They might not have a ‘fancy’ golf course or high-end yacht facilities, but that hasn’t stopped the Byford and Districts Country Club from rising to the top of the industry.
In a huge coup for the region, Clubs WA has just named BDCC as the state’s Club of the Year for 2023.
“To be recognised as Club of the Year is an immensely proud moment for our entire team and will encourage everybody to continue doing their best work,” General Manager Ray Carey said.
“I’ve wanted to win this prestigious award for several years and I can honestly say that we deserve it.
“I genuinely don’t know another venue like this one. We’re open to new ideas, and most importantly, we’re open to change. We never rest on our laurels and never accept the status quo.”
Since moving sites in 2017, the club has exceeded annual revenue targets, helping it to usher in a raft of facility upgrades.
In the last financial year, the venue has opened a new dedicated pizza kitchen, installed beer garden shade sails, upgraded its playground, and converted its sports bar into a family-friendly dining area complete with modular dance floor and stage.
Ray said this last change has proved unexpectedly popular: “Who knew Saturday night rock ‘n’ roll was a thing”.
But he is keen to point out that the foundation for the club’s success is the dedicated team behind the bricks and mortar.
“I’m lucky enough to have long-standing, dependable and passionate employees by my side along the journey, with a volunteer board of management showing their unwavering support throughout. I believe we have created something special here at the Byford and Districts Country Club,” he said.
While the standalone recognition of being named Club of the Year was a huge morale boost for the club’s staff, it wasn’t their only win.
The BDCC was named a finalist in eight separate Industry Awards for Excellence categories, and won four of them.
They were praised for providing the state’s best membership experience.
The shire’s Tattarang Springs Distilling Co. took out the ‘Industry Supplier of the Year’ category.
“Due to (managing director) Andrew Paton being a member and its proximity to the club, it allows us to have a very unique relationship with the producer of our vodka, gin and whisky,” Ray said.
While long-serving volunteer Robert Gibbs was recognised for his contribution to the club as volunteer of the year.
“Everybody involved in the club was delighted to win this one,” Ray said.
When Rob first became a social member in 1978, there were no paid employees at the club, just dedicated volunteers. As a qualified accountant, Rob’s experience was essential for the smooth-running of the community’s facility.
“Fast forward 45 years and Rob is still a valued volunteer. There’s just no stopping him. Rob acts as auditor for our three current affiliate clubs – Byford Bowling Club, Byford Pool Club and the Byford Classic Car Club, as well as many other not-for-profit sporting/community clubs in the region. He acts as the support person for the younger generation as we push our club forward,” Ray said.
The local community has been quick to offer their congratulations for the state-wide recognition.
“Congratulations. You are definitely the best club. Great atmosphere, great people. The staff are always happy and friendly. You really make my day when I visit,” Angie Wise said.
“Well deserved, awesome news. It’s a testament to all the staff and the management, particularly Ray Carey, that this award has come home again,” Darren Miller said.
“Everything you have done to give back to the community is also noteworthy,” Cam Jones said.