BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS: Evans Head Bowling Club is celebrating 80 years. Photo contributed.
BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS: Evans Head Bowling Club is celebrating 80 years. Photo contributed. Contributed

Bowlo's birthday bash

THERE was a need to pass the time when the fish weren't biting back in 1931, so a number of keen Evans Head residents decided to start a bowling club.

Now, nearly 80 years since its inaugural meeting, Evans Head Bowling Club is preparing to celebrate its humble beginnings with a big birthday weekend.

"On Saturday, April 28 we will be holding a dinner dance," co-ordinator Margaret Stewart said.

"Then on the Sunday (April 29) there will be a morning tea, bowls day, lunch and a huge cake."

Prominent people in bowling circles have also been invited to share in the birthday celebrations.

The club started with half a bowling green in 1932, at the site of the present day middle green.

The first clubhouse could be described simply as a huge tank stand.

Built with galvanised iron walls, the ground level had a wooden floor and the section nearest today's caravan park was used as a bar.

On the first floor was the caretaker's bedroom and above that, as part of the roof, was a platform that supported a 10,000 gallon tank.

The first caretaker was Frank McPherson.

Without liquor licences in the early days, the club was BYO and when visitors arrived the bar steward would buy quart bottles of draught beer from the pub and resell them at purchase price.

The first club president was Frank Scott, with Joe McRae as secretary.

Attendees to the inaugural meeting included Os McPherson, Joe McRae, AJ Buckland, RJ Moore, Fred Davis, John Rosolen, Frank Scott, Harry North and Leo Baker.

In 1945 the club went into recess and, during 1946, the half green was dug up and a full green laid. Play resumed in late 1946.

In 1948, police sergeant George Taylor came to Woodburn and immediately became involved in bowls and club welfare.

He was the driving force in the new clubhouse project and was elected president in 1951.

The clubhouse was officially opened on December 5, 1953 and the club was fortunate to receive an informal visit from the Governor General of the day, Sir William Slim.

In August, 1954, Ash Shearman was unanimously elected president after George Taylor did not seek re-election.

Lack of reliable information makes it difficult to place past-presidents in chronological order. However, some time during the early years, Les Williams held office. In 1955, Clarrie Kirkland became president and held office until 1959 when Lester Cribb took over, holding office for four years.

From then onwards, all names are recorded on the notice board.

The club is seeking people with any memorabilia, photos or stories of the early days. Please contact Margaret Stewart on 6682 4343.

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