24th Aug 2021

The first records we have of Bowls being played in the Guyra District is a report in 1918 saying, “On Saturday December 29th a team of four Armidale bowlers visited “Ollera”. The green was in good order, and a capital game resulted in favour of “Ollera”. Messrs Everett Chas; A. and H MacKenzie played for “Ollera”, and Messrs Hogarth, Blaxland, Tindal and Hope represented Armidale. “
In 1944 a party consisting of Bert Archibald, Herb Burgess, Jack Rudd, Claude Heagney, Frank Heagney, Bill Culla and Bill Booth plus a few keen fishermen from Armidale, went on a fishing trip to the western rivers. Around a campfire one night Les Burgess, the secretary of the Armidale Bowling Club, conveyed to the other members of the fishing party the important part played by the Bowling Clubs in any community.
The seed had been sown and in 1945 a survey was carried out by the members of the fishing party to find out the extent of interest and what support could be expected from the townspeople of Guyra. The survey was so favourable, that moves were made to find a suitable site, taking into consideration soil type and the availability of water. They then approached the Guyra Rotary Club to lend its weight to the project. The Rotary Club moved through the local Chamber of commerce, which in turn, requested the Guyra Shire Council to call a public meeting for the purpose of discussing the formation of a Bowling Club in Guyra.
From the meeting that was held on 23rd November 1946 a committee of enthusiasts were appointed to investigate the aspects of establishing a club including the most suitable site and financial arrangements. Members of the committee appointed were Messrs. A. Pryor, L.P. Archibald, H.Burgess, T.N Stephens, R.W. Hudson, T.L. Caddy and W.H. Weicks.
The committee moved promptly and by March 1947 it was minuted that the Town Planning Committee had granted authority for the selection of the site for a bowling club. It was to be either on the showground or to the south of the Council Chambers.
Mr. L.P Archibald spoke in favour of the of the site to the south of the Council Chambers saying that:
“A club house and green in well-kept surrounding would beautify the southern end of Bradley Street”.
On September 28th 1947 the site was selected and, for almost two years thereafter, a small band of voluntary workers toiled practically every weekend preparing the site and laying the foundation for the first green.
The first green was officially opened by Mr. Ken Jones, President of the New England District Bowling club. On 4th March 1950 for a cost of £352 (pounds)
The first club house was built from material from an old house situated on the property ‘Booralong” owned by Mr. Williams. The club house was officially opened by Col M.F. Bruxner D.S.O. for a total cost of £470/19/5.
From the Guyra Historical Society Research Group

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