Doors open 7pm | Show 9:30pm Entry $25 cash ($20 Concession) Prizes for best dressed Buy drinks & snacks from our bar or BYO No glasses permitted...
The Pollys Club was formed in July 1964. The club started with six members one of whom was an islander known as Polly, hence the name Polly-nesian was adopted.
The club had several social functions in ‘private’ halls or function rooms in Sydney’s inner west, and conducted its first large dance in November 1964 at Petersham Town Hall, where it remained for several years.
These events featured a dance and drag show, a format that is still used today. During the 1970’s, 80’s and up to the late 90’s the club was mainly based at Coronation Hall Mascot, however other venues were used including Leichhardt Town Hall, the Round House at the University of N.S.W., and Sydney University.
The early 70’s saw the Pollys grow rapidly in membership and the number of people attending Pollys’ functions. A committee was formalized to include a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Ticket Secretary and Social Secretary. A constitution was developed and it was decided that the Polly-nesians were to be non-political, non-discriminatory, and open to both gay men and women.
Our early committee and members represented a cross-section of the community with professionals and blue collar workers all being part of the group.
Remembering that homosexuality in N.S.W. was illegal during this time, the authorities seemed to turn a ‘blind eye’ to our activities which may have been assisted by a couple of the members being solicitors. All money raised by the club in those early days was donated to the children’s causes like the Children’s Hospital at Camperdown, the R.S.P.C.A. and later the Animal Welfare League.
The late 70’s also saw the introduction of the club’s games and picnic day known as the Poly-lympics (one of the l’s was dropped on order to avoid having 3 l’s).
The Poly-lympics were mostly held in Sydney’s south west and drew crowds of about two thousand. The day was popular with the gay community as it was a completely private event with security to keep out unwanted press. The events held included sprinting races, handbag tossing and many other novelty type events.
The last Poly-lympics was held at Erskinville Oval in 1997.
Even though non-political, many Polly-nesian members were known as 78ers who demonstrated at Taylor Square for the right to march, have a parade and for gay rights generally. From this demonstration the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was formed.
The AIDS epidemic arrived in Australia in the early 1980’s. Overnight the whole focus of the Pollys changed. Like many other social clubs, Pollys became fund raisers for AIDS charities and became a major support to the E10 West Ward in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and Royal Prince Henry Hospital (the coast hospital). The Club also raised much needed funds for the newly formed Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF) and many other causes.
To this date, it is estimated that Pollys have raised over $150,000 for charity and donated unlimited time to these valuable causes.
The 80’s saw the introduction of harbour cruises, in particular our very popular New Years Eve cruise. The frequency of our dances grew to one every two months. The club split the dances between the Coronation Hall Mascot and Leichhardt Town Hall. Pollys commenced functions at the Round House of the University of N.S.W.
In 1994, the club became incorporated and the name changed to Pollys Club Inc. For the rest of the 1990’s Pollys remained at the Coronation Hall Mascot.
In the year 2000, Pollys moved the dances to the Marrickville Town Hall. The club maintains a mailing list of 600 approximately, with most patrons residing in the inner and south west areas of Sydney.
Please contact the current committee for the location of the current club and storage rooms.