Members of two of Hawke's Bay's biggest surviving chartered clubs are considering the possibility of a merger.
The Taradale Club and Taradale RSA each held extraordinary special meetings on December 16 to discuss the issue, which if the RSA members agree could lead to the RSA selling-up and leaving its Gloucester St site near the Taradale shopping.
More than 100 at the Taradale Club meeting agreed unanimously with the principle of establishing a joint steering committee to develop a plan which would have to go back to members for the final decision.
The RSA meeting ended without a decision and will reconvene on Sunday with members voting on whether its executive committee can enter discussions with the Taradale Club to develop a joint draft Memorandum of Understanding setting out terms and conditions of a potential partnership based at the Wharerangi Rd premises.
It would include undertaking due diligence of a partnership regarding finances, buildings, protection of RSA and returned services values and potential for selling the Gloucester St premises.
The committee would be asked to report back to a further extraordinary general meeting next month.
The RSA club's January "Bugle Call" newsletter stresses no decisions have been made by the committee and that if authority is given a large number of items need to be addressed before a plan can be put to members.
The youngest of the chartered clubs in Napier and Hastings, the Taradale Club includes a merger with the Napier Cosmopolitan Club which all-but vanished after 136 years in operation with the sale of its Marine Parade premises in 2012.
Chartered clubs still intact in Napier are the 155-years-old Hawke's Bay Club, on the corner of Marine Parade and Browning St, the century-old Napier RSA on the corner of Hastings and Vautier streets and the century-old Hawke's Bay Commercial Travellers and Warehousemen's Assn trading as Bay City Club in Milton Rd, a short distance from Clive and Memorial squares.
The Napier Club, having sold its Marine Parade club and settled in Herschell St, folded in 2015, after 135 years in the city.
The two remaining chartered clubs in Hastings are Clubs Hastings (a 2015 merger of the Hastings RSA, Heretaunga and Hibernian clubs and Bowls Heretaunga and based in expansive new premises in Victoria St) and the National Services Club, which chose to continue on its own in Market St, on the fringes of the Hastings CBD.
Hastings had seen the demise of the historic County Club more than 20 years ago.
In Havelock North there is one club, the Havelock North Club, established almost 70 years ago.
Presidents of the two Taradale organisations are not commenting before Sunday's RSA vote.