Rosebud Bowls Club History



Back in early 1947 a casual discussion took place between a retired orchardist from Merricks, Mr. Cecil Eeles, and Shire of Flinders Councillor, Mr. Joe Wood.  Both these men were members of the Rosebud Foreshore Committee and were inspecting boat sheds on the beach front.  Cecil Eeles suggested that what Rosebud most needed at that time was a Bowls Club to provide interest and entertainment for the increasing number of retirees choosing Rosebud for their retirement.  He was also well aware that Joe Wood was the foremost community minded person in the District over many years.

Following his discussion with Cecil, Joe’s influence with the Shire of Flinders and the Foreshore Committee of Management, secured this section of Foreshore bounded by the sports oval on the west and the tennis club on the south.   He coerced the Foreshore Committee Of  Management to lay down a 6 rink bowling green here where our original green is, on what had been in the early 1930’s, the Rosebud Croquet Green – the Croquet Club had gone into recess years before.   Next was to call a public meeting to form a bowls club.

The inaugural Meeting was held in the Mechanics Hall on the 18th November, 1947.  Interested persons attended from Dromana, Red Hill, McCrae and Rosebud districts.  41 attended, 38 men and 3 ladies.   At this meeting a Committee was formed to run the Rosebud Bowling Club, and the green was expected to be ready for play in September 1948.    It was also decided to permit the ladies to arrange a Club.

Rosebud Bowls Club has always had a very good working relationship with the Foreshore Committee , except  for a few hiccups when that part of the Foreshore came under the guise of Parks Victoria.   Luckily that didn’t last overly long and we are now back under the Council & Foreshore.

0n the 25th September 1948 ladies were admitted as Associate Members at a cost of half Club Membership (5/-).

Peninsula bowlers attended the opening in force with approximately 120 visitors and guests in attendance.  0nly 6 of Rosebud’s inaugural Members had bowled previously.

0n the 31st 0ctober, 1949 the Rosebud Ladies Bowls Club was formed with Mrs. HazelWood, the wife of Joe, being the first lady President.   The ladies Club was formed amid a good deal of controversy.   The men jealously protected their “Boys’ Club”, several opposing the formation of a ladies club.   At this time the ladies were associate members – but the ladies won out of course!!    Also in 1949-50 total Membership had risen to 142 members which included 42 ladies.

A new 6 rink green was being laid down and expected to be ready for the following season.  Representative meetings had been held between Frankston, Mornington, Sorrento and Rosebud to discuss the possibility of running a competition.

A note in the Annual Report for that season says – “It is pleasing to note that the ladies have formed themselves into a Club, which has proved to be a very enthusiastic body – no different from the ladies Club today.

In season 1950-51 membership was 165, which included 53 ladies, but the green was not quite ready for play.

During this season the ladies Club was in “hot water”.   In January, 1951, the ladies conducted a Fancy Dress Bowls game on the Rosebud Green.  At the next Men’s Committee Meeting following that occasion, a motion was moved and carried “that the ladies be advised that anything that does not conform with the Laws of Bowls must be referred to the Committee”.   Considerable discussion then took place regarding the Ladies Club, and their reported dissatisfaction with the running of the Club by the men.   The out come of that discussion was that a gentleman who was present that night moved the following motion. “That the ladies be written to suggesting that as Members of their Club appear not to be satisfied with the conduct of the Club by the Men’s Committee, that they disban, and that the Committee will accept their Members as Associates under the direct control of the Men’s Club.   The motion was carried.  Of course since Incorporation most Clubs have a Men’s Committee and a Ladies Committee with a Board of Management, with a mixture of lady and men members, as the top body.  And soon that will all change if amalgamation comes to pass.

Season 1951-52 saw a Men’s Pennant competition commence and was played on a Wednesday afternoon, and Rosebud opened a second green with a levy of  0ne guinea imposed on members to assist with a building fund..

Season 1952-53 a successful tender was let to build a Clubhouse. 

Season 1953-54 0ur new Clubhouse was opened on the 12th February, 1954, part of which is still used today.

In 1972 the Club celebrated it’s Silver Anniversary which was heralded as a night to remember.  Many of the inaugural Members were present, a huge anniversary cake was made by May Patterson and cut by Hazel Wood.  This was followed by dancing, community singing and a stunning vaudeville act by the Ladies of the Club.    Today we still have many entertainers in the Club, both sexes, as can be seen by the Concerts that are performed each season.

And so the years roll on with many highs – a few lows – and of course always change.

In more recent times on September 10th 1994 this Club was pleased to have the late Senator Olive Zakharove open these Clubrooms after a $70,000 upgrade and extension.  $35,000 came from a Federal Government Grant plus $35,000 from Club funds.

Prior to the opening of the 1994-95 season we saw our well used greens taken up and rejuvenated to bring them to new condition for the season.   Also removal of the old Tennis Club buildings on the southern boundary has opened the Club up to the town – surprising many.

Once again, last December, one of our greens was taken up and tift dwarf grass planted, hopefully this green will be ready for use in season 2009-10.  Actually 5 rinks were opened a fortnight ago.

Sadly records of the Ladies Section have never been located prior to 1987, there are many stories as to just what happened to them, except for an Annual Meeting Book covering the period 1964 through to 1969.

But life has gone along in the past 60 years in a similar manner to most Bowling Clubs, the main thing to remember is that there has been a passing parade of bowlers, both ladies and men, moving through this Club.  Some have stayed longer than others, some have written their name more heavily on the slate than others – but ALL, each and every one of them have contributed – and still they come, and hopefully they shall continue to come.

With some new aids, such as the bowling arm, etc. Members have been able to stay on the greens a lot longer and it is very heartening to see so many out there in all types of weather putting those bowls down, many still retaining their touch.   Last season we had a Mixed Super Veterans day for our Members and it was surprising to see the number involved – can’t keep an oldie down!!!!

0ne interesting fact that has emerged whilst preparing this history is that the Ladies Section has only had 9 Secretaries in 60 years – wonder if that is a record??