Klub Triglav



Club Triglav Pty. Ltd. was established on 25th May 1971 under the name Triglav Pty. Ltd as the proprietary company with limited liability under  the management comprising of a set of directors and shareholders. Shares were initially sold at $2 each and initially there were about fifty shareholders. The second branch of the organisation was established on 9th May 1972, under the name Triglav Community Centre, a registered charity that aimed at assisting fellow countrymen facing misfortune and hard times.


On the 15th July 1975, the ‘Slovenski Klub Triglav’ – ‘Slovenian Club Triglav’ was incorporated as Triglav Club Ltd. Its objectives were to provide Slovenian migrants with the companionship of their own people, and at the same time, enhance the cultural aspects, provide schooling, save and maintain Slovenian heritage, etc. The second two organisations were registered as shareholders of the first organization.


Before a suitable location had been found for the new club, the social functions and gatherings took place on one of the members’ farms in the form of BBQ picnics. The farm, the Klemenčič farm, was at the corner of Mimosa Rd and Smithfield Rd, St Johns Park. A great number of young families attended these.

Funds were raised through shares, and soon the accumulated funds were sufficent for a deposit to buy land. The largest bulk of shares was owned by Triglav Club Ltd.


In July 1972, Triglav Pty. Ltd. purchased a parcel of land at Lot 19A Bibby’s Rd. St. John’s Park. This was a farm with a small farmhouse and other primitive outbuildings. The farm had city water, but no sewerage. It took volunteers about nine months of hard work to clear the land and to prepare it for various social activities. The second building on the farm was rebuilt and reorganised inside. An outside terrace with a roof was added to make space for a total of about 150 visitors. A dance floor with a tin roof was built with a BBQ next to it, a sturdy fence erected around the grounds and with time, a tent roof was erected over the whole building structure.


In January 1973 a visiting Slovenian bishop, Most Rev. Dr. Stanislav Lenič, was invited to come and bless the Triglav Club land. A great number of Slovenians, many of them in national costumes, were waiting for him. After the blessing and a prayer he planted an olive tree in the club’s grounds and then concluded the day with refreshments and a BBQ in the company of all the delighted Slovenians present.


The same olive tree is still growing sound and strong next to the monument of Ivan Cankar in the Club’s courtyard.

The years that followed were characterized by a motivation to not only build a permanent club house, but also to promote the cultural side of Slovenian life. The next decade was prosperous and saw the establishment of schools, choirs, folk dancing groups, drama performances and sporting activities.


Triglav Community Centre and Triglav School of Slovenian Language paved the way for the erection of ‘Cankar’s Monument’ (Ivan Cankar was a famous Slovenian writer) at the 100th anniversary of his birth. It was designed by Ivan Žigon and the statue was made by a famous Slovenian sculptor, Zdenko Kalin. It still stands in the grounds of the Club today. The laying of this monument was celebrated in December 1976 and the event was one of the happiest days in the history of Triglav Club, with many Australian and Slovenian officials attending. Among the visitors was the then Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam, and Milan Kučan, who later became the president of the Republic of Slovenia. The club’s choir, folkloric dancers and other cultural groups took part in the program and gave excellent performances.


For the next thirty years, this monument was the center point of the Slovenian and the local community’s Anzac Day celebration, where many locals, who got up at dawn and marched in Anzac Day parades, joined the Slovenian community at the commemoration in front of the Cankar monument at dusk. After the anthems were sung by a Slovenian choir, prayers said, wreaths laid and speeches made by local dignitaries, they all loved to finish their day at Triglav Club, sitting down together for a dinner in the club’s hall even when it was just a shack in early years or later in the proper hall, after the club was built.


Most of the members dreamt of a proper club building. In time, building plans were contracted and made to cater for all different activities at the time and for future generations.


A ceremony to celebrate the laying of foundations of a new clubhouse was held on 20th November, 1977. The first shovel was symbolically filled by Jože Čuješ, a man who inspired a great number of cultural, social and other activities as well as ideas in the club.


The members were voluntarily donating bricks and free work, and then although it took a few years, a loan of about 180,000 dollars was secured from the Slovenian Emigrants Society – Slovenska izseljenska matica, through the Euro Furniture Company. The building of the club started in year 1980 and with the help and volunteer work of a great number of tradesmen of all kinds, it was finished in the middle of 1982.


