997, with the aid of the City of Bayswater and with generous sponsorship from building magnate Len Buckridge, a luxurious new four-room changerooms were opened, complete with referee's room, first aid room and storeroom. The changerooms are a credit to the building committees of the past few years, and particularly to long-standing sponsor and supporter Ray Goodall, and President Neil Jury.

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