By Nick Creely
The Pakenham Racing Club celebrated its third birthday in style on Thursday 8 March, with Simon Conn officially unveiled as the new Chairman after the retirement of Don Duffy.
Duffy, who has been the Chairman for almost two decades, announced his retirement at the Board Meeting on Monday 5 March.
“It’s been a privilege to serve the members of the Pakenham Racing Club as Chairman for the last 15 years and as a member of the Board for over 25 years. Given my lengthy tenure in the role, I have been contemplating for some months when would be the right time to step down as Chairman. The vision for the new racecourse continues to unfold and I am particularly delighted about the pace of the development and the number of major projects that have been delivered. There are many opportunities ahead for this great Club,” Duffy said.
Conn; who was also celebrating his 60th birthday on the night; told a packed room of members that he was looking forward to embracing what lies ahead in his new role, and lead the room in singing Happy Birthday to the Club.
“I’m deeply honoured to take on the role as Chairman of the Pakenham Racing Club; the club has a long and proud history of exceptional Chairman, and I’m honoured to be in their footsteps,” he said.
“It’s my 18th year on the committee, and I don’t see any real need for changes to our make-up and agenda.
“Our masterplan is well thought out and will present many challenges going forward; I look forward to working hard on the membership to continue to achieve many great things for the future of the Pakenham Racing Club.
“On a personal note; I’ve worked closely with Don Duffy for the last 18 years, and in particular in the last 10 as Vice Chairman; Don has been an exceptional Chairman, we owe him a great debt of gratitude in leading the club and the committee with distinction.”
“We have some major projects on the horizon with the further development of the Racecourse Masterplan and through the potential opportunities that exist for the Club as the racing industry metropolitan infrastructure review continues to unfold. The growth of our two entertainment venues, Cardinia Club and Club Officer also play an important part in the financial success of this great Club and I’m honoured to be elected Chairman.”