The history of Gosnells Bowling Club has been preserved by 3 authors.
The initial booklet “A History of Gosnells Bowling Club” was written by former Life Member JD (Jack) Chapman, outlining the origin and development of the club, the second “Fifty Years of Bowling” was written by former Life Member J (Jim) Carson for the Club’s Golden Anniversary.
The latest booklet, “Swamp to Synthetic”, written by current Life Member Brian Fox APM, outlines the history to 2013.
The following is a snapshot of our Club taken from these excellent publications.
Gosnells Bowling Club Inc was the first lawn bowls club established in the South-East corridor - Victoria Park in Shepparton Rd was its nearest neighbour.
The Club, incorporating the ladies croquet club, was established in 1938 on a swampy, unkempt piece of land controlled by the West Australian Government Railways.
This followed a meeting in the Gosnells Public Hall on 5 August 1937, sponsored by the Gosnells Road Board (now the City of Gosnells) to consider how to improve the railway reserve of around two acres on the corner of Dorothy Street and Albany Highway.
The Club came into existence at a public meeting on 7 April 1938, and following three years of hard work from those dedicated to the establishment of the club, it was officially opened on 14 March 1940.
The original eyesore had become the foundation for Gosnells Bowling Club as we know it today.
Initial membership costs were five shillings nomination and two pounds two shillings the annual fee.
When the Road Board began work on the greens, the ladies formed the croquet club, which played where “C” green now lies.
Main greens “A” and “B” were used only in summer and were supported by a two-rink green situated on the internal car park used in winter and for practice.
The original Clubhouse was a bough shed 12ft long by 10ft wide. It was used for shelter and serving afternoon teas, prepared by the croquet ladies, and drinks.
A small clubhouse was erected by Mr A Skinner in 1951 where “C” green is located.
In 1957, the current Clubhouse was erected, with subsequent improvements made over ensuing years. The ladies Croquet Club moved to new premises in 1977.
The Club entered the Bowling Association in the 1939 season with a 7th division team, winning 11 and losing 6 - not a bad introduction.
Since its inception, Gosnells Bowling Club has had a close relationship with the local council – a relationship that continues today.
The strength of the Club has been recognised over time with many major awards. In 1988 the British Airways Trophy for the RWABA Most Outstanding Club of the Year, was awarded to the Club in recognition of its outstanding achievements.
In 1988 the modernisation of the Club began in earnest. The Constitution was re-written and full membership became available for women.
Gosnells was the first metropolitan club to unify its membership and the Constitution became the yardstick for bowling clubs throughout the State. Junior Membership was introduced, coloured uniforms were accepted, coaching introduced and the club premises declared a smoke free zone.
Corporate Bowls became a fixture and students from across the region were given lessons in the sport of bowls.
The major, and most costly, undertaking was the upgrade of grass greens to synthetic.
Today the Club is moving from strength to strength.
A 20-year Strategic Plan was introduced in 2016, which includes the building of a new clubhouse.
Membership is on the increase, finances are strong and the future is bright.