When Aussie Diggers returned home from the poppy fields of France they needed a place to meet, share their stories and enjoy a cold beer
It was this group of Diggers that created Harbord Diggers on 5 June 1930 and so began a longstanding legacy.
Like the Great War, the Great Depression of the 1930’s helped drive a sense of community and the notion of a club supporting the people within, saw it thrive and develop as a community institution.
Week in and out members would meet at a precarious old hut by Freshwater beach. Billy teas were served to holiday makers and money raised went towards essentials for members in distress and their families.
In 1933 a storm washed away the hut by the beach and members moved to higher ground to the residence of a club member. In 1935 the club then relocated to Wilsons Old Barber Shop on Moore Road.
With the start of World War II and the threat to Australia by the Japanese, a new generation of Diggers was soon to be forged and a new club expansion and location was imminent.
With the help of a number of key community leaders, in 1952 club officials lobbied for the land in which the club stands today and building soon commenced.
It was at this time that the Diggers became the life blood of the Freshwater community.
The great period of expansion for the Diggers came in the late 1960’s and continued into the 1970’s. Stars from around the world ‘trod theboard’s’ of the auditorium to massive crowds. In the 1980’s the club saw massive membership growth and profits with membership doubling.
By 1988 – 1989 new challenges arose for the club with the Australian Hotels Association allowing establishments to entertain with extended trading hours and poker machines were introduced.
This brought about new opportunities and the club’s board pushed for an upgrade in the 90’s.
In an ever-changing social environment the Diggers remained persistent with constant evolution and maintained a prominent position in the life of the community, supporting local charities and groups. In the early noughties however, the club tried to keep up with the changing demands from society and things weren’t looking as prosperous as they were in the past.
In 2006, the Mounties Group stepped in to assist, bringing a strong vision to revamp the club to ensure its place on Freshwater’s iconic headland.
With DA approval received in late 2014 for a new Harbord Diggers and construction commencing in 2016, we know that our club will stand proudly on our headland location and maintain our legacy for another 85 years.