Your Club, Where it all began

Club through ages image

Our Story

Following representation from local residents in 1937 the Municipal Council decided to investigate the possibility of constructing the town’s first lawn bowling green. The Lands Department of the day in agreement with the Maritime Services Board approved the release of part of the Pilot Station recreation reserve.

This area became the site of the Club first green and original Club house, the cost of developing the green was a total sum of 470 pounds ($940). The cost of the excavation was 20 pounds, construction of the green 350 pounds, windmill, and piping and tank 50 pounds, fencing 40 pounds and contingencies 10 pounds. Work was commenced in July 1937 and completed in September 1937.

A meeting was held on the 16th December 1937 for the formation of the Port Macquarie Bowling Club (men only); Mr H.T. O’Neil was elected the first President. Bowls were played on the new green for the first time on the 22nd December 1937.

A grand opening day was held on Saturday 23rd April, 1938, the first annual general meeting of the newly formed club was held on the 14th June 1939, with a total of 26 bowlers in attendance. The club concluded its first year with a membership of 43 and a turnover of 420 pounds and 11 shillings ($841.10).

The site of the green and clubhouse (shared with the tennis club) was originally rented from the council for the sum of 1 pound ($2) per week including maintenance. At a committee meeting on the 25th March 1938 the newly formed club took over custody of the green for an annual fee of three guineas ($6.60) payable half yearly.

Number two green was constructed in 1953, number three green in 1956, number four in 1970 and number five in 1985. Until 1957 the club was dependent on two wells for water supplies with watering of the greens undertaken by hand held hoses. Town water was connected to the club in 1957.

During the 1939/45 was years, club membership remained stagnant at under thirty bowlers, in 1954 a meeting was held with a number of women and an agreement reached to form the Women’s Bowling Club. By 1960 the combined membership of the club had risen to three hundred (approximately two hundred men and one hundred women).

In 1950 the first poker machines arrives in Port Macquarie, one sixpenny (5c) machine which was owned by the Golf Club, used at weekends and lent to the Bowling Club and RSL Club during the week days if required.

Our first poker machine was purchased in 1958; we now have in excess of one hundred and forty machines.

During 1972 new government legislation required all licensed clubs to be incorporated; as a result our club became registered as a company under the title of Port Macquarie Bowling Club Limited.