Maleny Bowls Club celebrating 85 years of rolling greens

Contributed by Margaret Ginns

WHAT is this building (inset)?…Yes, the sign on the top says it’s the Maleny Bowls Club. It’s the original handcrafted building created by many ‘Maleny-ites’ – all volunteers – who lived and played bowls in Maleny during the 1930s.

Lawn Bowls was first played in Maleny in the mid 1930s on a private rink on the town side of the Maleny Hotel. The hotel and the two bowls rinks were owned by the Burnett Family.

Those same keen bowlers also created a ‘bowls green’, on which the game was and still is played. In those days it was a green grass carpet; today, it’s a green synthetic carpet.

Searching through old records we have found many memories. A list of early Bowls Club members’ names coincides with names of many of the founding families of the Maleny district.

On the 3rd August, 1937 a public meeting was held in the Maleny School of Arts to discuss the possibility of forming a Bowling Club in Maleny.

Members on this committee were, W.H.R. Burnett, A.M. Hunt, E. Webster, A.W. Thomerson and R.J. Lindsay. Also at this meeting 16 locals became prospective members.

The first club house was built by Mr. C. Skerman and H. Perrett in 1939. It was originally built in the area where the flag poles are now situated. In 1946 the club house was shifted across to the present site and reopened on the 27th January, 1946 by Colonel F.N.G. Annand, then president of Queensland Bowls Association.

In 1947 the extra rinks were added. They were officially opened on November 18th, 1947 by Mr. Don Brownlie, president of the Maroochydore District Bowls Association.

 Peter Mumford reminisces, “It was one of his (father’s) jobs to put up and take down the ‘sun awning’ (similar to one shown in the above photo) which was a tarp used to shade the ‘chairs for club patrons’ outside in fine weather.” He also said that his father Cliff Mumford plowed up the “old green” preparing it for a “brand new green” using a single horse drawn mouldboard plough in the early 1950’s.

The club has also been supported by many people including patron Les Cork who in 1970 donated the proceeds from the sale of a cow, which amounted to $135.22.

Yes, the Maleny Bowls Club has come a long way since then! On September 11 we celebrate the establishment of this club 85 years ago, and the party is on.

If you or your family have had an association with this club at any time, we would love to hear from you. We’d love you to share with us photos, memorabilia, memories and, of course, your successful ‘wins’?

Contact us at: secretary@malenybowlsclub.com.au Phone 5494 2335 (message), 0492 041 550 or call into the Maleny Bowls Club, 8 Bunya Street, Maleny (near Maleny Hotel). You can follow the Maleny Bowls Club’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/malenybowls

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