DOOLEYS Lidcombe Catholic Club holds a unique and important history within the Lidcombe community. Originally built as Assembly Rooms, the premises consisted of two shops with a hall upstairs, used for dances by the Catholic ‘younger set'.
Brown's Hall, as it was known, later became a billiard hall and then a gymnasium before becoming a Soldiers Welfare Hut during World War Two. During this time various associations including the Red Cross, Catholics and Anglicans ran it. Soldiers of all nationalities came to enjoy free meals. After the war members from the local Catholic community banded together to buy the hall and registered the Lidcombe Catholic Workmen's Club. Because only twenty licences were up for grabs in NSW and four clubs within the local area were applying for one, the Club committee wisely thought the addition of the word "workmen's" in the name would hold them in good stead. And it did. The original provisional licence was granted in July 1947 and a full licence granted on 10 November that same year.
Originally, membership to the club was limited to Catholic men over the age of 21 years. From the mid 1950s 'lady guests' were allowed upstairs in the club after 7.30pm and in the Bowling Club during the day. Today, DOOLEYS is a social club that welcomes all members of the community, aged 18 years and over, regardless of gender, religion or nationality.
It was in 1971 that changes to the law led to the club's incorporation and the appointment of a Board of Directors.
So, why is the club now called DOOLEYS?
The name DOOLEYS creates a direct link to the club's important past. When the club was established, an annual bowling competition was staged between several Lidcombe community clubs. With so many 'Lidcombe Clubs' competing it became necessary to differentiate them.
The Lidcombe Catholic Workmen's Club bowlers quickly became known as 'The DOOLEYS' – a nick name given to them, it is said, because of the number of Irish Catholics in the team and in the Club's membership. During the competitions, the team’s fans would often be heard barracking “Up the DOOLEYS” in support.
Want to know more about our Club?
DOOLEYS History Book was released in July 2012. Copies are available from Club Receptions for $20.