RSL presents a bit of his­tory

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

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.

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