Bowl­ing club marks cen­te­nary

Whanganui Midweek - - News -

The club’s his­tory

In April 1918, T Nixon ad­ver­tised that a meet­ing of those in­ter­ested in the for­ma­tion of a bowl­ing club in Castle­cliff will be held in the “Tea Kiosk” in Castle­cliff, on Satur­day, April 11, at 7.30pm.

The meet­ing was well at­tended.

Af­ter sev­eral gen­tle­men had spo­ken, a mo­tion was car­ried unan­i­mously. Messrs G Meuli, T Nixon, E Ash­well, J Pass­more, and T Whit­ton were elected as a com­mit­tee, to re­port at the next meet­ing on avail­abil­ity of land, cost­ings of lay­ing out ground and the for­ma­tion of a green.

Matipo Land Com­pany Lim­ited of­fered sec­tions 1 to 4 Manuka St, at a cost of £50 per sec­tion. The land was pur­chased and is the cur­rent site of the bowl­ing club.

Called West­bourne Bowl­ing Club, it was formed on May 21, 1918, with a mem­ber­ship of 32. T Nixon was elected the first pres­i­dent, EH Ash­well vice pres­i­dent, while JH Pass­more was ap­pointed sec­re­tary. The com­mit­tee com­prised Messrs Dunkley, Coull, Whit­ton and Pass­more. On De­cem­ber 16, West­bourne Bowl­ing Club’s newly laid “A” green was for­mally opened for play. Lo­cal clubs were well rep­re­sented, Gonville send­ing a strong con­tin­gent, and good wishes were re­ceived from Mount Eden, Cal­ton, Patea, Mar­ton, Otaki and Dan­nevirke clubs.

The orig­i­nal clu­b­room was an iron clad, one-room shed with brick floor­ing which was sited about the mid­dle of the present club rooms.

On Au­gust 14, 1922, it was re­named Wan­ganui West Bowl­ing Club.

On Feb­ru­ary 22, 1930, the ad­mis­sion of lady mem­bers was sug­gested for the fol­low­ing sea­son, but this did not even­tu­ate un­til April 1, 1935.

Even so, there were cer­tain con­di­tions im­posed on the women’s club by the men.

1). Fe­males re­quired per­mis­sion by the men for green us­age. 2). Fe­males off the green by 4.30pm. 3). Ladies’ day on the green, the time did not change. It was to give male mem­bers a chance to prac­tise. 4). That they do not play on Satur­days or Sun­days if the green is re­quired by male mem­bers.

There were sev­eral other rul­ings in­clud­ing length of dress (be­low the knee) and stock­ing seams to be straight.

At Easter 1935 the ladies formed their own Castle­cliff Women’s Bowl­ing Club and, in Oc­to­ber that year played their first tour­na­ment. In time it was noted that Castle­cliff was the old­est women’s bowl­ing club in the North Is­land. Castle­cliff Women Foun­da­tion mem­bers worked hard to make women’s bowls a suc­cess and the club even­tu­ally at­tracted lady mem­bers from Gonville, Wan­ganui City and other sub­urbs. Given the ground­ing by Castle­cliff women, women from other sub­urbs fi­nally broke away and formed new women’s clubs and greens.

The next step was the for­ma­tion of a Manawatu West Coast Cen­tre, which cov­ered Wan­ganui. Castle­cliff ladies played a dis­tin­guished role in the or­gan­i­sa­tion and in 1945 mem­bers de­cided to form their own Wan­ganui Women’s Bowl­ing Cen­tre. A foun­da­tion mem­ber, Mrs EP Al­lan of Castle­cliff, be­came its first pres­i­dent.

On Au­gust 1, 1937 the um­brella club (men’s) changed its name to Castle­cliff Bowl­ing Club. In­cor­po­rated women’s and men’s clubs even­tu­ally amal­ga­mated as Castle­cliff Bowl­ing Club Inc.

In 1961 two class­rooms were pur­chased from Keith Street School and de­liv­ered on site for £600.

Af­ter up­grad­ing of these class­rooms, ex­ten­sions were even­tu­ally added which were the lounge and bar. In 1973 the “B” green — an ad­ja­cent horse pad­dock — was de­vel­oped. ■

PIC­TURE / STU­ART MUNRO

Castle­cliff Bowl­ing Club pres­i­dent Jo Donghi at open­ing day of the sea­son at Castle­cliff Bowl­ing Club, Oc­to­ber 14, 2017.

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