J. Chapman, F. Still, A. O'Neill, R. Cannon, P. Skehan, K. Ryan, J. Baker A. Portbury, W. Poulter, F. Walter, J. Still, L. Brown

By Jordyn Grubisic

THE Kilmore Bowls Club will celebrate its centenary on January 12 next year, and the club is reaching out to past members to attend the event.

The day is open to the former members and will include a barbecue lunch followed by a game of social bowls and then a formal dinner at Trackside Kilmore.

Former president, and now head of the organising committee, Philip Skehan said they were trying to get in contact with past members.

“We’re having the centenary and we’re keen to have any past members of the club to come back and register their interest to attend any of the functions of the day,” he said.

The bowls club has been a long-standing fixture within Kilmore, greeting both visitors and residents as they drive through the town’s centre.

It has remained at the same location since its establishment.

“It’s been the focal point of the community,” Mr Skehan said.

“It’s one of the first things people coming into town see – the park and the bowling green.”

Brochures will be available providing an in-depth history of the club that has been thoroughly researched by Mr Skehan.

Over its 100 years, the bowls has seen developments including the clubhouse and a growth in its number of rinks beginning with four rinks and growing to six in the 1950s.

“In the 1960s when the main street was re-done we took the opportunity to take a lot of filling from the main street,” Mr Skehan said.

“They were looking for places to dump filing and we took advantage of that and increased it from six to seven rinks.

“Later on in 2004, we received grant money from the Federal Government and State Government to update our green and we went to synthetic grass and grew to eight rinks as well.”

The club also had some challenging experiences, such as a truck tearing through the green.
“The truck failed to take the corner and came over and destroyed the sheds of the croquet clubs – back then it was a shared facility,” Mr Skehan said.

Both the croquet sheds and the bowling green were severly damaged and the truck spilt its load that included drums of oil.

A photograph from ‘the rose series’ of Kilmore Bowls Club taken in 1923

Mr Skehan has long been involved with the club and the community with his family being involved in the town since the 1850s and having his great grandfather, father and himself involved with the council.

“I started playing bowls about 1968 as a full member and those days the club was made up of businessman and farmers around the community,” Mr Skehan said.

“The farming community used to be the ones who took on the green-keeping because they knew how to keep grass.

“It was a fairly tight-knit little group because everyone knew everybody else – they were people that were related or part of the old families.”

People interested in celebrating the centenary of the bowls club can contact them on 5782 1240 or kilmorebowlsclub@gmail.com.