Bondi View

Historical plaque for Hakoah

Greens Councillor Dominic Wy Kanak has spoken out against confidential negotations for Bondi airspace

A new historical plaque is being mooted to recognise the history of the Hakoah Club on Hall Street and its significance to the Bondi community.

Waverley Greens councillor Dominic Wy Kanak will convene with Hakoah member Richard Davis and a variety of stakeholders to discuss a potential wall plaque at the Toga Adina building, with a view to commemorating the Hakoah Club’s important historical contribution to Bondi as a valuable community centre.

The Hakoah club closed its Bondi premises back in November, 2009 with the site currently owned by Sydney-based property development company Toga Group.

Debated at the Tuesday, April 22 council meeting, Cr Wy Kanak’s motion proposed a plaque on the Hall St footpath but was voted down on the grounds that it could offend the sensitivities of the Russian Jewish community due to a misinterpretation of its meaning.

This was validated by an email from former Hakoah Club president Phil Filler, produced at the council meeting, where Mr Filler spoke against supporting the concept of a footpath plaque that could resemble “a headstone”.

Cr Wy Kanak said that despite the plaque receiving popular support from the community, the councillors reached the decision on the grounds that residents “may see the footpath plaque as a burial sign, like a cemetery.” Alternatives such as a wall plaque are now being investigated.

“Historical plaques point out the history of Bondi [and] we don’t want to offend the sensitivities of our community,” Cr Wy Kanak said.

Labor councillor John Wakefield said the plaque would act to celebrate the history of the Hakoah Club, which was initially founded as a sports club to help bring together different members of the Jewish community in a recreational capacity.

“The Hakoah Club fills an important inter-generational role. It provided recreational and cultural facilities over many decades to the community of Bondi,” Mr Wakefield said.

“I think with a little bit of pressure and time, thinking and rethinking the idea, we will potentially see it come through.”

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