BEGINNINGS OF THE ORBOST BOWLS CLUB
The first meeting was held on 23/3/1922, then the Orbost bowling Club was formed in 1929 when the funds for the construction of the green were issued by debentures of five pounds each. These were all taken up and a six rink green was laid down.
Inaugural President, Sam Lynn and Secretary T. Bartold, the first Club Champion was M. Rothberg.
It was not until 1951 that women were admitted as associates albeit restrictions.
- Associate members not to exceed 25
- Ladies to be of good character
- Preference to be given to wives of male members
- Ladies must be off premises by 4pm
It was not until 1935/1936 that Orbost became a member of the Central Gippsland Bowling Association (CGBA). In 1946
some clubs formed the Mid Gippsland Bowling Association, Bairnsdale, Maffra, Orbost, Sale, Traralgon and Yarram remained as Member Clubs with CGBA.
In 1954 Lakes Entrance and Stratford were admitted as members of the CGBA.
In 1956 the association changed its name from Central Gippsland Bowling Association to East Gippsland Bowling Association.
In 1983 North Gippsland separated from the East Gippsland Bowling Association, from 1983 the member clubs were Bairnsdale, Bairnsdale Golf, Bruthen, Ensay, Howitt Park, Lakes Entrance, Lindenow, Metung, Orbost, Paynesville and Tambo Valley.
The first Champion of Champions from Orbost was R. Soulsby during the 1970-71 season, other Champion of Champions were
Peter Coulton in 1986-87 and also Group 8 Champion, Mike Pacholli in 1997-98 and Ron Hatcher in 2005-06.
The first President of the EGBA from Orbost was D. Knight in 1989-90.
In 1952 the Orbost Lady Bowling Associates was formed, the inaugural President was Mrs. H Pow (Mac), the Secretary was Miss E. Lynn and the first Club Champion was Joyce Nixon.
INTERESTING EXCERPS FROM THE MINUTE BOOKS.
June 26th 1961.
That the Bowling Club accept the offer of the Croquet Club to take over their 3 and 4 lawns. That a letter be written to the Shire Council asking if they have any objection to the bowling club acquiring 27ft more land to the south of croquet lawns 3 and 4 – requested that a deputation attend next Shire meeting to press for this land.
May 13th 1963
That the Bowling Club accept the no’s 1, 2 and 3 croquet lawns under the conditions of the Croquet Club and that a letter of thanks be sent to the Croquet Club. The conditions of the take over of the Croquet Club lawns are –
The Bowling club must maintain no 4 lawn, arrange to place a gateway at the SE corner of Sylvia Street and a shelter on the east and west side of no. 4 green. The bowlers are to have the club rooms of the Croquet Club except their kitchen and in the event of rebuilding a lock-up kitchen must be a available to the Croquet Club.
On 25 March 1984, Monty Kleverlaan unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of the new Club House.
An excerp from the Snowy River Mail said the Bowls Club were to be congratulated following the recent opening of its new club rooms.
It was believed the cost of the rooms was approximately $35,000 to build, and was valued at probably three times that amount since the bowlers supplied all the labour voluntarily. The Club did not approach its bank for funds, individual members supplied loans, some on an interest free basis. A ‘chair-a-thon’ where members (and visitors) were coaxed to donate a chair, supplied the seating furniture. The treasurer, Mr. Eric Wehner, at the conclusion of his report told members, ‘We are clear of everything except the money we owe!”
When the bowling club was formed in 1929 there was one green adjoining the three or four croquet lawns. The bowling club
had a sort of a shed for a club house but the croquet ladies allowed the use of their club house for bowling tournaments. This was still the case when lady associates joined the bowling club in 1952 and continued until about 1959 when the lady bowlers had a club room build (22ft X 15ft). Members of the croquet club began to decline after the bowling club admitted ladies and the croquet club finally disbanded and they gave their one green and club house to the bowling club. This green was used for many many years as a five rink bowling green, however, it was decided in the mid 1980’s to extend this green to a full size green of 7 rinks. With Wally West at the helm this was done by our own members without too much outside help. This green was completed in 1988 and because of his sterling work and service to the club it was called “THE WAL WEST GREEN’.
In 1988/89, it was a historic year for the Orbost Club, when for the first time the Champion of Champions event for the EGBLBA was held at Orbost, and the winner of course was a local lass by the name of Karen Chenney.
On 15th March 1994, it was the first time the Ladies won the traditional ‘Rolling Pin”, just shading the men by 54 shots.
The Orbost versus Marlo challenge was first played in February 1996 and was won by Marlo.
Reciprocal rights with the Orbost Club came into effect in May 1996.
The top grass green was planted with Tift Dwarf in 1996.
The Ladies won the Pennant in 1997/1998 for the first time since 1960. The side was made up of Joan Johnston, Ina Pardew,
June Patterson, Betty Mehlert, Elaine Masters, Elaine Smith, Pat Faulkner, Karen Chenney, Grace Paterson, Ethel Curtis, Doreen Trudgen and Gaye Clements.
Club Historian, Pat Faulkner assisted with the 50th year celebrations of the Club History in 2002.
The new maintenance, workshop rooms, secretarys office and disabled toilets were installed in 2002.
The first day of the new Synthetic green was on 28th November 2009, the official opening of the green
was on 13th May 2010, it was opened by Upper House MP, Mr. Matt Viney. A summary of the move to the
Synthetic green is covered in a letter from Mr. Les Corbell, dated 14th August 2005, this letter is in the
Club History album from 2009-2013.