How did The Buffs Club become what it is today?
The first plans to establish what is now the Carpentaria Buffalo Club, or the Buffs Club as we are most commonly known as, started in 1955 when the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes Lodge was looking to start a social club. Lodge members had been meeting on this site since the early 1930’s and the first bar, which is now the Billabong Lounge Bar, was opened in 1956. The deeds for the land were handed over by Mount Isa Lodge 26 on the condition that provision was made for the lodges to meet.
On the 11th April 1991 the Club was incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld) and became the Carpentaria Buffalo Club Mount Isa Inc. As an incorporated association the Club has, in the exercise of its affairs, all the powers of an individual and is legally able to do things in its own name. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) administers the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld) and monitors our Club to ensure we comply with the provisions of the Act and Regulations.
On the 28th of March 1992 the Club became the first site in Mount Isa and the 79th in the state to have gaming machines. From this day the Club began its rapid growth.
In 1998 the Club expanded to include the coffee shop, new gaming lounge housing up to 100 gaming machines, new administration and a new entrance to the Club incorporating greenery and water features. The success of this expansion saw the Club win the Best Club Redevelopment for Queensland and Best Club North Queensland at the 1999 Clubs Queensland achievement awards. As a result of this extension our member ship base increased from 4500 to 9000 within 12 months and was the catalyst behind the Club going from a mostly male member ship base to roughly a 50 – 50 male to female number. Today we have roughly 15,000 members.
In August 2003 the Club underwent a $4.4 million extension, which was officially opened by the Honourable Bob Katter on the 14th August 2004. The main feature of this extension was the Frog & Toad Bar & Grill that offers indoor and alfresco dining facilities on the deck overlooking landscaped gardens and a flowing water feature. The Club was once again recognised at the 2005 Clubs Queensland achievement awards winning the Best Redevelopment over $1 million for the state.
The success of these extensions changes to smoking laws and the growing confidence in the community lead to a further $2.4 million renovation, which was completed in November 2006. This renovation encompassed a brand new Sports Bar, known as “Bluetongues”. Bluetongues incorporated a brand new TAB and an outdoor smoking and drinking area. The former Sports Bar was converted into the “Billabong” Lounge Bar, which caters for functions, seminars, karaoke and bands and just a lounge area at other times.
The Club completed further renovations in mid April 2008 that encompassed:
- Complete refurbishment of the bottle shop
- Doube lanes to service bottle shop
- New deck off upstairs lodge/function room
- 13 person lift to service lodge/function room
- New store room accessible by lift
In 2012 the gaming room was given a complete face-lift and an additional 15 machines were added bringing our gaming machine numbers up to 120.