Hodge honoured with PRC Life Membership

Michael Hodge surrounded by his family, from left, Hannah, Kim Durrand, Harry and Michael’s mum Isabel. 368696 Pictures: SUPPLIED

By David Nagel

Former Pakenham Racing Club (PRC) Chief Executive Officer Michael Hodge has joined an exclusive honour roll at the club having been inducted as its 27th life member on Friday night.

Hodge was the key figure in the PRC’s relocation from its historic home on Racecourse Road in Pakenham to its new facility in Tynong almost a decade ago.

Hodge was surrounded by family, friends and former PRC colleagues as he received his life membership from PRC Chairman Rick Tyrrell.

“It was a wonderful night; I was lucky enough to have my family there and it was great to see the other life members of the club,” Hodge said.

“We had a ball, everyone got together and to receive the life membership was a very humbling experience from point of view.

“I’ve worked closely with several of the life members at the club over the years, and to become just the 27th life member of the club is something I’m very proud of.”

The PRC posted the following tribute to Michael Hodge on social media:

With a legacy spanning 149 years, this honour has been granted to only a select few, and Michael Hodge’s induction is a testament to his remarkable service and dedication.

Michael’s incredible journey began in 2004 when he joined the Pakenham Racing Club.

Over the course of 15 remarkable years, he demonstrated an unshakable commitment and an unbridled passion for the club, which eventually led to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer in 2008.

What sets Michael apart is his extensive experience in racing administration, spanning over 20 years in both the Victorian harness racing and Victorian thoroughbred racing industries.

His profound knowledge and expertise have been instrumental in steering the Pakenham Racing Club to its current level of excellence.

One of Michael’s most noteworthy achievements was overseeing the ambitious Racecourse relocation project.

This monumental undertaking involved the construction of world-class racing and equine training facilities at Tynong.

It required navigating the complex process of rezoning both the previous and new racecourse titles and culminated in the successful sale of the old Pakenham racecourse.

Under Michael’s visionary leadership, the PRC witnessed significant expansion in its gaming and hospitality activities. Notably, this included the construction of the club’s second gaming venue, Club Officer.

These strategic endeavours firmly positioned PRC as a leader in the Victorian racing industry.

Michael’s contributions to the world of racing extend far beyond Pakenham.

Currently, he serves as a Board Director of Country Racing Victoria and holds the esteemed position of CEO at the Warragul Country Club.

As we celebrate Michael Hodge’s induction as a Life Member, we not only honour his years of dedicated service but also his visionary leadership and commitment to the sport of racing.

His legacy is deeply ingrained in the very soul of the Pakenham Racing Club, and his enduring impact extends to the broader racing community.

Congratulations, Michael Hodge, on this well-deserved honour.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude for your exceptional service to the Pakenham Racing Club and the racing community at large.