Page:1930 QLD Royal Commission into Racing Report.djvu/42

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


No suggestion is put forward in this case, that the club owes its origin to any public desire for the formation of a new race club. Nor is it suggested that it originated independently of the wishes of Messrs. Nathan and Wren. On the contrary, Wren himself admitted that Nathan had first suggested, to the persons who subsequently promoted the club, that a club should be formed to purchase Kedron.

This factor has rendered it doubly necessary to scrutinise with care the evidence of those who assert that the club is, and has been throughout, a bona fide entity acting, independently of control by its vendors, in its own interests.

The transactions leading up to the formation of the club may be summarised as follows:—

Shortly after the execution, on 21st March, 1923, of their contract with The Brisbane Amateur Turf Club, Messrs, Nathan and Wren advertised throughout Australia for tenders for the purchase of Kedron as a going concern. The right to tender was not limited to non-proprietary concerns. No tenders were received.

On the appearance of this advertisement, Mr. J. E. Burke, in conjunction with others then interested in proprietary racing at Coorparoo, approached Nathan and his Secretary, Austin, in Brisbane, with a view to acquiring the property for a syndicate. They were then told that Kedron, could not be sold to anyone but a bona fide club, but that if they formed a club, Kedron would be sold to it.

Burke thereupon got busy upon the formation of a club.

A meeting, pursuant to a notice, issued by him, was held on 29th May, 1923. About forty-eight persons were present. Burke, who had already negotiated in Sydney with the owners, and had there agreed with them, subject to confirmation by a subsequent meeting of his co-promoters, on the price and the terms of purchase, explained his interview with them. The minutes do not indicate the nature of this explanation. It was resolved to form a society to be known as "Kedron Amateur Racing Club." Such of those present as should pay an entrance fee and a subscription as fixed by rules to be framed were to become foundation members. A committee of seven, of whom five, including Burke, were members of the original Coorparoo syndicate, was chosen from amongst those present, Burke being appointed Chairman. The meeting then went on to authorise him "to continue negotiations and to complete the purchase, conditionally upon provision being made to the satisfaction of the Chairman, Treasurer, and Solicitors of the club that no personal liability whatsoever should be incurred by any of the members of the club."

It is strange to find this meeting thus solemnly authorising the completion, on behalf of a "club" as yet without a constitution and without members, of a contract involving many thousands of pounds and that, too, without any consideration being given to the proposed terms of purchase.

A sub-committee was next chosen to draft rules, Burke informing the meeting that these should be completed in two or three weeks, and that he, with the assistance of the solicitors, would immediately go into the matter. He added the statement, "This will then be the end of proprietary racing in Brisbane."

It seems fairly obvious that Burke, up to that moment a staunch supporter of proprietary racing, had his tongue in his cheek when he thus congratulated the meeting on the approaching abolition of that, system.