Celebrating the merger of the Woodburn Bowling and Recreation Club and the Evans Head Bowling Club are, from left, CEO of the Evans Head Bowling Club Roger Hong, Chairperson of the Evans Head Bowling Club John Forshaw, and Chairman of the Woodburn Bowling and Recreation Club David Roder.
Celebrating the merger of the Woodburn Bowling and Recreation Club and the Evans Head Bowling Club are, from left, CEO of the Evans Head Bowling Club Roger Hong, Chairperson of the Evans Head Bowling Club John Forshaw, and Chairman of the Woodburn Bowling and Recreation Club David Roder. Cathy Adams

Clubs merge for survival

THE Woodburn Bowling and Recreation Club and the Evans Head Bowling Club will merge following unanimous approval by Evans Head club members on November 27.

But it will be business as usual following the merger, according to Woodburn chairman David Roder.

Mr Roder said a downturn in club revenue made it unsustainable for the Woodburn club to continue operating as a stand-alone club.

"It was an initiative of our club and we had something like 64.8% of the members approve the amalgamation," he said.

Mr Roder said the club had applied to the NSW Government Office of Liquor, Trading and Gaming to transfer its licence to the Evans Head club and the timing of the amalgamation was dependent on the agency's processes.

"The club will still be known as the Woodburn Bowling and Recreation Club and the men's and women's bowling clubs will still operate as they have in the past, as will the Wanderer's Bowling Group," he said.

"Our board of directors will cease to exist and some of the members will become members of an advisory committee to the Evans Head club."

Evans Head Bowling Club secretary-manager Roger Hong said the merger was a consequence of changes in state and federal legislation and compliance related to responsible service of alcohol and gaming. He said these changes made it difficult for smaller clubs to remain viable.

"There are an average of 12 mainly small bowling and golf clubs going into receivership each month," he said.

"The merger will be beneficial to both clubs. We plan to put a heap of energy into the place and show the people of Woodburn what we can do for their club."

November marks the 50th anniversary of the Woodburn club which, like many other small bowling clubs in the region, has relied on volunteers to survive.



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