History – Gosnells Bowling Club
Our Club’s history has been preserved by 3 authors.
Former Life Member JD (Jack) Chapman, outlined its origin and development in “A History of Gosnells Bowling Club”.
Former Life Member J (Jim) Carson wrote “Fifty Years of Bowling” for the Club’s Golden Anniversary.
Current Life Member Brian Fox APM, outlined the history to 2013 in “Swamp to Synthetic”.
Our Club was the first lawn bowls club established in the South-East corridor. Victoria Park was our nearest neighbour.
A meeting in the Gosnells Public Hall on 5 August 1937, sponsored by the Gosnells Road Board (now the City of Gosnells) considered improvement of the railway reserve of around two acres on the corner of Dorothy Street and Albany Highway.
After three years of hard work on the swampy, unkempt site our Club 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, playing where “C” green now lies.
Main greens “A” and “B” were used 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.
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.
Gosnells 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, our Club has had a close relationship with the local Council – a relationship that continues today.
The strength of our Club has been recognised with many major awards. In 1988 the British Airways Trophy for the RWABA Most Outstanding Club of the Year, was awarded to the Club and over recent years the awards have continued.
In 1988 modernisation of the Club began in earnest. The Constitution was re-written and full membership became available for women.
We were 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 our Club is moving from strength to strength.
A 20-year Strategic Plan was introduced in 2016 and in 2017 a more concise 5 year rolling plan has been added to the corporate structure.
Membership is on the increase, finances are strong and the future is bright.