Sheila’s morphed into McGettigans in October, 1992 and is well known to the people in their mid-thirties group today. At that time most of this group, carrying their birth certificates or bus passes to show their age, were in their teens, from 12 - 17. No one over 18 was allowed entry. It was best known for its supervised underage parties on a Friday night and with the first of the “HSC Results “parties in NSW.
It was first suggested as a trial by a NSW policeman, Larry, who did a lot of work with youth on the streets at the Cross who had just been released from detention.
“Lyn, Brian,” he said, “there is a big need for a safe place for kids to go. Somewhere with supervision and without alcohol. For all kids, not just for those with problems.”
So McGettigan’s was born.
As reported in the SMH “Nights For Teen Dance But Alcohol Strictly Out.”
“A North Sydney nightclub has broken new ground by getting the support of police, council and the licensing courts to run weekly alcohol-free dance nights for under 18‘s. The licensing courts have not done this before, have not allowed clubs to deregulate, but we have the support of the North Sydney police and the Mayor, Gerry Nolan,’ Mrs. Mcgettigan said.’Something has to be done to provide entertainment for the youngsters,’ she added. Mrs. McGettigan said she and her husband would be on duty at the club to supervise the nights and would organize fleets of taxis to be there before the 12:30am closure. The club’s doormen would see youngsters into the cabs. Once the youngsters are in the club they will not be allowed to have pass outs to go on to the streets. But the club has a large garden at the back.”
Little did we know what a minefield we would be walking into and what misconceptions it would produce, especially in the mind of one headmistress of a girls’ school on the lower North Shore. She was convinced it was a hellhole where drugs, alcohol, brawls and heavens knows what else would take place. It actually turned out to be a place where all school kids, particularly those on the Lower North Shore could meet in safety. It was securely policed by the management, with the help of my mate Bernice, and the NSW police.
To be continued...
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The content for this blog are excerpts from the forthcoming Tales Of A Publican's Wife, by Lyn McGettigan. Editor Jan Cornall and Lyn are preparing the book for publication in 2014.