Goondiwindi is 75 years strong
By Jill Hankins
Goondiwindi Bowls Club is celebrating its 75th year of operation, after locals sought a quote on April 3, 1947 for the laying of a green and a tender for construction of rinks and associated works was accepted. In August of the same year, construction of the first green began with Mr H. A. Leonard appointed as the engineer supervisor.
The club’s first president was Mr F. C. “Pop” Turner and the first greenkeeper Mr Les Gall. In 1949, the club applied for a permit to store liquor. Up till then, a local hotel chilled our beer kegs which were then covered by wet bags to stay cool. The first clubhouse was smaller but has been extended over the years (see photo below). By 1997, we had two bowling greens and new lights.
A “Back to Gundy Bowls Club” was held for the 50th Anniversary, with all previous and current members invited. Mrs Enid Byrne cut the anniversary cake. Today, we have four life members, 66 full and 68 social members—a total of 138 enthusiastic bowlers who are keeping that country spirit going. Our present chairman, George Sloss, was the first baby born in Gundy in 1947.
There are many stories over the years, but one involved a man who fell asleep in the toilet and then woke to find the club closed and himself locked in. He was reluctant to go outside as the police had turned up. When he did emerge, they wanted to know what was he doing in there. Another worthy mention was a black cat scampering over the green and running into a player’s bowl, so he claimed a “toucher on a live kitty”.
Congratulations to Goondiwindi Bowls Club on its 75th anniversary and may there be many more happy years ahead for the club.