THE Bathurst Bulldogs and the Bathurst Junior Rugby Club have officially merged together following a special general meeting on Friday night.
With both clubs in a stable financial position it was decided that it would be a net benefit for both parties to join forces, a process made official with the signing of the memorandum of understanding.
The decision means teams from under 6s right through to the senior first grade side will all be playing under the banner of the Bathurst Bulldogs
Outgoing junior president Mike Curtin said it's a historic moment for rugby in Bathurst.
"We felt now was the time to put the two clubs together and become the one entity. Both clubs are in a strong financial position and it means there's no double handling add all the resources are there," he said.
"I'm so pleased that we've been able to do something so historical and something that Bathurst has been waiting for for a long time.
"Five years ago the junior club was almost broke and numbers were treacherous, at best, but in the last five years the club has grown exponentially and has been financially very sound and stable - so much so that we've been able to contribute to some of the projects at Ashwood Park."
Curtin said the exciting occasion has been a long time coming, with the build up to the merger lasting almost five years.
"Back in 2015 the Bathurst Burrs changed their name to the junior Bulldogs, and that was in anticipation of what happened on Friday night," he said.
"Greg Reid and I have been presidents for the last three years and felt like we'd been working well together over that time so us and our two vice-presidents Mark Burns and Brian Roberson, as well as [Bulldogs treasurer] Matt Sharwood, all sat down to put together the memorandum of understanding."
The Bathurst Junior Rugby Club annual general meeting followed Friday's special meeting, where Curtin stepped away from the president's role.
Burns will take over the top job in the juniors, with Mark Brennan becoming the new vice-president.
Curtin said he's been proud to help bring Friday's merger to fruition and has great memories across his time as president.
"I think it's been very satisfying. I've gotten heavily involved in the running of the game in the Central West," he said.
"We've moved to even age groups in juniors, which moves us into line with other zones, and we've moved to Rugby Australia Walla law in the region and re-jigged gala days into zones to avoid travel - something that we look like we might be keeping moving forward.
"I'm sure after having a spell for a few years I'll be back again. Serving on any committee is a wonderful thing, and it shows our kids that as part of a community you have to give back to enjoy the benefits of it."