New Rusty Anchor drops
THE redeveloped Anglesea Motor Yacht Club (AMYC) opened its doors to the public on December 27 after a $1.2 million rebuild and 10 years of planning.
A few finishing touches are yet to be completed, the main one being a lift from overseas that’s yet to arrive, but when installed will make the facility accessible to people with all abilities for the first time.
The Surf Coast Shire Council grant provided a $47,000 grant, otherwise the club managed to raise $750,000 itself and secured a Bendigo community bank loan for the remaining funds.
“We were a little disappointed there were no funds from state or federal governments, but very proud that we managed to raise the money ourselves,” said Wes Smith, Club Commodore and president.
Getting the project off the ground in the first place was a task the president more than once thought may never happen, with responsibility for the site spread across multiple agencies.
“DELWP (Department of Land, Water, Environment) is the landowner, the landlord is GORCAPA (Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority), and the Surf Coast Shire council is responsible for building regulations,” he said.
“Whilst respecting the regulations and requirements on redeveloping on such a unique site, we didn’t anticipate the amount of hurdles we would have to jump.”
The construction process has been comparatively easy, the Torquay-based Renfrey Building Group starting in early May 2021 and handing over on December 20.
“We were anticipating that the building would not be completed before March … full credit to them, for the last couple of months they were working seven days a week,” said Wes Smith.
He says there was a temporary halt to works when a midden was discovered during excavation, a new location for it yet to be determined by representatives of Wadawurrung people.
Starting out as a fishing and diving club in the 1960s, the site remains true to its roots. The Rusty Anglers are based there, so too an active sailing group, facilities for the surf lifesavers and the upstairs Rusty Anchor Bar, “a big success” according to the president.
Complemented by a large wraparound deck boasting some of the best views on the Surf Coast, the club now has new toilet facilities, a kitchen and extensive acoustic work.
The Rusty Anchor’s opening hours between 5-8pm remain the same and will be open until Easter, when an official opening of the facility is scheduled.
The redevelopment has also helped drive new members, up 100 on this time last year, with an overall total of 260.