The Nambour Bowls Club celebrated its 90th Birthday on Sunday 14 August 2022 with an Open Fours event. Teams from across the Sunshine Coast region filled the two greens. Visiting bowlers from as far afield as Tasmania and New Zealand also enjoyed the special occasion.
The Nambour Bowling Club was formed in August 1932 when a group of local businessmen headed by the local Shire Chairman Mr J T Lowe decided a bowling club would be a great asset for the town at a time when the unemployment rate in Australia had reached 32 percent.
Within one year of its formation, the club had successfully established a bowling green and modest clubhouse facilities, which were officially opened during an official Queensland Bowls Association visit on 5 June 1933.
Times were tough in the 1930s, but dedication and commitment from its founding members demonstrated what can be achieved through teamwork, a trait which remains today as the club relies heavily on its volunteer members.
The Nambour Bowling Club joined nearby hinterland clubs Mapleton and Palmwoods as the only bowling clubs on the North Coast. Following the formation of a fourth club at Maroochydore, members of the Nambour Bowling Club established an inter-club competition. One member supplied a pennant flag and the first inter-club competitions were played at Nambour in 1937 between all four clubs. This year, 2022, also marks the 85th anniversary of the Pennants Competition on the Sunshine Coast.
The ladies decided in 1938 that it was time to form the Nambour Ladies Bowling Club. The now amalgamated Nambour Bowls Club has progressively evolved since those pioneering days offering two excellent bowling greens with modern shade structures and lighting for night bowls events.
The honour of cutting the 90th Birthday cake was extended to Nambour Bowls Club Patrons Jack Ingham and Mavis Balkin. Mavis is a Life Member who has made an extraordinary contribution to the sport for almost 70 years. She started bowling in the 1950s at Mapleton after her non-bowling Gympie based father Percy Melville bought her a set of bowls. Years later in what was regarded as a first for the sport, Mavis and her father served concurrently as Presidents of the Nambour Ladies’ and Men’s Clubs respectively during 1973. Mavis is currently serving as President of the Sunshine Coast District Ladies Bowls Association and continues to amaze everyone with her commitment to the sport.
The club is also planning to swing into action with Bowls Queensland’s Come and Try Day sessions soon, with a focus on stimulating membership and attracting more younger people into the sport.
Contributed by Graham Morton