Celebrating Bangalow Bowling Club’s centenary are Ross Thatcher (left) the club’s youngest member, Bill Rankin the oldest member, state president Ian McKnight, and club president Noel Johnston.
Celebrating Bangalow Bowling Club’s centenary are Ross Thatcher (left) the club’s youngest member, Bill Rankin the oldest member, state president Ian McKnight, and club president Noel Johnston. David Nielsen

Bangalow bowls has centenary lunch

THERE IS nothing like a beer and a roll of the bowl down the green, and that is exactly what they have been enjoying at the Bangalow Bowling Club for 100 years.

Club members took a stroll down memory lane on Saturday to sing the praises of the sport and their beloved club at its official centenary lunch.

The club’s youngest member, Ross Thatcher, 38, of Bangalow, said he loved being a member of the club and bowling was a wonderful sport.

“It’s great for socialising,” Mr Thatcher said.

“There’s not many sports where you can drink (beer) and play.”

The club’s oldest member, Bill Rankin, 86, of Wardell, was also joining in on thecelebrations at the club

Mr Rankin has been a member at Bangalow since the end of World War II.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Mr Rankin said of the sport.

“I like the friendship.”

Despite the celebrations there were concerns this could be the club’s last year.

Treasurer Tony Hart said the club needed the Bangalow community to pitch in and help save the local icon.

Since 1996 the bowlers have paid to maintain the greens because the Bangalow Bowling and Sports Club, a separate entity which operates the bar and kitchen, was in financial crisis.

The club is now the only bowling club in NSW where green maintenance is paid for by its members, rather than the adjoining recreational facility.

Due to dwindling membership the club will run out of money before the end of the year.

“We have been keeping it going with volunteers and running raffles,” Mr Hart said.

“It’s becoming difficult with the small number of members.”

Mr Hart said the club needed sponsorship from local businesses to keep it going.

The lunch was attended by about 150 guests, including the State Member for Ballina Don Page.

The lunch was followed by an afternoon of social bowls.

The club was established in Byron Street, across the road from Billy Solway’s garage. That was back in 1910.

In 1964, the current club, built entirely by volunteers, was opened on Bangalow Road.

The club currently has 41 male members and 19 female members and is the oldest bowling club in the Tweed and Byron districts.

Today and tomorrow the club will host its annual carnival.

It is expected both greens will be in action as clubs from around the district compete in the triples and singles competitions.



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