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From The Archives - Devonport Bowls Club

October 25, 2019

The idea of forming a Bowls & Tennis Club began in 1906 but a suitable piece of land and lack of finance was holding them back.

 

On the 19th May 1906 Mr. H. H. McFie communicated with the Gentlemen's Club to gauge their feelings on using the land behind their premises at the disposal of the proposed Club. (That piece of land is now known as the C-Max car park).

 

A meeting at the Town Hall was held on 6th November to consider a joint bowls and tennis club and this was successful.

 

After the specified numbers were reached to constitute the Club, a provisional committee was appointed consisting of Mr T. H. James, Messrs Lofts, Betts, Souter, Lindley, Helleman, Richardson and Mr H. J. Richmond. The agreement to lease the land from the Gentlemen's Club for a period of 20 years had been negotiated and four townsmen agreed to act as guarantors.  The annual rent was a nominal sum of £1 per annum.

 

Some energetic and spirited gentlemen had volunteered to finance the project which would require expenditure of £300 or more.

 

By 1907 the site for the new bowling green showed a large transformation from what was previously known as a swamp covered by tee tree and gum scrub. There was also a good deal of rubbish on the property as well as being ‘a meeting place’ for stray stock. Once the scrub had been removed, upwards of 400 loads of filling and soil had to be carted in.

 

The tennis court was being formed on the western end and both works were underway.

 

In June 2007 the formation of the green had been completed and the levelling and seed sown by Mr. Neale (James Boag’s gardener). Mr. Boag of brewery fame, was again to the fore when he offered to supply the Flagstaff for the pavilion.  This is still in use at Devonport and will hopefully be utilised at the Devonport Country Club. The Club flag was formed with the agreed colours of dark blue and gold.

 

The formal opening of the bowling green and tennis court took place on the 21st December 1907.  Over 300 ladies and gentlemen assembled to participate in the inauguration ceremony with the State Treasurer Mr Urquhart and Mrs Urquhart and the Hon. John Henry C.M.G. amongst the spectators.

 

Mr Boag

 

The Chairman of the Devonport Town Board, Mr. John Luck (who was also vice-president of the Devonport Bowls and Tennis Club), addressed the gathering thanking the President the Hon. John Henry C.M.G. for his generous assistance.

 

Mr. Luck then unfurled the club's flag. Mrs. John Henry declared the green open and threw the first jack amidst cheering.   Mrs Henry was then presented with the jack as a memento of the occasion.

The jack was later silver-mounted and bore the inscription "The first jack thrown on the Devonport Bowls Green by Mrs. John Henry. December 21, 1907.” It is now a treasured trophy of the Club.

 Opening of the Bowls and Tennis Club 21st December 1907

 

The first jack bowled at the club opening by Mrs John Henry with bowls used by

Mr E H Richmond and donated by Miss Margaret Richmond

 

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