NINE months of negotiations and behind-the-scenes preparations have culminated in Wednesday's historic hand-over of the new Hibbard Sports Club Ltd.
The changing of the guard will see the new board host a morning tea for Panthers Group's directors at the Boundary Street facility on Wednesday morning.
Chairman Terry Merchant has good cause to feel positive about the club's future, with members applauding the buy-out and existing staff remaining loyal to the new management team.
In the past six weeks before the doors had even reopened 650 memberships have been received.
"The response has been 100 per cent positive from members and staff and it's been great to have the whole community right behind us," he said.
"The club is back in local hands and all money will now be reinvested back into the club."
The good news for local suppliers is the board is also determined to buy locally wherever possible.
After 12 years under the Panthers umbrella, the club will return to its familiar name and be headed by secretary manager Teresa Carney and a board of local directors.
They include chairman Terry Merchant, vice-chairwoman Sharon Wright, Bill Wheeler, Gae Millican and Robyn Crosariol.
The sale was walk in, walk out, including 4.8 hectares of land, all associated buildings and three meticulously maintained bowling greens.
Mr Wheeler said the sale was unique on the licensed premises landscape, as the new club was created from scratch, right down to new phone lines, tills, payroll and computer systems.
"This has never happened before. We've basically created a new club from scratch," he said.
Mr Wheeler was adamant that while the entity will operate entirely separate from the Panthers Group, they look forward to continuing a good relationship.
Secretary manager Teresa Carney agreed the previous owners had been "an enormous help throughout the deamalgamation process".
With 25 years industry experience, most recently as assistant secretary manager at Wauchope Country Club, she joins a legion of proponents for the club's new chapter. Mrs Carney said the future is looking bright for Hibbard Sports Club.
, with plans to cater for all elements of the community.
"Hibbard is a real family club and we look forward to promoting our family-friendly facilities and supporting, hosting and working with local sports clubs," she said.