History Matters || First bowl sent down in 1919

Sporting interest: Bowling club patron WT Cadell laying the foundation stone of the original Bowls Clubhouse.
Sporting interest: Bowling club patron WT Cadell laying the foundation stone of the original Bowls Clubhouse.

The original Glen Innes Bowling Club was formed in 1917, and most of the prominent names of the time were involved, including WT Cadell, FS Mackenzie, HB McKie, JF Chaffey, DJ Batey, WF Ehrlich, GA Priest, HF Bloxham, W Powter, H Cannen, J Blair, FJ Madigan, RJ Howard, J Healey, and HG Sinfield.

E C Sommerlad noted that: "In due course a green was put down on a convenient site on the corner of Macquarie and Wentworth streets, the official opening taking place on April 9, 1919 when Patron Cadell sent down the first bowl.

"The patron also laid the foundation stone of the clubhouse, which was erected principally by donations from members.

"This ornate and comfortable structure was opened on June 26 of this year [1922] by the patron and president.

"The club now possesses assets to the value of about £1800 and has provided an institution which is essentially democratic in its outlook, which is a very big asset to the social life of the town.

"For the healthy position in which the club now finds itself, special credit is due to Messrs Cadell, Batey and F S Mackenzie, who by persistent organisation and generous gifts have made so fine an institution possible.

"Regular matches are played between the local members, while inter-town games are arranged at intervals.

"During this year the Far Northern Bowling Association was formed, to control the game in the northernmost districts of the State and, in order to stimulate interest, a very valuable cup has been donated by Mr D J Batey.

"Much interest is taken in the local tournaments and the singles championship since 1920 has been held by the present secretary, Mr Gordon Sargeant..." from  Land of the Beardies, E C Sommerlad, 1922.

Although the greens were lit by 1923 and night bowls held for about 20 years, these games had to be abandoned as wet bowls were found to be inaccurate and using them on heavily bedewed grass was damaging them.

Further greens opened in 1941 and 1961. The Women's Bowling Club was formed in 1954, a liquor licence obtained in 1955, and in 1967 the present brick clubhouse was built by Hardy Marr.

The old clubhouse now forms part of the front of the Glen Innes Motel.

More Glen Innes history by Eve Chappell