Club Marconi was established in 1956 by the Italians community as a meeting place to play bocce and to socialise. Prior to the establishment of Club Marconi, the Italian community will often gather at private homes.
In April 1956 , Ruben Sartor, Provino Sartor and Lorenzo Zamprogno took decisive steps in establishing a licensed club. They visited an Italian club in Griffith to obtain advice on operating a social club.
An initial meeting was held at Provino Sartor’s house and was attended by Rino Bagatella, Sebastiano Crestani, Oscar Michelini, Antonio Pessoto, Vito Angelo Pessoto, Provino Sartor, Ruban Sartor, Davino Zadro, Lorenzo Zamprogno and Andrea Zulian.
The Sartor brothers offered a piece of land for the club at $6,900 (with no interest). This plot was located at the corner of Prairie Vale Road and what was then Middle Road. To raise fund for the venture, the group advertised in the local newspapers (the Advance, The Biz) and in the Italian newspapers (La Fiamma, Il Corriere and Risveglio) and asked foundation members to lend $100 each to the club. A public meeting was held on 21st September 1956 and 300 people generously offered $100 or more to the building project.
The members commissioned builders Lorenzo Zamprogno and Gisberto Benedetti for the building of the first building at a total cost of $120,000. To accommodate to the growing numbers of members and guests, a second stage extensions was planned and completed in 1962.
Land around the club was acquired successively in the early 1960s, with the block opposite the club bought for $16,000 in 1960, and the picnic ground purchased for $12,000 in 1962. By 1966 the club’s growth and dominance led to Fairfield Council changing the name of Middle Road to Marconi Road.
Further extensions were added between 1970 and 1990. This included tennis and squash courts, covered bocce courts, a children’s playroom and a football stadium. In 1990 the first car park was completed, followed by a second addition in 1998. The sport centre was completed in 1999 along with the construction of a gym in 2003, this was followed by a child care centre in 2005 and an outdoor gaming area in 2008. Today, Club Marconi is situated on thirty one acres of parkland and playing fields in Bossley Park.
The Ladies’ Auxiliary was formed on 9 December 1962 and is still responsible for organising activities tailored for women and families such as ladies’ nights, mothers’ and fathers’ day celebrations, Gala days, Valentine’s Day celebrations and other festivities. It is worth noting that the Marconi Club was one of the first few clubs of its time to allow full membership rights to women.
Name and Logo
Club Marconi is named after Guglielmo Marconi. Marconi was highly regarded for his pioneering work in sending the first direct wireless message from Great Britain to Australia on September 22, 1918. In addition to this monumental achievement, Marconi switched on 2,800 coloured lights at Sydney Town Hall with a radio signal to open the Electrical and Radio Exhibition in Sydney, sent from his yacht Elettra in Genova.
Club Marconi’s logo consists of a globe of the world, a radio antenna and a boomerang. The boomerang, which consists of the Italian colours, symbolises the connection between Australia, Italy and the rest of the world. The emblem was designed by Guido Zuliani (a well known artist and photographer from Leichhardt).
The following are transcripts taken from Felice Zadro (a foundation member and past president of Marconi Club) ‘s oral history interview with Shirley McLeod in which he recounts the history of the Marconi Club.