The beginning of the friendly club with a view began with a public meeting
The original clubhouse was built by Mr Phil Powers in late 1954

The Edge Hill Memorial Bowls Club began with a public meeting sponsored by the Returned Soldiers & Sailors (RSS) and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia (AILA) was held in the Edge Hill Progress Hall to gauge public interest in forming a local lawn bowling club.

This well attended meeting chaired by Mr Alan Holden was where office bearers were elected, and our first bowling club meeting was held.

The official naming of the club occurred at the next meeting on October 1st, 1952, when it was moved by Mr F Bean, seconded by Mr J Kelly that the club be named The Edge Hill Memorial Bowls Club. Today, the club is mostly known as Edge Hill Bowls Club.

The land where the club house is situated was originally owned by the RSS and AILA subbranch.

A 25-year lease agreement was reached with the annual rental being ten shillings. ($1.00) with the club having the option to purchase the land within that period which it wisely exercised.

Work on forming the green began as soon as the lease was signed. A note in the minutes dated 30th September 1953 regarding Levelling: “This had been done by J Kelly, by dozer, and still requires grading. Endeavouring to obtain Tanner and Kenny’s grader. Maybe necessary to approach Council for Grader if work not undertaken by Tanner and Kenny. Otherwise by hand. Embankment can only be levelled after Ditch boards”. With the first building being the Instrument shed, which still stands today as our Bowls Room and Workshop.

The land was then surrounded by bush and cane farms with Cassowary’s and their chicks sometimes wandering past the bowls green. Cane fires were an occupational hazard with the smoke and ash often blowing over the bowling green and getting on the players white clothes.

The original clubhouse was built by Mr Phil Powers for £2890 pounds and seven shillings ($5780.70) and completed in late 1954 with the first committee meeting being held in the clubhouse new clubrooms on November 25th, 1954, and the first game of bowls being played on December 11th, 1954. The official opening of the club house and green performed by Mr Bob Watson MLA before a capacity crowd on Saturday January 30th, 1955.



In 1987 Edge Hill became the first club in the North to install a synthetic surface, this was greeted by much scepticism by a great number of bowlers.

The original clubhouse was removed in 1991 to the touch football grounds at Aeroglen to make way for the magnificent structure we have today. Officially opened by the then Patron of many years Sir Sidney Williams OBE on November 22, 1992. Sir Sidney held the position of Patron for 49 years.
The Edge Hill Bowls Club is claimed to be one of the top clubs in the North of the State, a far cry from its humble beginnings where the treasurers report for March 28, 1955 showed accounts for payment amounting to £186 pounds and 19 shillings ($373.98) while the bank statement showed a balance of £63 pounds and 11 pence ($126.61)

The club became affiliated with the Far North Queensland District Bowls Association on December 4th, 1954. The clubs Constitution and Rules stating that in all game’s regulation dress shall be worn, long cream or white trousers, cream or white shirt, cream or white socks, white or tan shoes, white bowls cloth, white or cream hat with an approved hat band and the men’s tie to be the Official R.Q.B.A. tie.

The club at this time consisted of all men players with a note in the constitution where provision was made for a ladies Bowls Club to exist on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the members in the General Meeting from time to time. With the ladies having the use of the greens and pavilion on any day or days approved by the Men’s Council. The basis of compensation for any such privilege to be determined by the Men’s Council from time to time.

THE LADIES - The ladies of the Edge Hill Bowls Club were an entity unto themselves attending the inaugural meeting in the Progress Hall on April 29th, 1954, and managing their own affairs as associate members, with nine ladies in attendance, being exactly the number required to fill all positions on the Edge Hill Bowls Club Ladies Committee.

The ladies managed their own finances with the first financial statement presented by Mrs Barkus at the first Committee Meeting on June 14th, 1954, showing a balance of £39 pounds ($78) made up of a £25-pound ($50) loan from the men and £14 pounds ($28) proceeds from two euchre card matches, fundraisers that were held at private homes.

The first function to be held at the club was a Euchre evening at which a set of bowls was raffled to raise funds, the winner being a Mrs Evans thought to be a life member Georgina Evans noted in the 50-year anniversary articles in the Cairns Post.

Dinner Dances and Cabarets were popular at the club with Can-Can (a high kicking extravaganza) girls performing at the cabarets.

