Original Neerim District Bowling Clubhouse
THE FORMATION OF THE CLUB
The Minute Books of the Neerim District Bowling Club reveal the Club was formed at a Meeting on the 11th March 1958 with an attendance of 36 people of the district. Mr Albert Watts was the Convenor of the Meeting and was elected Chairman, he then gave a speech on the asset that a Bowling Green would be to the Community. The town now having a water supply would enable a Bowling Green to be established. A Motion to form the Bowling Club at Neerim South was carried. A further Motion that the name be the ‘Neerim District Bowling Club’ was carried.
Mr A. Watts was elected President, Vice Presidents Mr G. McDonald and Mr K. Archibald, Mr J. Cain Secretary, also Mr T. Dunn Treasurer and a Committee of seven being, Mr Jack Algie, Mr J. Romanin, Mr T. White, Mr Jim Algie, Mr L. Johnson, Mr D. Kingsnorth and Mr W. Batt being elected. An entrance Fee of £2/2/0 was approved.
A Motion empowering the Ladies present to form a Ladies Bowling Club was carried. This Meeting was held on the 17th March 1958 when the ‘Neerim District Ladies Bowling Club—Associate Members was formed. The elected office bearers being President Mrs F. Algie and three Vice Presidents Mrs Heilbron, Mrs J. Cain and Mrs T. Dunn. Secretary Mrs E. Algie, Treasurer Mrs W. C. Dunn and a Committee of ten being all others present.
Several Meetings were held before the eventual purchase of suitable Land at 16-22 Main Rd Neerim South from Mr F. Fallon for £750. Many avenues were used to raise finance for the land and construction of the Green. The main finance was achieved with the issuing of Debentures and a Commonwealth Trading Bank loan of £1,500.
The Bowling Green began taking shape with the planning and advice from the Royal Victorian Bowling Association which had to inspect any new Bowling Green sites. The Nayook Railway Booking Office was purchased and transported to the site.
The Neerim District Bowling Club (NDBC) affiliated with the Mid Gippsland Bowling Association (MGBA) in June 1958. The Meeting in February 1959 saw the Rules of the Royal Victorian Bowling Association (RVBA) adopted and the colours of ‘Green and Gold’ approved for the Club. The Annual General Meeting of the 27th July 1959 approved the Constitution and Rules of the Club.
The Associate Members affiliated with the Victorian Ladies Bowling Association (VLBA) and the Gippsland District Ladies Bowling Association (GDLBA) in 1960, with two delegates to attend the next GDLBA Meeting on the 12th September 1960.
Saturday the 8th October 1960 saw the Opening of the ‘Neerim District Bowling Club’ by Mr R. Watson, Councillor representing the Royal Victorian Bowling Association.
The Neerim District Bowling Club played it’s first Pennant Match in the Mid Gippsland Bowling Association on the 22nd October 1960 and the Ladies played their first Pennant Match in the Gippsland District Ladies Bowling Association also in October 1960.
The striking of a Club Badge was made on the 9th November 1960, comprising a ‘Central motif of the snow capped Mt McDonald and Green fields In the foreground, and the name of the Club around the perimeter’.
The area of land purchased at 16—22 Main Rd Neerim South was large enough to establish two Greens, one of seven rinks and one of six and also room for a Club House. Mr W.J. Lowe of the Royal Victorian Bowling Association drew up plans and supervised the laying of the Green. All construction, and sowing of the Green in November 1959 was carried out by Members on a Voluntary basis.
A Green Keeper was appointed at a wage of £5 / week in the Season and £2 outside of the Season. The position was a paid one for many years until it was eventually cared for by a Volunteer Green Keeper and assistants. The Green was open for play in February 1960 and Officially Opened on the 8th October 1960 by Councillor Mr Rob Watson representing the Royal Victorian Bowling Association before a large crowd of Members, Associates and Visitors.
THE CLUB HOUSE
The last train on the Warragul to Noojee Railway Line ran only to Nayook in the latter years and closed in September 1958.
The Neerim District Bowling Club with the knowledge that all sections of the line and buildings were to be sold wrote to VIC Rail enquiring about the purchase of the Nayook Railway Booking Office. The Club was able to purchase the building for £30, and in August 1959 it was transported by Mr R. Marshall by road to the Bowling Green site to be used as a Club House. The building was reblocked and a front verandah added in October 1959. The Club House has seen several extensions to the original over the years.
The Club has won 10 Premierships over the 60 the years, its best achievement was in 2007 – 20018 winning Division 2 Premiership in the MGBA, Winning Group 8 Pennant Finals and coming 3rd in the State Pennant Play Offs. The Ladies also won 7 Premierships over the same period, winning the Division 2 Premiership in 2012 – 2013 and being promoted to Division 1 for 2013 – 2014.