Breakaway bowlers demand RSL action
By DAWN COHEN
ABOUT 250 senior citizens rallied to protest yesterday against the Ballina RSL Club's plan to close its bowling club.
The meeting, organised by a breakaway group of bowlers, elected a committee to demand the Ballina RSL Bowling Club confirm its intentions towards the club and to take action to stop the closure.
Ballina RSL Club general manager Bill Coulter declined to comment yesterday.
In February, the Ballina RSL Club Ltd told a members' meeting the new NSW Government poker machine tax created a potential cash flow problem best solved by the closure of its bowling greens in Canal Road.
Michael Gray, the RSL Bowling Club men's president, has opposed the closure, but not firmly enough for a breakaway group compromising John Evans, Brian O'Grady and Guy Kermode.
They employed a solicitor who advised them they could call a general meeting to deter- mine the bowling club's future, before organising yesterday's gathering at the Ballina Bowling and Recreation Club.
"We are going to win this," said Mr Evans, a veteran of the Korean War, as the crowd surged forward to donate to legal fees towards the battle.
Mr Evans had hoped for 50 people at the meeting.
"It's a great bowling club and the size of the crowd shows we will be fighting for it," he said.
Members expressed anger that the RSL club management had not promoted its bowling club more, and that it will be closed on Anzac Day.
The newly-elected committee president, Mr O'Grady, said he was 'chuffed' with the response.