Young club member keen to help

Daniel Whittington is a problem solver and he’s put his mind to creating a plan for the financially-stricken Raglan Club.

The 26-year-old club member may hold the key to increasing the membership for the club as it battles to stay in business. As with many clubs around the country, the Raglan Club is on the decline and Daniel says his generation are looking for something a bit different.

But, he doesn’t want to side-line the hardcore members in his plans and wants a facility that caters for the whole community.

“The club is part of the community and it’s a place that holds everybody together,” he says.

“People have done so much here it would be sad to walk away from it.”

His plan would mean demolishing the existing building and creating a facility with road frontage, featuring a large area for members, a travellers’ bar for non-members, a restaurant and zones for pool, darts, live entertainment and an outside deck.

“I felt there needed to be more connection to the street,” he says. “People don’t know what the building is when they look at it from the road.” He’s realistic about the expense and as with other plans that have been on the table it would mean selling some of the club’s prime property.

“If they move it (the club) forward it will open up a huge amount of space out the back that they could sell off.”

Daniel met with the club executive on Sunday and was told the club would not subdivide and were looking for a quick fix solution in the short term to increase cash flow.

“They really liked the drive way idea, and then in future building out to the front of the club and making a garden bar at the front.” Daniel says they also discussed changes to the inside of the club to make it more welcoming.

He is now working on a layout design to transform the dancefloor and make it more accommodating for live gigs. Living in Aotea, Daniel has put his problem-solving to good use in transforming the family farm into a self-sustainable off-grid retreat.

He’s a third-generation Raglanite and his father Dave is also a long-standing member of the club.

Janine Jackson