Com­mu­nity as­set grows up

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

ICONIC:

the renowned photo by Ruby Bai­ley from 1983

SHARK PARK: the club­house on its way to the show­grounds

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