History – Pakenham Bowls Club
1954 – The Beginning
The first known activity of what was to be known as the Pakenham Bowls Club, was when a group of nine men met in 1950 to discuss forming a club. That resulted in a steering committee led by Mr J Crawford. It was almost 4 years later that the first meeting of the club took place on 19th October 1954. Membership totalled 14, and after discussion with council, the present site was selected. Subscriptions were 5 pounds 5 shillings for men, and 2 pounds 2 shillings for ladies.
Preparatory work started in 1955 and continued into the early part of 1956. The green was sown on Anzac Day 1956. All was accomplished by working bees. That green was almost lost, due to lack of water. It was saved by pumping water from the near-by creek, and spreading the water with a light wooden grader. At this stage, membership had grown to 26, and 880 pounds had been raised by selling 10 pound debentures.
1957 – Official Opening
The bowling green was officially opened by the then shire President, Cr S Thewlis, on 14th December 1957. The club did not have a clubhouse, so the opening ceremony was conducted in a borrowed marquee.
With the green up and running, all voluntary labour was directed to building a clubhouse. This was completed, and furnished, toward the end of 1958. That year also saw the clubs first champions, in Mr D Williamson winning the men’s, and Mrs Trew winning the ladies.
1960 – Further Developments
The club grew in 1960/61 with membership swelling to 43. More working bees saw concrete banks poured and the surrounds taking shape. This year also saw the ladies take out the A Grade pennant flag.
1976 – The Choice
Work continued at the club over the next several years until, in 1976, the members were asked to make a choice, either extend the clubhouse and apply for a license, or to build a second green.
With the growing popularity of the sport, and also the membership being at 61, it was decided to build another green. This green was opened on 19th February 1978.
By the end of the 1978/79 season there were 74 men and 50 lady members. It was also decided to name the greens after two of the clubs hardest workers, ‘T.J Crowley’ and ‘J.R Banks’.
1980 – Extending, Licencing and Incorporating
In 1980 the club was extended and granted a full liquor license in 1981. In 1984 the club was incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act. During this period it is worth noting, that in addition to funding their own projects, the club also donated over $15000 to local and State charities.
1986 – New Clubhouse
In 1986 it was decided to build a more modern clubhouse. This was achieved with the help of the Shire who acted as borrower on behalf of the club. So, with a loan of $250,000 over 10 years an Andrews Foundation Grant of $200,000 and $120,00 from club reserves the clubhouse you now see was built.
It was started in September 1988 and completed in April 1989, with a final cost of $560,000. Much of the new furniture and fittings were donated by club members.
Volunteers and Fundraising
All work and functions are carried out by volunteers of the club. This includes the catering, bar staff, work around the greens and all maintenance.
The club did very well during the 1980’s and 90’s competing in the West Gippsland Bowls Association. They hosted many tournaments such as the Yakkerboo Fours Sponsored by the local Yakkerboo committee. There were many charity days including Legacy, Make a Wish and local sporting fund raisers.
2000 – Metropolitan
In 2000, the club was asked to join the Metropolitan League as The West Gippsland Association was about to fold. A meeting was held at the club, and the members decided it would be in our best interests to go Metropolitan considering the vast increase in Pakenhams population.
We entered at Division 3 level and promptly won our section gaining promotion to Division 2 in the next season. Several years were spent in Division 2 until 2011 when Pakenham Division 2 won the section and were promoted to Division 1 in the next season.
Coming into season 2013/14 and with the appointment of coach John Curtain, as well as some very exciting new bowlers joining the club, we are looking forward to a very successful year. The focus is not only to stay in Division 1 but to bring our Pakenham 2 side up to Division 2 to work as a true Reserve side for the club.