HISTORY OF CITY OF HEIDELBERG BOWLING CLUB
On 18th August 1913, at a meeting held at the Heidelberg Presbyterian Church Hall the decision was made to form a bowling club in Heidelberg, to be known as “The Heidelberg Bowling Club”.
John May became the foundation President, with H.G.Behan as foundation Secretary and Treasurer. Apart from a break between 1917 and 1926 John May continued on as President until 1949.
A Pavilion was soon built on the current site and a four rink green established between the Pavilion and Burgundy Street, both being opened in December 1914. Amenities such as electricity, telephone, gas and sewerage were connected between 1915 and 1922.
In 1924 the club purchased land on the west side of Stradbroke Avenue with the intention of constructing a larger green but this did not eventuate until an eight rink green was opened in 1954. Meanwhile, a second green had been established on the north east side of the club house and was used for bowling until the 1990’s, when the area was required to enlarge the car parking facilities.
The club now has two synthetic greens which are used for year round bowling. A four rink green is located in front of the clubhouse and an 8-rink green on the west side of Stradbroke Avenue.
Various building extensions were made in 1922, 1928, 1956, 1960, also in 1981, increasing the size of both Club House and kitchen. More recently, upgrades have been made to the locker room-toilet areas and a substantial structure has now been erected between the club house and the front green to provide weather protection for players.
In 1973 the club name was changed to “The City of Heidelberg Bowling Club” and a large decorative Crest was donated to the club by Bill and Esme Hay to commemorate the adoption of the new name. This crest now hangs on the west wall of the club rooms.
The newly formed club immediately entered Men’s teams into the Royal Victorian Bowling Association (RVBA) competition. During the years following the number of teams fluctuated according to membership of the club with many successful seasons achieved.
In 1953 the club decided to form a Ladies’ Bowling section and in 1954 the constitution was altered to permit a Ladies’ Bowling Section within the Club. Teams became affiliated with the Victorian Ladies Bowling Association (VLBA) and had many successful seasons over the ensuing years.
Both RVBA and VLBA sections continued to compete in their respective competitions until the formation of Bowls Victoria in 2010, amalgamating both ladies and men into a single competition.
In 1915 a Croquet lawn was constructed on the north side of the Pavilion and in 1939 a second Croquet lawn established on the west side of Stradbroke Avenue. By 1981, the Croquet Section membership had dwindled and the lawn on the west side of Stradbroke Avenue was converted into a 5-rink winter green for bowls.
The Indoor Biased Bowls Section
An Indoor Biased Bowls Section was formed in 1969 and play continued until interest waned after the commencement of winter bowls on the new winter green in 1983.