THE EARLY YEARS
The Ithacan Philanthropic Society "The Ulysses" was established in 1916. Initially our Ithacan compatriots would meet at Michael’s building, situated on the corner of Lonsdale and Elizabeth streets in the Melbourne CBD, utilising the first floor and afterwards they moved to the second floor.
In 1956 they decided to purchase two adjacent buildings situated at 329 Elizabeth Street in Melbourne, whereby a new building was erected on this site.
By 1958 the new building was completed, consisting of three floors, the second being double the normal ceiling height, meaning that yet another floor could be added if required.
A number of companies tenanted the ground floor, with the current tenant having been there for over 35 years.
First and second floors were occupied by a variety of tenants over the years. The top floor was occupied by Acropol receptions, and the first floor for a number of years was tenanted by a Japanese club. Both floors were also used for our Ithacan club room requirements.
THE RECENT PERIOD
In 2005 it was decided to proceed with a comprehensive renovation, which incorporated the installation of a 20 man lift.
As a fire broke out on the first floor prior to the commencement of the renovation, it was decided to completely renovate the first floor, which is now occupied by the tenants of the ground floor.
The second or top floor ( club rooms) was completely renovated. A brand new commercial kitchen was installed together with an accommodating bar, ladies/men’s and disabled toilets, as well as an office, several storage areas, plus a welcoming lift lobby.
The club rooms are equipped with seating for 160 people together with audio visual and PA equipment that enables members to enjoy a comfortable experience during our functions.
Three historical display cabinets adorn the room.
Since the recent club room renovations, our attendance numbers at our functions have increased by at least 50%. We attribute this to the installation of the lift, which provides an easier and more convenient access to the venue for our members and friends.
Apart from our own use, being our fortnightly bingo sessions attended by an average of 30 ladies, monthly Penelope’s loom handicraft sessions, weekly men’s gatherings each Wednesday, member’s children bursary presentations, members Christmas luncheon and children’s Christmas parties, the Good Friday children’s hospital appeal, plus numerous fund raising events, lectures, and afternoon teas, etc., our club rooms are made available to a variety of organisations throughout the year presenting lectures and seminars of interest.