History of the Club
Prior to World War II members of the Parkes Sub-Branch met in rented rooms once a month for a meeting and a smoko. With the large influx of new members from the Second World War, the Sub-Branch discussed, early in 1946, the idea of establishing an ex-servicemen’s club and acquiring a building, in spite of the fact that a public move was afoot to erect a War Memorial hall with clubrooms for ex-servicemen.
In 1946 Mr. M.J. Maguire donated the land in Short Street. President at the time was Sergeant Frank Ritchie, who was to play a major part in the erection of the club rooms, travelled to Dubbo and purchased two ex-army Nissen Huts.
In 1948 a brick frontage was added to these ex-army Nissen Huts and at that time Mr. Bill Matthews was the RSL Sub-Branch President and Mr. Cec. Moon the Ex-Services Club President. The first employee of the Ex-Services Club was Jack Knock who later became a Director.
In 1960 the present Club was ready for occupation and just a fortnight later an office block and President’s room was added. This closed off the view of the men’s and ladies toilets that were visible from the Club’s front steps in Short Street.
In 1970 the dining room and the upstairs lounge were refurbished.
In 1971 a special meeting was held to change the name of the Club from Parkes Ex-Services Club to Parkes Services and Citizens Club Co-Op Ltd.
In 1976 the Starlight Lounge was renovated and the sports council was formed for the sporting bodies within the Club. This body is still very active, providing finance to all sporting groups whom need assistance.
In 1979 the second set of squash courts, new saunas and a spa pool were completed, making a total of four squash courts.
In 1993 the Club purchased the land from the RSL Sub- Branch thus allowing the Board of Directors to go ahead with planned extensions of the Club. These extensions included a bistro area, lounge and snooker room (now the TAB). The Club also purchased two old houses in Caledonia Street that were demolished for car parking.
In 1996 the Board again decided to renovate and extend the Club. The administration department was moved upstairs and the “Ladies Lounge” was renovated into two function rooms, joining them to the Starlight Lounge with a common foyer.
The area that had been previously used as a Cinema complex and the floor space from the removal of the administration department were renovated and extended to become the Club’s new Bistro and Coffee Shop. A new ladies and mens’ toilet block was also included in these renovations along with a new front entrance and foyer.
Large windows were added to the front wall of the Club that enhanced the outlook in the main bar and TAB lounge by providing natural light and outside views and the result is as the Club looks today.
In 2009 the Starlight Lounge was given a very overdue facelift. The bio box was removed and sliding glass door were added to provide natural light and scenic views overlooking Cooke Park.
In 2010 a balcony was erected to allow access from the Starlight Lounge to enable patrons to partake in the fresh air whilst enjoying the view.