Hakoah farewells Hall St

October 29, 2009 by Odile Faludi - Maccabi NSW
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We speak candidly to Phil Filler, President of Hakoah Club only one week away from closure of its Hall Street premises on November 4.

Phil Filler

Phil Filler Photo: Henry Benjamin

As we speak it is obvious that Phil has mixed emotions but as Phil says, “Your head must rule your heart.”  Phil is committed to finding a “new, financially viable and most importantly useful complex for Hakoah to continue to exist.” Phil explains, “We are currently negotiating new premises for a community centre along the lines of a country club style environment.  It will have a totally different feel to the current Hall Street complex and we hope especially the young and all our current members will flock to … hence Maccabi being uppermost in our thoughts.”   Hakoah has always been a symbol of friendship for Phil. From a young age he sat on the terraces of Wentworth Park to watch his heroes play football, played for Hakoah Football and to this day he still plays every Sunday with mostly the same set of guys. Every Friday night, Hakoah Club was his social avenue so the emotions run thick and deep. When Phil speaks about Maccabi there is no change in his voice or the level of his devotion. It is very obvious he loves both organizations fiercely and his association with both is equally rewarding.

From 1998 – 2001 Phil was Vice President of Maccabi Australia and then went on to become President in 2001 for four years. He discusses this time in his life as challenging and rising to the needs of an organization that was in a state of crisis following the Maccabiah Bridge Collapse in 1997. He says, “I lost friends and my emotional attachment was great. I felt an urgent need to get involved and stabilize a situation which could have had collateral damage on the organization.” He adds: “I was there when Maccabi really needed crisis management and it gives me great satisfaction to know that I could not only help overcome the crisis, but also assist in putting Maccabi Australia back on a positive footing.”

Since 2004, Phil has been President of Hakoah rising to a different challenge, an endeavour to overcome a deteriorating product. He believes Hakoah and Maccabi are intricately intertwined with the same goals and values. “Yes, they are both the future of our youth. Maccabi is offering a winning product that can only benefit the community. Hakoah hopes to provide the infrastructure to allow Maccabi to thrive even further,” says Phil. “Both organizations compliment each other and there will always be a great union between Hakoah and Maccabi, that is for sure.”


One Response to “Hakoah farewells Hall St”
  1. victor says:

    There is no doubt that Phil is a great,committed leader and is really trying very hard to find a site for Hakoah that will tick an alsmost impossible list of boxes.How good White City might have been .I think all the community will wish Phil and his board the very best of luck,plenty of Mazel, in their hunt.

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