The Franklin Bridge Club story...
The Franklin Bridge Club was founded in 1957. It met during its early days at various locations on the main Street of Pukekohe and posted results in street front windows.
In 1973 the club took a 20 year lease of a room at the Pukekohe Gun Club and after ten years with sky rocketing inflation the lease at the gun club came up for renewal. The club by this stage (1983) had been looking around for new clubrooms.
Earlier in 1981 there was news of a proposed Sporting and Recreation Community Centre in Pukekohe and the council were seeking submissions from community groups. There was an opportunity for the club to draft up a plan in the west wing for a 2,500sqft space with kitchen, bar, heating and smoke extraction! The club pledged money to the recreation centre fund and some members made donations, however in the meantime pressure was on to move the club while the west wing of the Recreation Centre was built.
So in 1984 the club moved into the Anglican Parish Hall while the Sporting and Recreation Community Centre was being built.
In 1985 the committee went to inspect the new clubrooms at the Recreation Centre and were shocked to find the entire west wing had not been built. The social room upstairs at the Recreation Centre was offered to the club on its completion and in 1987 the club moved into the social room and started playing and invested money into the set up of the kitchen. Unfortunately others used this room and the bridge club’s property was being damaged as there was no lock up facility for any of the club’s equipment. Also the noise from the adjoining aerobics class had to be contended with and on one occasion the room even shared with an aerobics class! Naturally the situation was untenable and the club negotiated with the council to find an alternative as it looked like the grand west wing at the Recreation Centre was unlikely to eventuate.
In 1991 the club moved to the Council Chamber in the former Pukekohe Borough Council building which turned out to be perfect room for bridge however the club was advised they may yet again be required to share their Council Chamber space with other groups. Meanwhile the library next door was about to become vacant and by this stage the club were keen to have their own rooms after all its previous disruptions. The Recreation Centre west wing wasn’t happening and donations and pledges had been made so after much pressure the council reluctantly offered the sale of the old library building to the club in 1992.
With this the club swung into action with fundraising. Members offered their time and skills renovating the current club. Old sheds were removed from the rear and a new access ramp and door created, along with new kitchen, male, female and disabled toilets and committee rooms. The official opening was on 10th March 1993 commencing with a champagne breakfast, then the official opening, followed by a 32 table 3A Tournament, the first of many the club would enjoy.