Tatts sex vote faces challenge


A legal challenge is likely to the result of a ballot approving female membership of Brisbane’s historic Tattersall’s Club.

The result of a vote initiated by the club’s committee was 1405 in favour of women being able to join as members and 1368 votes against.

The outcome was widely anticipated and many members were on the club premises and gathered around its wireless (pictured) to hear the result, the disclosure of which coincided with the club’s annual Spats Day, a key event during the traditional end-of-year Tatts’ Testicles Week.

Before the vote some members had tried to have amendments to the club’s rules passed that would have made any ballot result void unless a  “yes” vote represented a majority of total membership and not just a majority of those casting votes.

Now with the result of the latest ballot known, a further challenge is likely.

“We are not done yet,” a club stalwart favouring retaining the men-only membership rule told The Bug.

“It is clear there are ample grounds to challenge this result. The margin is very thin and if only 19 members changed their votes the push for women members would be dead in the water.

“We think we can use that as a basis for a legal challenge because we know for sure that those 19 votes include some chaps who are transvestites and some who are active cross-dressers and the like.

“These are chaps who, you know, get the old scomo and tuck it back between their legs and flounce about in silky dressing gowns wearing make-up and the like.

“There are even a handful we believe who have been waiting for a rule change to keep their membership but have the old operation. You know, ‘snip, snip’.

“Now, what they do in their own homes, or in the bars in the dim and sleazy back streets of Hong Kong when I was posted there in the 50s, is their business. And mine.

“But clearly their votes should be declared invalid because of the vested interest they have in the outcome, let alone the fact they should not be members in the first place if they want to get rid of their own members.”

The club stalwart told The Bug he was not anti-women, but favoured a steady approach to reform.

“By jove, you know we can’t rush things,” he said. “Changes are best when they are done gradually.

“Now, not long ago the club had to grapple with the introduction of decimal currency.

“I think we need to let that reform bed down before we rush into any more.”

He said members opposed to a rule change were confident their challenge would succeed.

“I’m sure we’ll win hands down in court. Odds are we’ll get a hearing by a judge who’s one of our members anyway.

“Thank goodness women haven’t yet invaded the bench, and by God I hope it stays that way,” he fumed.