The Stratford Club has a new name, and is back in business in the original building.

Financial difficulties meant the club ceased trading from the Juliet St building in February 2016, with the building sold to reduce the club's debt.

For a while, club members used the TET Stadium bar and Bistro as a meeting point but Stratford Club president Alister Willis says members were keen to have their own space back.

"Fortunately, the people we sold the club building to are happy to lease it back to the club, giving us the opportunity to move the club back to its original home."

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He says the club's current financial position is neutral.

"Now that people are realising we are open there have been many come in and join and or rejoin the club again. We have had a lot of startup costs and once they are out of the way I see no reason that we shouldn't prosper once again. What we need is plain and simple and that is bums on seats!"

Willis says the club has renamed itself, and is now the SDCSC (Stratford District Citizens and Services Club). The name isn't the only thing to have changed, he adds.

"We are trying to run the club a little different this time, we are keeping a better eye on what we are doing financially. We are doing a lot more things with volunteers now where we can and this committee is going to work very hard on any ways we can to keep this topic at the top of the agenda.

"At the beginning there are several in our committee that will meet every week and keep a close eye on this. We will be very transparent with our members and our financials will be on display for all to see. We will listen to the people that count, our members."

The club will have a pokie machine room, with Willis saying they have nine machines set to go in the area.

"We also have our sports sections back up and running. We currently have snooker, pool, darts and hopefully bowls. Let's hope in time to come we get golf, fishing and maybe even basketball back again."

Another change is the restaurant, which is being run by Hilary Keift.

"The club kitchen is leased out to Hillary Keift and she runs this as her own business, The Balcony. We have discussed this as a committee and decided that as a committee we really weren't the ones to run a restaurant. Let's leave that to the people that know how to run that side of it."

The club started trading from the Juliet St building at the end of February, but a formal opening is set to happen this month.

Willis says everyone is welcome to visit the club and have a look around.

"Remember this is not the Stratford Club any more, it's the SDCSC and everyone is welcome to fill out an application to join. It is great to have a club back in Stratford again. However to most of us it probably will still be called the club."

There have been many hard-working volunteers behind the scenes committed to getting the club open again, says Willis.

"I would really like to thank all the volunteers that have helped us open a new club because without them this would not of happened as it has now."

‚óŹ SDCSC grand opening: March 23 from 1pm.
Membership is $50 for a full member and $20 for junior members aged 12 to 17.
Opening hours: Wednesday - Friday 4pm till late. Saturday 11am - late, Sunday 2pm - late.