I wrote in my previous post that I’m no longer going to support a separate Fremantle Workers Club website. I’d like to use this medium to say why.
I was a member of the Workers Club in the early 1990s for a couple of years. I took up membership again in 2012, when Donald Whittington saved the club from being wound up.
I saw the club as a traditional place of refuge for the Fremantle working man. The original members were all unionists, and most of them were waterside workers. So it was a heritage site for that reason.
The building was also the only 1950s building in the West End of Fremantle. I never liked the look of it much, but it was unique. So that was a second reason to keep the building.
Less importantly, it was engagingly gothic in its internal arrangement. It had innumerable doors leading mysteriously nowhere much. There was a caretaker’s flat on the upper level which hardly anyone knew was there, and was not used for anything. The second street entrance led merely to a corridor used for nothing but storing chairs. There was a ladies toilet at the front of the building, behind the street wall, but it was never available for use. There had been a library room, which in the 2000s had become a room containing a pool table (hardly ever used) and a TAB betting machine (used a great deal). And there was a hairdresser’s salon! right next to the front door. It was briefly staffed by an attractive man who spoke Spanish as well as Italian.
Mainly, it had a 30 metre long bar, and served beer cheaply and cold through well-maintained pipes.
I made my website, which I gave at no cost to the club, in support of Donald Whittington’s action in saving the club. I had in mind both the club – with everything I’ve written above – and Donald himself, who is idealistic and altrustic.
However … it quite quickly turned out he apparently couldn’t manage to keep the building. So it was made available for sale, and plans were made for the money from the sale to go towards buying part of a new building in Fremantle Park.
I went on supporting the club’s own domain and website for some years, but my motivations had evaporated. Particularly when I came to understand what kind of building the Fremantle Park Sport and Community Centre is going to be, namely: boring. It’s so boring I can’t be bothered thinking of a less boring word.
I’ll go on supporting the Workers Club sub-website on my Stuff website, but only because it’s part of the great Fremantle community. I may never visit the new building. I don’t think I’d be welcome 🙂
A functionalist building, suggesting a high school in a country town