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Our Club History

The Byron Bay Services Club was formed in the mid-1970’s after a prolonged application process led by the Byron Bay RSL Sub-Branch, including local identities Bill Flowers, John Codrington and John Gosbell to name a few.

Interesting to note at this stage, was the forming committee’s consideration of proposed sites, the Pier Astor Hotel (now the Beach Hotel) and the Literary Institute (now the Community Centre) were over looked to form the new Club on the old NORCO site at the southern end of Jonson Street.

The local RSL Sub-Branch had nurtured a close relationship with the Bondi-Waverly Returned Servicemen’s Club, who ultimately bankrolled the formation of our Club, opening on 12th December 1979.

Bruce Davies relocated from Bondi and was appointed as our Club’s first Secretary-Manager and along with President Bill Flowers and Treasurer John Codrington formed the Club’s first Executive Committee.

The Club flourished from day one and quickly formed into an important part of the local community by providing a modern comfortable venue and by financially supporting a host of local Clubs and Charities. Long time locals will fondly recall Brian & Nancy’s Bistro was the place to eat in town and our famous ‘Workers Bar’ was the watering hole after a day at work. The Good Old Days!!

Moving into the 1980’s, the Club’s focus slowly changed toward entertainment and by 1990 was well and truly established as ‘THE’ entertainment venue of the Northern Rivers by hosting Rock and Roll Bands up to five times a week.

Crowded House, Rose Tattoo, Suzi Quatro, Mi Sex, the Emmanuel Brothers, Buddy Guy and Robert Cray to name a few, raised the roof at the Club, while local legendary bands Stamped Urgent and Bourbon Street cut their teeth at the ‘RSL’.

With the bands came financial problems for the Club, along with licencing and neighbourhood unrest issues. Things were in a real mess and the Club faced financial ruin and even closure.

It was time for a drastic change in direction, seeing David Green appointed as Secretary-Manager in 1993 and the Board implementing urgent policies in an attempt to rescue the Club’s future. The curtain came down on bands immediately and the Club basically “was turned back into a Club”, providing more traditional activities and promotions, focusing heavily on improving our Dining Room facility.

Our Club ‘never looked back’ from that point, with an almost overnight change in fortunes as the locals flocked back in droves. We were up and running again!

Retiring President Bill Flowers knew the Club was headed in the right direction and handed the reigns over to Ken Farrell, and along with Secretary-Manager David Green, Treasurer Tony McCabe and a committed and united Board of Directors, the Club flourished once more!

Over the years, the Board of Directors maintained a Policy of investing excess funds back to the local community, while continually improving the premises and Members facilities.

The strategy was an overwhelming success, and the Byron Bay Services Club is now entrenched as a very important asset in the local Byron Bay Community.

PHONE 02 6685 6878

South end of Jonson St, Byron Bay (map)