Nerang celebrates 25 years
Nerang Community Bowls Club celebrated its 25th anniversary on August, 8. Nerang Community Bowls Club celebrated its 25th anniversary on August, 8 at the club along with the help of Gaven MP Meaghan Scanlon and former Divisional Councillor, Ray Stevens.
To help celebrate the club’s anniversary Nerang Women’s president Pam Shepherd shares a brief history of how the club was started in 1993.
In the late 80s & early 90s local bowlers in Nerang discussed the possibility of establishing a local bowls club, three groups approached the then Albert Shire Council for land in the Nerang area to build the club.
The council requested each group submit a proposal which was awarded to the one headed by Laurie McIntyre, John Mckeown & Peter Donlan.
The council proposed two sites, one next to Nerang Velodrome which was deemed to be too hilly and thus unsuitable and a second site, on the southern side of Nerang River, just west of what is now St. Brigid’s Catholic Church.
The later selected and approved by Council.
In those days the area was mostly farming or acreage lots, nothing like today.
Now we had the weighty problem of how to finance the project.
The solution came one night in a phone call from the Divisional Councillor, Cr. Ray Stevens, to Laurie McIntyre. Ray informed Laurie that he had “good news and bad news”.
The bad news, we had lost the land on the Nerang River.
The good news, he had funds to build the Club, and the site would be where we are now situated on Cayuga Street, Nerang.
At that time the then Prime Minister, Mr Paul Keating, was facing an election and had given the Albert Shire Council a sum of money to stimulate employment in the Shire.
Council had to add 10%, in cash or kind, to the grant.
Each division had granted their Councillor a sum of money to spend in their division, wherever they wished.
His decision proved to be a good one, as the bowls club continues to employ a growing number of casual and permanent staff, the club was acknowledged by the Gold Coast City Council as one of their success stories.
The council had full control of the design and building of the clubhouse and greens.
Eventually, an inaugural general meeting was called where a constitution was presented and accepted and a management committee was elected.
The club was to be called “Nerang Community Bowls Club Inc” as the club was built with public funds, the word ‘community’ had to be incorporated in the name and must remain.
We were fortunate that not long after opening, poker machines were introduced into Queensland which, no doubt, help the survival of the club.
The club now has more than 4,000 members and continues to be a thriving community hub for the area and is one of the small handful of clubs in Australia to have an international-sized green.