New ideas and green draw crowds to fun bowls day
DOON Villa Bowls Club members have stepped in to stop the old wide swinging approach of lawn bowls from going the way of dinosaurs.
The club has brought back the older type of bowls to create a number of successful fun afternoons.
Club historian Ron Prove said there had been a lot of memorabilia collected over the past years, despite the original clubhouse being destroyed by fire in 1976.
Ron said he had cleaned out a room full of old photographs, documents and bowls.
"Old bowls used to get passed down from deceased members but unfortunately they do not have a future,” Ron said.
"Today's bowlers all must have the modern narrow draw type.
"So I have cleaned them up and put them to good use, giving them a new lease on life.”
Rather than send the old bowls off to the dump, Ron has arranged fun afternoons by using the old bowls.
Forty members supported the first old style bowls day and it was noted that 50% of the starters were 80 years or older.
Their next fun day has attracted about 50 starters.
Ron said the club had an enormous amount of history.
"There were a lot of Maryborough business people who were involved in the club in the early days,” he said.
"I am still trying to connect some bowls to a chap named Gataker who was awarded for having had 50 years membership from 1905-55.
"There is still a lot of research to do and I am working on our display cabinets.”
Recently the club received a grant of $100,000 to upgrade the green.
Club president Barry Stimpson said they had been trying to get a grant for years.
The club had tried many other ideas including flipping the green before raising an extra $70,000 to have a new green installed.
"We have all had to learn how to bowl again,” he laughed.