RSL presents a bit of history
THIS week the Mossman subbranch of the RSL presented the Memorial Bowls Club with the original constitution of the bowls club, a handwritten and relatively brief document nicely framed and ready for a good spot in the club’s foyer.
The document recalls the historic links between the local RSL and the bowls club, which used to be one and the same.
In September 1945, just after the conclusion of World War II, Mossman had its fair share of young returned soldiers. Branch membership was around 120 members.
They formed the bowls club as a part of the RSL subbranch. Over time, says subbranch president Ron Savage, the bowls players steadily grew beyond the RSL membership.
“It gradually became ‘community”, not just RSL,” says Ron. “It became too much to maintain and the decision was made to sell to the bowls club to take over and develop.”
(Hence the “memorial” in the current title of the bowls club.)
One things that strikes RSL president Ron Savage is the brevity of the handwritten document.
“This is a good comparison compared with all the stuff you have to do now with government authorities. Back then you could just design it yourself,” says Ron.
Wally Gray came across the document in the minute ledgers of the RSL while he was researching the history of the sub-branch. “I typed it up for the bowls club but later on they asked for the original,” Wally says. The document is signed by “secretary John Goodman” and a Mr Foster.
Kaye McDonald, bowls club president, said how she pleased she was to receive the constitution. It would go well in the front of the club where she was planning a display of its important and historic documents.