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

Woodburn club will live on

IT will be business as usual at the Woodburn Bowling and Recreation Club despite its amalgamation with the Evans Head Bowling Club, Woodburn chairman David Roder said.

The merger will go ahead after unanimous approval at an extraordinary general meeting of the Evans Head club on Sunday.

Mr Roder said a downturn in club revenue made it unsustainable for it 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.

"Members will notice there will be more sponsorship towards events and that there will be more money available for facilities."

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 would be 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 around re- sponsible 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."

This month marks the 50{+t}{+h} anniversary of the Woodburn club, which, like many other small bowl- ing clubs in the region, has relied on volunteers to survive.

Ken Baker, president of the 102-year-old Lismore City Bowling and Recreation Club, said his club also relied on volunteers.

He conceded revenue had been down over the past year but said his club had no intention of amalgamating with a larger club.

"We don't owe any money and we want to run our own shop," Mr Baker said.



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