Bathurst City Bowling Club - Our History
In August 1895 Dr W.P.Bassett, Mayor of Bathurst Borough Council, and Dr Hugh Kirkland met at the Agricultural Society Rooms to discuss the formation of a bowling club. They formed a sub-committee whose role was to approach Council formally and to work through the problems associated with the formation of a new bowling club.
On Wednesday, 22nd October 1895, Council agreed to allow the club to rent land at the rear of the Town Hall from the 1st December for a period of 5 years. For this, the club had to pay Council 44 pounds for preparing the land, and an agreed upon annual fee of 15 pounds.
Lawn bowls in Bathurst prospered despite the Great Depression and World War II, but it was apparent that the site was no longer adequate for the growing sport.
In 1935 when the club was looking for suitable sites for expansion the NSW Police Department decided that they no longer needed their site on the corner of William and Durham Streets. The site contained a building constructed in 1895 at a cost of 3000 pounds to house the police barracks. It took a further 3 years of negotiations between the Council and the club before finalisation of the land and buildings could occur.
March 16 1941 saw the first meeting of the club in the new premises and it was at this meeting that it was resolved to change the club name from Bathurst Bowling Club to Bathurst City Bowling Club. On Saturday November 8th was the official opening of the clubhouse and the new greens.
September 1954 saw the women of the Women’s Social Club request the use of a green once a week. Advice had to be sought about the legality of this especially in relation to the licensing act. It was in April 1957 that a meeting was held where it was resolved that the financial members of the Bathurst City Women’s Club could be admitted to the premises but were not to be supplied with liquor, except on the invitation and in the company of a member of the men’s club. Finally in 1958 women were given membership, four years after the original combined meeting of men and women.
Many changes have occurred over the years but the club remained a vibrant place for both men and women to participate in the sport of lawn bowls.
Under the stewardship of Panthers the club has failed to become financially viable over many years and although Panthers have reduced associated costs that the running of the club has incurred over the last three years Panthers have decided to de-amalgamate many of their smaller clubs from the group.
Having survived two amalgamations over the past twenty years, Bathurst City Bowling Club along with The Greens On William are now pursuing a newer and broader direction to cater for the health and well-being needs of its members, the Bathurst community and its visitors. It is also aiming to broaden its scope to encourage other recreational, cultural and social activities.