Innisfail celebrates “David and Goliath” conquest
By Lesley Bates
Innisfail Bowls Club has a new green. It was a mammoth task to stabilise the embankment and refurbish the green, but it was worth it. The club is an important part of the social fabric of Innisfail. The improved facility is a terrific asset and has provided covered eating areas and extra room for social gatherings with the spectacular backdrop of the river views.
If anyone can organise an event that attracts the attendance of state, federal and local dignitaries, leave it in the capable hands of Diana O’Brien, Alf Strano and the Innisfail team.
Cassowary Coast Regional Councillors, Trudy Tschui, Renee McLeod, Barry Barnes, Jeff Baines, CEO James Gott and Planner/Strategic Planner – Byron Jones (Master of Ceremonies) all attended the official opening on 20th August, 2021.
Shane Knuth- State Member for Hill; Curtis Pitt State Member for Mulgrave; Bob Katter Senior Australian Member of the House of Representatives; Mayor Mark Nolan all had wonderful things to say about the persistence of Innisfail to have the project come to fruition. Help was given by the Department of Natural Resources and the National Disaster Fund as many major events had contributed to the decline in the structural integrity of the embankment.
Chairman Alf Strano was very emotional when he added, “Past U.S. president, Abe Lincoln once said ‘Good things come to those who wait’- my mum told me it was Santa Claus! Either one will do. Well it certainly is the case with the Innisfail Bowls Club. After 74 years of lobbying, finally the erosion problem of the embankment has been fixed. The club thanks the Federal, State and Local Council and everyone who has been involved in the $1.2 million project.”
Shane Knuth was a major force behind the project and acknowledged the dedication, determination and the “never give up” attitude adopted by members.
Guests were treated to a magnificent spread of sweet and savoury treats prepared in the soon-to-be-renovated kitchen using monies recently secured from the Community Gambling Grant Fund.
Hopefully with persistent lobbying and the extra grant funds being offered by the Department of Sport and Recreation, as well as a special series of grants from Community Gambling Grant within the next year, the club’s dream of a dome covering will also become a reality. It will be a boon to the local bowls clubs as major events can be played all year around as the closest clubs with all weather systems are in Atherton and West Cairns.
The 100 year anniversary in 2023 promises to be an awesome celebration if this new goal of a covered green can be achieved.