The Red Corner Club was the first syndicate in Australia and was established in 1963 with sixteen members who met regularly at the Federal Hotel.
The inaugural members were as follows: Michael Hickey, Bert Honeychurch (Life Member), K.J. (Sam) Winray, Gary McLennan, Dr Orm Whitney (Life Member), E.J. (Ted) Ryan, Ralph Baker, Acky McFarlane, Bob Earl, Clarry Bond, Bob Woodroff, Bob Bond, R.N. Baker, B Riordan, D Marchbank, J Frazer, J Barnes and J Farlow.
To obtain information about the syndicate I spoke with one of the founding members, Mr Michael Hickey of Wagga, and I visited the Berrigan Heritage Museum where I was provided with access to some wonderful photos and all the historical facts. Mr Hickey informed me that originally the syndicate cost each member £1 a week each, of that half was banked to cover the cost of the horse and training and the other half was bet on horse racing. Any proceeds from the betting and any left from the maintenance funds went towards a great Christmas Party at the end of every year.
Bert Honeychurch was a successful local trainer and the intention of the syndicate was to have one racehorse at any time which was to be trained by Bert. Some of the horses owned over the period of the syndicates existence, a thirty five year span, included Red Folly, Moncherrie, Follys Pride, Commanding Lass, My Molly (My Mollie), Our Conran and Red Corner Girl.
The Red Corner Club became so popular that when someone was willing to depart there were many more willing to take the place. A simple voting system was not sufficient so Ernie Davis the Town Clerk implemented and supervised preferential voting as utilised in government elections. Due to the popularity of the syndicate, by the cessation in the mid 1990’s the membership had increased to 26.
If you would like to find out more historical information about Berrigan and surrounds I can recommend a visit to our wonderful Heritage Museum. It is open by appointment – see their facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/BerriganHeritageMuseum .