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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : July 9th 2009
16 INNER WEST COURIER, Thursday, July 9, 2009 NEWS www.innerwestcourier.com.au Club fights for survival TOM GEBA Ashfield's Polish Club manager Lucian Romanowski tickles the ivories (left) and Teresa Gierczynska with some of the food on offer (be- low). Pictures: PHIL BLATCH ~PP294231, ~P0639524 Has your community shifted? Tell us at innerwestcourier.com.au THE Polish Club in Ashfield is hoping to re-establish itself in the community, with a new restaurant and other initiat- ives. ''We are looking at ways to redevelop the space,'' club man- ager Lucian Romanowski said. The club, which has more than 600 members, offers a couple of multi-purpose func- tion rooms, a bar, a stage with a dancefloor and a renovated res- taurant. The restaurant serves tra- ditional Polish and Eastern European cuisine, such as pierogi (dumplings), golonka (pork knuckle), golabki (cab- bage rolls), placki (potato pan- cakes) and barszcz (beetroot soup). At the heart of the club lies its main hall where functions from folklore and modern dancing to movie screenings are held. Although it recently cel- ebrated its 40th birthday, the club's history is shrouded in mystery. A meeting record from 1951, showing the Polish Association of NSW approving the foun- dation of the club, is the only early document that remains. What started as a couple of old LPs, brought back from the PolArt Polish culture festival, evolved into a thriving disco venue in the early '80s, with state-of-the-art lighting. ''At the peak of its popularity, the club saw up to 3000 patrons a night. People were lining up around the block,'' Mr Romanowski said. The decline of disco put an end to the dances, with the dance floor closing down for repairs and failing to attract the numbers since. A similar fate met the down- stairs businessmens club, which has been unused for 10 years. The Sydney Polish com- munity has changed over the past 20 years, with the politi- cally charged post-war gener- ation getting older and the fall of the communist regime in Poland reducing the intensity of its political battles. Mr Romanowski stressed the biggest challenge lay in generat- ing adequate member funds for the club to continue. ''People have come and re- quested entry to the club on the grounds that they are Polish, but we are a members-and- guests club and we need to make money,'' he said. He also said the the pokie tax and liquor sales had been hard on clubs everywhere. But he is optimistic the new generation of Polish Aust- ralians will bring spark back to the club. It's as Un-hard as dropping into your local NRMA Office. For your chance to win one of fifteen $5,000 cash prizes plus a share in other great prizes just visit your local NRMA Office. Then simply take out or renew a qualifying policy or Roadside Assistance Membership and you'll automatically be entered to win. But hurry, entries close July 31. Visit us today. NRMA Burwood 34 Belmore Street (near the RTA) TO WIN A SHARE OF $150,000 IN PRIZES !!! ENTER Insurance issued by Insurance Australia Limited trading as NRMA Insurance. For many insurance products, a Product Disclosure Statement is available from NRMA Insurance that you should consider before making decisions about those products. Membership is provided by NRMA Motoring & Services which is an independent company from NRMA Insurance. Terms and conditions are available from your local NRMA Office or nrma.com.au/entertowin NSW Permit Number LTPS/09/02505 ACT Permit Number TP 09/01069 NRMA0476/SL/IWW
July 1st 2009
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