by jgrey on March 3, 2020

Story by Julie Worth

A little country club situated right in the heart of the Mary Valley proudly claims to have one of the most esteemed records of its type in Queensland (if not Australia). Nestled on the banks of Kandanga Creek is the Kandanga Country Club.

Once poised to have ready access to water even before the town water supply was available, this year, this little club with one very big heart celebrates 70 years of continued patronage.

Like so many places in the Mary Valley, the Kandanga Country Club has been built on the shoulders of history and has faced incredible challenges head-on yet survives time and time again to tell the story.

The land was donated in 1947 by Kandanga pioneer Reg Hasthorpe with the green and original clubhouse opened in 1949. This was made possible by the foundation members who went door-to-door selling debentures to finance the project.

While the blessings have been many, so too have the challenges. with the positioning of the clubhouse and greens nestled above Kandanga Creek, when heavy rains arrive, so do the floods. In 1955, 1979, twice in 1989 and twice in 1992,

1999 and 2013 the clubhouse and greens faced the brunt of devastating floods.

In true country spirit, this little club after each calamity has bounced back bigger and stronger with resident volunteers and members coming out of the woodwork to ensure the playing surface and club were refurbished and ready for the next event.

The peak years of the club were from the 1950s to the 1970s when a healthy membership entailed 80 very enthusiastic bowlers.

Today the club can claim 18 men and 14 women as playing members, eight club members and 250 social members.

Kandanga Bowls club recognised an Australia wide decline in bowling numbers in 2014 and changed its name to Kandanga Country Club, repositioning it with a branding of “connecting community through sport”.

The recognition of 70 years is an absolute milestone for any club and Kandanga wears this milestone with great pride.

This little club boasts national, state, and district champions who have proudly worn the colours representing their state and country.

Such players have also achieved the honour of great ambassadors for their tiny club.

The honours list is substantial. The Worth family name has been connected to bowling in Kandanga for as long as the club has been in existence. Barry Worth represented the State in the 70s.

Norm Hasthorpe (the son of the clubs original benefactor) was undoubtedly the utmost quality of players to wear the club uniform also representing Queensland. If anyone could issue a challenge to Norm’s status at Kandanga, the honour would go to his close friend and partner in crime Chubba Dan.

Norm’s nephew Jack Horne in recent years has equalled his uncle’s records by gaining selection in representing his State for the State Senior Sides.

Charlie Hayes Jnr was another Kandanga member who was recognised for State selection.

A young school student at the time Douglas Wilson, won the Queensland and Australian junior singles championship, the State Junior Fours and was a runner-up in the Australian Junior Fours.