With the opening of the new gaming room, a new era began for the Lakes Entrance Bowls Club.
Looking back, the club has come a long way since its beginning as a tourist attraction adjunct to Woodbine Guest House where a three rink bowling green was laid by Arthur Angrave.
Registered by the Victorian Bowls Association in 1934, Jock Gibson was foundation President until George Ward purchased the guesthouse in 1935 and maintaining the green for five pounds a year.
Water was pumped from a 200-foot bore, transferred 50 feet into 600-gallon holding tanks. In front of the tanks was a large neon sign with some 40-inspection traps. The wind played havoc blowing the covers off most of the traps and providing homes for birds and possums. George often removed an offending bird or possum to restore the flow of the water to guesthouse and the bowling club.
In 1937 a meeting was called, debentures raised and a six – rink green with wooden plinths was laid.
Management was vested, with Fred West becoming Assistant Secretary to George Ward.
In 1938 Chris Freeman was elected president. Bowls was played at weekends or under lights at night. Subscriptions were two pounds per annum green fees two shillings, under light sixpence extra. Various guesthouses and hotels were sponsors for club events.
Come 1949 and expansion was inevitable President Chris Freeman invited 30 ladies to come along and learn how to play.
By 1950 the Associates section was formed, with Mrs. Oldfield as President Mrs. Bowler as Secretary and Mrs. Bell Vice-President. Play was one day a week with a guinea subscription.
A rule was passed that ladies must attend two playing Tuesdays a month or forfeit membership.
In 1952, the proprietors of Woodbine raised fees for the use of the green. The club thought the fees excessive so asked the council to assist. The club went into recess, charging their annual subscriptions and ladies began fund raising.
Bairnsdale Bowls Club were made members and associates honorary members pending the opening of their own green.
In 1953 committee and sub-committees were kept busy and the wooden plinths were pulled up from the western green set out at the present Rowe Street site. Soil was donated by Arthur Kent of Lake Tyers, carted by the Shire who also loaned the club 500 pounds interest free to be paid back to the landlords at the Recreation Reserve Committee. Chris Freeman became the first Life Member at the 1953 Annual Meeting.
January 9 1954 was the official opening, performed by W. O. Fulton standing in for Sir Albert Lind. Cr Vie Carstairs represented the Shire and Mr. Holman of the Central Gippsland Bowls Association.
The season started with 30 members and 30 Associates. The green cost One thousand, seven hundred pounds. There was a small pavilion and machinery shed with country style toilets.
In 1960 the road was sealed on the eastern boundary and the owners of Woodbine changed from guesthouse to Caravan Park.
In 1961, Bob Anderson was elected president but left town and vice-president Tom Harbeck officiated that year.
Ladies catered magnificently for meals and refreshments under difficult condition with a magnificent sense of comradeship displayed by all.
In 1961 fund raising continued with the club helping out pet charities such as the blind institute, Red Cross, Hospital Health centre, meals on Wheels with great example shown by Beryl Bowler MBE and Vi. Symons BEM and Grace Graham who was the first lady to receive a Life Membership.
A great effort was the collection of 800 pounds for the bushfire appeal. Guesthouses were charged ten pounds a year for allowing guests to play without further charge. This would not suffice these days when there are over 15000 visitors annually. Two unused tennis courts were taken over in 1962 to convert to rubber rinks for night play. The present clubhouse was opened by Arthur Hewson on June 8 1968. Ray Mundin vice-president of the RVBA opened the GA Ward green in 1969, Harris King was made Life member. In that year there were 62 members and 58 associates.
Past President and Life Member Clyde Sykes, who received the Australia Day Award in 1983, gave outstanding service to the club and to bowls over many years.
In August 1988 the club was incorporated under the Act and Liquor Licence obtained. The club house was extended in 1989 and synthetic greens established in 1990. Re-arranged rules provided for a three-tiered structure Board of Management, Chairperson of the new Board was Roy Rawlings, Vice-Chairperson Mrs. M. Rennie and Honorary Secretary J. Grimshaw.
1994 marked the 60th year of the Lakes Entrance Bowling Club.
2009-10 marked our 75th year.
2017 saw the installation of our synthetic Tiger Turf greens resulting in widespread approval from members and visiting bowlers alike.
In 2018 the Men’s and Ladies’ Sections decided to amalgamate to form a single Bowls Committee to oversee the conduct of bowling activities.
Today the Lakes Entrance Bowls club has over 200 Male Bowling members, 100 Female Bowling members and 4000 Social members.
BOWLS COMMITTEE 2018/2019
MIDWEEK PENNANT CHAIR
SATURDAY PENNANT CHAIR