Bowls club set to mark a major occasion
IT takes a lot of volunteers to set up and maintain a bowls club and that is definitely the case with the Warwick East Bowls Club which is preparing for 75th anniversary celebrations on August 3-4.
Dorothy Hassum was one of six long-serving members who spoke to the Daily News about her memories of her involvement with the club which goes back to 1979.
"I remember being told that Alf Dempster was one of the driving forces behind the formation of the club," she said.
"Alf wrote to Warwick City Council about the land which the club now occupies.
"Afternoon tea was bread with jam and vegemite when I started."
Pat Cook is a club life member after joining in 1976 and holding most positions except president.
"I worked in the bar for 20 years and was games director for a long time," she said.
"As games director, I believed in the importance of being fair and remember we had 120 lady members when I joined."
Norm and Verlie Madsen joined the club in 1980 and Norm said the land where the bowls club and tennis courts now stand was formerly used as saleyards.
Trevor Mulcahy remembers joining the bowls club in 1981; five years after water reached the top of the bar in the old clubhouse in the 1976 flood.
He remembers fishing from the front steps of the nearby National Hotel during the flood.
"We didn't catch any fish," he said.
"When I was too old to referee rugby league, I started playing bowls at Emerald in 1979 and joined Warwick East in 1981."
Don Meneely joined Warwick East in 1971 at the age of 35.
He said in those days, the idea was you joined when you retired but he broke that tradition.
"Alf Dempster would take all the new bowlers to carnivals, my first away carnival was at Killarney."
For Norm, bowls has given him the chance to compete around the state, including in 1986 when he was runner-up in the Champion of Champions singles to Rob Parella who is a Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
Club member Margaret Ragh has travelled to north Queensland and interstate in state teams.
All agreed hosting two National Police Bowls Championships were highlights for the club in their time as members.
"We worked hard but we had a lot of fun," Verlie said.
She also recalled when the new clubhouse was being built, they operated under a shaded area they called the Blue Room.
Down the years, there were the fancy dress functions and bingo fundraisers which helped pay for the clubhouse along with the catering of the ladies at weddings galore which proved popular.
As with many clubs, there was plenty of voluntary work which went into the new clubhouse which was opened in 1982, including loans from some members.
Warwick East is the only club in the Warwick area with two greens, a great advantage during police championships. Names of past members to PO Box 232, Warwick, or 4661 9050.
- Warwick East Bowls Club
- August 3 Mixed fours during day
- Anniversary dinner at night
- August 4 Mixed pairs during day