The premises were put to good use, even before the official opening, in April 1982, when two of Triglav’s Committee members, Lojze Magajna and Martha Smuk were married in front of the monument of Ivan Cankar by marriage celebrant Jože Čuješ, one of the founders of the club. The club prepared a beautiful reception for them in the almost completed club’s premises and most of the volunteers were invited.

The official opening of the new clubhouse took place on the 10th and 11th December, 1982. On this occasion, the President of the Slovenian Emigrants Society, Stane Kolman, officially opened the doors to the new building. The following year, the Archbishop of Ljubljana, Most Rev. Dr. Alojzij Šuštar, blessed the new premises.


The club prospered and developed a rich social, cultural and sporting life. Apart from the club’s regular social and sports events, Triglav Club was host to a great number of prominent visitors from our home country, singers, choirs, drama groups, sportsmen, politicians and church dignitaries. The next two decades saw the increased development of the Slovenian language school, a second generation folkloric dancing group, the Triglav men’s choir, assorted sports groups, and other activities.


Club Triglav always took part and supported all activities that the whole Slovenian community in NSW had in common, such as the the Council of Slovenian Organizations NSW, the Slovenian Church, the Slovenian language schools and the Slovenian Schools Council, Slovenian Radio, Slovenian Language Studies at Macquarie University, the bi-monthly Slovenian magazine “Misli”, Slomskova šola – the Slovenian language school at the Slovenian Mission Merrylands and in later years also the Slovenian Archives ‘HASA NSW, and/or any other activity that was or still is beneficial to the Slovenian community.


One of the most important events at Triglav Club was the founding congress of the Slovenian Australian Conference, where delegates from all over Australia gathered together to organize the support and help for the independence war in our home country, Slovenia. The club also hosted a great number of fundraising functions for the war effort, demonstrations, protest meetings and welcome-back functions for delegates, who attended the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Slovenia, and functions for the new political leaders of the newly recognized independent Republic of Slovenia.
In the second half of the 1990’s, Triglav Club began to change direction. Conscious of the changing local environment, and because of financial considerations, Triglav changed its name to “St. Johns Park Community Club”.


It began a drive to open the club to a wider membership base and to attract members and visitors other than Slovenians.
In the year 2000, the club also supported and welcomed the olympic and para-olympic athletes of the Slovenian team and with them the President of Republic of Slovenia, Milan Kučan, and members of the Slovenian Olympic Committee. It sponsored Slovenia House, too, which was primarily intended for presenting the national sportsmen and their achievements. It also sponsored the Slovenian Olympic Committee and their presence at the 2000 Olympics.

By this time, the number of volunteers, willing and able to do the necessary work at the club, had greatly decreased due to ageing and illness. The younger generation finished school, got employed, started careers, formed families and we lost them as their lives went in a different direction. Towards the end of year 2000 Triglav Club got into financial difficulties and the committee had to find a new way to continue.


The amalgamation with the Panthers Penrith Sports Group presented an excellent solution to the club’s difficulties. Opening the club to a wider local community, while still maintaining the Slovenian name, customs and activities, presented a good and less demanding way of keeping our national identity and even helping the wider Slovenian Community with many of its projects. Hove ever after 12 years Panthers Group of club's experience financial difficulties witch brings Triglav Club to face yet another amalgamation this time with Mounties Group of Clubs. All the agreed activities, which Triglav members enjoyed in past 12 years as members of Panthers family, continue unchanged in many cases with friendlier outcome to Slovenian members of origin. Such as encouraging social activities among, members of the Slovenian community in Australia; assisting generally in the advancement of the Slovenian community and the establishment of good relationship amongst persons of Slovenian extraction, and between them and persons of all other nationalities.  


This undemanding way of life even brings to the club some of the second and third generations of Slovenians, who take part in sports groups sponsored by Triglav Mounties Group of Club as players, coaches or just friends and supporters. The decreasing numbers in our community makes it necessary to coordinate our activities with other Slovenian organisations in friendly cooperation. The times are hard for everybody, even for bigger and more numerous nations, and therefore we all have to make the best effort to maintain our culture and our heritage. 


We need to recognize the special people who worked tirelessly through the years for that purpose, people like the present Chairman of the Board of Triglav Mounties Club, Peter Krope. Peter was a board member from the start of the club and served as a president and in any other capacity as needed, through the good times and through the difficult times, including the amalgamation process with just some very short periods, when his duties at Radio SBS prevented him from serving on the Committee. With people like him we have the courage to go on and the hope that our heritage will be preserved.


Reunion 2009
Reunion 2007
HASA NSW 10 let
HASA NSW 10 let