Hockey means business with $560k development
HOCKEY: Grafton hockey's entrepreneurial streak has surfaced again with the opening of its $560,000 Drag and Flick function centre.
Grafton Hockey Association president Peter Fysh told the crowd who assembled in the newly equipped centre on top of the hockey bunkhouse in Fisher Park on Wednesday it would be another way the association could raise money to develop its facilities.
Making a return on investment has been a feature of the GHA over the decades with association members famously taking out mortgages on their homes to bring the first artificial playing surface to the city.
This time the funding has come from outside, with the Federal Member for Page pledging $560,000 during the 2013 election campaign to get the long awaited project off the ground.
"It had been an empty shell for a decade," Fysh said. "We had built it and intended to develop it when the money became available.
"We are very thankful to Kevin Hogan for coming up with the money for us."
A local builder and 23 local tradies who subcontracted to him are also thankful to the MP for the opportunity.
"Basically all the work and the materials for the building were sourced locally, so we've kept the bulk of that $560,000 in the local area," Fysh said.
He said that's not where the benefits for the community would stop.
"We'll be holding conferences, weddings, birthdays, anything you can think of here," he said.
Fysh paid tribute to former GHA president Bruce Carle, who was the driving force in getting the hockey complex built.
"Typically of Bruce he said all the acknowledgement he wanted was a chair with his name on in it at the bar," Fysh said. "So that's what we've done. His chair is ready and waiting for him."
Mr Hogan said he was delighted to support the GHA to build its facilities.