In a report dated June 14, 1932, the Assistant Engineer submitted plans and specifications for the erection of a weatherboard clubroom for the Icebergs Club, at a cost of £150.
The room being on internal dimensions of 15 ft x 20 ft, with a 6 ft x 20 ft veranda was to be erected adjacent to Bondi Baths and near Bondi beach for the exclusive accommodation of members of Bondi Icebergs Swimming Club and providing for portion of the old Swimming Club building to be used in construction of the suggested Clubhouse.
The report pointed out that the estimated cost of providing a club room to conform to a sketch plan submitted by the Club on March 15, 1931, with internal dimensions of 20 ft x 30 ft, a veranda 6 ft x 24 ft, ramp 3 ft x 30 ft, with office and shower accommodation, was £240 and recommended that the shower accommodation if provided, should be placed between the building and the cliff face.
It was pointed out that the smaller building could be accommodated in the available space and from the point of view of safety from the sea it was recommended that it be built well back from the edge of the cliff face.
The Council approved the preparation of plans and specifications for the erection of the Club house to the sketch plan submitted by Bondi Icebergs Swimming Club on March 15, 1931, which would be of larger dimensions than that suggested by the Assistant Engineer, but having internal walls of rusticated redwood weatherboard and that upon completion of the plans and specifications for such building, the Town Clerk be directed to invite public tenders for the erection of the structure.
With the beer Position desperate, two members, Dick Dixon and Don Clarke, both knew Bob Miller then playing with Easts Rugby Union Club. It was due to Miller that Easts rugby union players always had a supply of Britons bottles after their matches at Waverley oval. Miller was approached and Berg members were successful in getting enough bottles of beer to start a "Locker system" which helped out until the Club obtained its license.
In those days of the 1950s, Mr. Gow recalled if they were able to get an 8-gallon keg of beer it would cost Â£18 or $36. They were the good old days before inflation.
The Club's debt of gratitude to Millers Brewery started from that stage, and the main benefactor was the brewery manager, Mr. Harry Alce, whose assistance in those days prior to our license allowed the Club to function under the established "Locker system". Mr. Alce was also responsible for loaning to the Club a cool room from the then demolished Embassy Hotel on the corner of Phillip and Hunter Streets. Later the Club repayed Mr. Alce's gesture by selling the cool room to Berg Joe Pearce for use in his fish market. On obtaining our license, Harry Alee was joined by the late Sir Roderick Miller, Ron Walker, the present secretary manager of South Sydney Leagues Club and in fact, the whole staff of Miller's assisted in our Club in every possible way and we remained Friends of Miller until the brewery was sold.
Second Club 1942 - 2000
In 1955 the Bondi Icebergs Club management approached Waverley Council for permission to extend their Clubroom. The Council advised that most of the building was condemned and that any extensions would be a waste of money.
Later, with the help of the then mayor, the late Alderman Keith Anderson, who later became State Member for Waverley, the Council stated that they were going to rebuild, and that, if the Club would contribute the money they had in hand for their rebuilding, the Council would incorporate new Club premises in the plan for the new building. (The Club paid approximately one third of the rebuilding cost).
It was then on the advice of Club member, Cecil Jardine, a police superintendent, that Bondi Icebergs Club applied for a liquor license.
It was during the period prior to obtaining the license, Mr. Gow recalls, that with liquor hard to get, the "Rapid Bottling"' came into existence and members such as Bill Bennett, Frank King and others organised the Social Committee to go to the Astra Hotel on Saturday mornings to buy as many schooners as they could and then pour the contents into quart bottles for consumption by the members on Sunday mornings.
They would also have to remove the poker machines from the premises, which were sent to the Bondi Diggers Club on Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, for safe keeping.
Strangely, the Club which had been thriving, turned round and traded over the weekend as a milk bar selling soft drinks only. Mr. Gow said that if one thinks that Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser were unpopular at times it was nothing compared to the hostility shown to "Rajah" Miller and his Committee, but this animosity and lack of liquor did not last long and was soon forgotten. Behind all the improvements in the Club at this period and at all times, exuded the driving force of president Harold "Rajah" Miller, who was entitled to be called "Mr. Iceberg"; a man who gave this Club the Iceberg spirit, for which it was to become renowned. He was President for 32 years, negotiator par-excellence, a man who interviewed and argued the cause of his Club and its members, who pleaded and pleased councils, parliamentarians and publicans, all with the sole objective of improving the Club of which he was the head.
There is no doubt that Bondi Icebergs Club is greatly indebted to two Millers, "Rajah" and 'Miller's brewery. Although they are not related, one Miller, the incomparable Harold "Rajah" Miller, often partook of the other's beer.
The Licensed Club opened three hours a day during the week 4-7pm, against the advice "Open 24 hours a day and get as much as you can, for these days won't last forever" (They didn't, for those were the days of no tax on poker machines). Mr. Gow said the Club was conscious of its obligations to its neighbours.
On Friday and Saturday nights the Club was open until 11 pm, and closed on Sunday at 2 pm, later 4 pm, and finally 9.30 pm. Yet in the year following the opening on Anzac Day, 1960, the Club made a profit of A£9,000 ($18,000), still the most for any one year.
The Club opened with the present secretary Mr. Gow taking three months leave from work and Mr. Frank Boler the only paid employee on the entire staff of barmen, cleaners, store men, cellar men and dishwashers.
Individual members were employed by the Club at weekends to clean the Clubhouse and with officials as voluntary workers in Fred Chaffer's "Army" helped in the bar on the advice of the then district licensing sergeant who suggested the Club carry on with voluntary staff as long as possible. With little experience as licensees or publicans it was perhaps not strange that when the first Liquor license fee was due, Club officials forgot to deliver it to the court, but sent it by post with the result that it did not arrive on time, and the same licensing sergeant Arthur Davies, called on Saturday morning and told officials that liquor could not be served as the Club did not have a license any longer.