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See also: Fremantle Park Sport and Community Centre for current information.
See also: archive, calendar.
The Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club (Inc.) began its existence in the Lodge's Castle Hotel building at 1 Henry Street 2 February 1914. Most of the original members were unionists of the Fremantle Lumpers Union. The club's origins are related to the various workingmen's organisation that aspired to be educational, though the Workers Club in practice put more emphasis on the 'Leisure' ( = drinking beer) aspect announced in its title. See the history page.
In 1956 it moved to its own purpose-built building 50 metres away at 7-9 Henry St. After 100 years of the club's existence, it closed this building's doors at the end of 2014. The clubhouse was sold at noon Friday 17 April 2015.
From February 2020, the Workers Club became part of the Fremantle Park Club Sport and Community Centre, with the Tennis and Bowls clubs. The Workers Club's regular function is a band and dancing on Sundays. For this purpose, the FWC is supposed to have the use of the main function room upstairs in the FreoPark building every Sunday for 42 years* (though they have to go elsewhere - such as the Italian Club - if the building or or at least that part of it is required for use for something more 'important', like a bowls carnival or rock music event in the Park). (* That's what Don Whittington told me. He didn't know who thought of the unlikely number 42 - which happens to be the answer to the question in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.)
The key to the continuing existence of the club is, and has been at least since 2011, the persistent energy of one man, Donald Whittington. (The record should, however, also mention his partner, Ruth Belben, without whom it would not have been possible for Don to maintain the organisation.) When Don becomes unable or unwilling to continue with his concept of the 'Workers Club', it will quietly cease to exist, becoming a fossil in the cellar of the newer organisation.
A four-storey apartment building has been built on the Henry Street site, retaining the facade and the one logostyle plaque that remains. (Two others were stolen.)
Artist's impression, from a November 2016 advertisement, of the new building, now of four storeys, which is being promoted as The Social on Henry, tho I'm guessing it will be known as The Workers, particularly if they keep the actual words on the building as shown in the sketch. There were intended to be 22 apartments, with a penthouse on top.
The old building in 2017 with advertisements for the new.
The club had a website at freoworkers.org, including much of its history, created, maintained, and donated by Garry Gillard 2012-2021. I maintain an archive of that site on this one.
The Workers Club became part of the Fremantle Park Sport and Community Centre in 2020. That organisation is now become the Fremantle Park Club Sport and Community Centre.
Gare, Deborah & Jane Davis 2014, The Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club 1914-2014, FWSLC.
Parker, David Dare & Ron Davidson 2010, The Clubs, FotoFreo, Fremantle.
Fremantle Workers Club Facebook page.
Garry Gillard | New: 1 October, 2014 | Now: 13 January, 2024