Community asset grows up
THE Mossman Memorial Bowls Club has a valued place in the heart of locals young and old across the region.
The site at 6-8 Johnston Road was originally the location of the Mossman RSL Club.
Originally named the Mossman Returned Serviceman’s Bowls Club, the first meeting was held on September 1, 1945.
The first committee of the new club consisted of: patron, C.J. Crees; president, W.H. Crawford; vice presidents, J. Gordon, J.B. Wood and D. Evans; treasurer, J.C. Young; secretary, R. Johnston; and committee members I. Walmsley, C.C. Gray and A. Rex.
The new committee set about establishing a bowling facility at the rear of the RSL Hall. Many years of hard work ensued as well as many pleasant days of recreational bowls and fellowship.
In time the bowlers established their own clubhouse in the rear of the RSL car park and from there bowls flourished and eventually the club’s name changed to Mossman Memorial Bowls Club on January 1, 1950. The club became an incorporated association on November 28, 1985 and in the early 1990s the club had the opportunity to purchase the premises from the RSL club.
This allowed the bowlers to build a new clubhouse (existing) which was opened on the April 21, 1996 and the RSL to move further along Johnston Road and establish retirement units.
Also to benefit was the local Rugby League Football Club which moved the old bowls club clubhouse from the car park to the Mossman Showgrounds and this building continues to be their clubhouse to this day.
Original members and their families are still regular visitors to the club such as Bill McKay, who has since hung up his bowling whites and the McDonald family.
The club that we know today has evolved to service a number of community needs.
Naturally, the playing of recreational and competition bowls is a primary factor in the club’s existence.
Bowls as a sport has changed to service a broader age group with the elderly gaining valuable exercise from this gentle outdoor sport to the school age children who learn patience and control and who come to appreciate how much skill is required for a sport that seems so easy.
The clubhouse facilities also serve as a place of recreation, relaxation and social interaction for all members.
Families in particular can enjoy the quiet, comfortable lounge atmosphere of the club with refreshments and meals available 363 days a year.
Gaming facilities exist for those who want a ‘‘little flutter’’ and allow the club the extra revenue to assist other community organisations – which it does regularly.
The club has donated over $250,000 in the last 10 years, in cash and in-kind support to local non-profit organisations to support the communities’ youth and senior citizens.
the renowned photo by Ruby Bailey from 1983
SHARK PARK: the clubhouse on its way to the showgrounds