Returned Services' Association (RSA) clubrooms around the
country will be rebranding their clubs after Anzac Day in an
attempt to attract more club members.
Few clubs are making a profit and member numbers are dropping
off sharply as they age.
New Lynn RSA club assistant secretary Dale Mays said the club
was only breaking even at the moment, even though it was one
of the larger clubs with 2200 members.
The club could only afford to replace the logo on its
Browns Bay RSA said it would introduce the rebranding
gradually, with plans to upgrade the bar and modernise the
club in a bid to attract new members.
Club president Geoffrey Ockleston said RSAs needed to update
their image and that while they were originally created as a
way to take care of veterans and their families, this was no
"RSAs need to move with the times, pick up on the fashions
and trends of today,'' he said.
Mr Ockleston said the Browns Bay club's small profit -
largely generated by gambling and alcohol sales - would be
able to cover the cost of renovations.
Mt Albert RSA club president Horace Cadd said the club's
membership and profits had decreased over the last 15 years
and most of the 880 members of the club were older, original
Mr Cadd said the club was also breaking even and could not
afford to carry out the renovations and modernisation it
needed to bring in more members.
The club's welfare officer, Kay Ingley, said the club needed
to update its image.
"We have cheaper alcohol, and a van to drive people home
after they have been drinking,'' Ingley said. "In the old
days you never had to advertise because you couldn't move,
because it was so full of people.''
The Hastings RSA said it planned to change the club's sign
and become more integrated in the community.
It was making a profit, and had 3100 members. Club president
Craig Williams said it had increased by 1000 over the last
decade and he attributed the success to the club's high
profile in the community.
"Something is basically happening everyday to make you stand
out from others head office see this as the future for
RSAs,'' Mr Williams said.
The Titirangi RSA is advertising within the clubrooms,
printing shirts with the RSA's new logo on them, and building
a new club deck to attract more members.
President Mike Logan said 1400 people usually came to the
club on Anzac Day, two thirds of whom were young people.
Mr Logan said RSA clubs could not afford not to rebrand, and
RSAs needed to be creative in order to survive.
"Clubs are struggling because they aren't looking outside the
box. We are surviving because we understand how to do this.
People need to understand how to run an RSA successfully,''
The Christchurch RSA was destroyed during the 2011
earthquake. Members are hoping to attract members once the
clubrooms have been rebuilt, with membership decreasing from
1800 to 1400 after the earthquake.
- By Siobhan Leathley for nzherald.co.nz