Wakefield Bowling Club Inc

A Brief Club History

The Wakefield Bowling Club opened on the 25 November 1911 and celebrated its centennial over the 2010-2011 season.

There is an interesting tale about the beginning of bowls in Wakefield.

In 1910 the manager of the Wakefield Creamery was James Bruce who had played bowls in England. Visiting Mr. Johnson, the local saddler he noted that he was using one half of a bowl as a mallet in his work, and found that he also had the rest of a set. Other sets were located in various states of repair and a makeshift Bowling Green was set up on the Domain, which had been Joe Baigent's paddock, by Messrs Johnson (saddler), Longton (Station Master), Harris (Baker), Bruce (Creamery) and Worth (Postmaster).

The 'Colonist' newspaper report 11 Jan 1911 "Our Wakefield correspondent states that a few local enthusiasts have taken up the good old game of Bowls and intend at the next tournament to uphold the prestige of the Province. Although they have no Green as yet he believes that the members are shaping up well and are very keen. Friday night witnessed some good heads but consideration had to be given to the fact that the paddock resembled a riverbed, and anything within eight feet of the kitty counted. It appears however that by next season something will be done towards forming a Green."

By 16 February 1911 the Wakefield Bowling Club was formed with around 80 members, all male

President: James Bruce

Vice Presidents: G.W. Hunt, E. Edridge and, O.R. Hewlett

Secretary/Treasurer: George Worth

Committee: Hodgson, Harris, Johnson and Longton

At this meeting Mr. Francis Hooper's offer of James Hooper's store and Francis Hooper's house was accepted for five pounds a year.

The season was opened on 25th November and soon after a pavilion was built. Sunday play began in 1942 and in 1946 the Wakefield Bowling Club bought the Green and the Hooper House, on selling it in 1950, retaining the access of the former railway line. In 1952 the new pavilion was built, and extended in 1980.

Although a Ladies Club was mooted in 1923, it did not get underway until August 1950, when the 'Wakefield Ladies Bowling Club' was formed.

President: Mrs Connie Eden

Vice President: Nan Sowman

Secretary/Treasurer: Miss Joan Butler

Committee: Mrs D. Bonnington, E.Windleborne, T.Tomlinson and E.Costello

Outstanding Members Gladys Jellyman 1985-1988 President ·100% in NZ Umpires Exam 1991 Gold Star and Bar 1991 NZ Open Singles Champion in Christchurch· 1991 Nelson Mail Sportswoman of the Year for Bowls 1991 Life Member and Patron

Edna Higgins · 1993-1996 President· 1996-1997 President Nelson Centre·Gold Star and Bar as Champion of Champions· New Zealand Executive Committee for 6 year 1998-1999 President of Bowls New Zealand

Barbara McGregor· · Gold Star Member

Elaine Watson · Gold Star Member

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