The Ladies Club became affiliated with the F.N.Q.D.L.B.A. and on February 7th, 1955 delegates were selected to attend the F.N.Q.D.L.B.A. March Conference at Babinda.

Reference was made of the first Q.L.B.A. (Queensland Ladies Bowls Association) event was held at the club on May 17th 1955.

The Ladies Club had a strong following with 64 ladies listed as members in the 1999-2000 annual report. Four ladies were listed in the report dated 1998-1999 as Life Members G. Evans, M. Wales, G. Courtney and F. Hartley being a strong indication of the tireless work the ladies contributed to the progress of the club, and to promote the game of bowls.

The Ladies Associates had a fun tradition of fining their players for minor discrepancies, wrong bias, minor discrepancies, anything that would be a reason to be ‘fined’ at the sum of $0.50c to a $1.00 raising funds for a worthy charitable organisation each year with a presentation being made by the President of the Club to the recipients at their annual Christmas Party. The amount raised was usually around $1000 or more. On occasion the ladies held special events to raise a little more money, for instance for Angel Flight a ‘High Tea’ was held with the ladies baking and sourcing all requirements such as special crockery. This tradition of fundraising carried on until the club became less profitable and it was decided that any funds raised would need to go to the club until such time as it became more profitable.

On the 4th of September 2013 several ladies tabled applications to be included in the Bowls Club as full members. These applications were rejected by the Management Committee with the subsequent discriminatory action being taken by the ladies with the matter being dealt with by the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland, resulting in the club becoming a one gender club with an agreement signed on the 12th of June, 2014.

The club celebrated its 50th Anniversary in November 2003, where John Noble who joined the club in 1962, being one of the oldest members of the club at the time, is reported to have said “players would knock back a five-ounce beer every second end – when the bowling action was nearest the club house bar at a cost of three pence a pop. (Under 5 cents).

After starting with just 10 Male members and a debt of more than 100 pounds the club had grown to 500 members by 2003 and a turnover of 2.2 million pounds per year. Edge Hill was regarded as one of the top clubs in player strength writes the weekend Post, producing notable bowlers as state pairs title winner Martin Hogan and current state singles champion of champions and member of the Australian 10-man squad Colin Kelly.

The club’s biggest strength in 2003 was noted as one of friendships, shared by those who patronised the club. “To the players, it’s become a club of fellowship. This is still true of the club in 2022, friendship and support, fellowship and friendliness are the pillars of the club’s reputation.
The Edge Hill Bowls Club has had a diverse history when it comes to its financial fitness, being a very wealthy club for several years, with a Management Committee who kept a tight rope on the finances.

Like all good families, when a new Management Committee took over the purse was loosened and many a free ride was enjoyed by the bowlers travelling to matches with a bus load of boys and beers flowing, fees being paid and plane trips abounding. We went back to the old original Scottish traditions where bowls clubs had such a bad name for being places of beer and bad behaviour the Scott’s were finally banned from this behaviour as we have now been, and a more correct controlled tradition was initiated. Similarly, the Edge Hill Bowls Club has now had to tighten the reins, cut back on the free-wheeling and become a place where business is now the order of the day, and the finances are well protected.

This has ensured that our Bowls Club has returned to a place where it is well managed and looking to the future where we can be profitable again, growing and developing the bowls club into a place that the Community can enjoy all that the club has to offer in great bowling and as a social venue.

Life Members

Colin Whyte
Past President & Life Member

Geoff Royle
Past President

Noel Beitzel
Past President

Colin Kelly
Life Member

Pat Elliott
Life Member

Enjoy a casual game of bowls or become a club member – Everyone is welcome!

Check out our regular activity schedule at Edge Hill Bowls Club
Bowling
We encourage social bowls, barefoot bowls and you can become a member enjoying the great camaraderie found amongst great mates
Bistro/Bar
Our air-conditioned club house offers great views over the green with great food, great drink selections and some great fun with all your old and new friends
Functions
Will be fun and memorable whether for birthdays, engagements, weddings, corporate functions and xmas parties - just some of the popular events held at the club
Contact the Edge Hill Bowls Club
For all bookings and membership enquiries

Phone: 07 4053 1036
Email: functions@edgehillbowls.com.au
Address: 181 Woodward Street, Edge Hill, Cairns

Trading hours
Tuesday to Sunday - 12noon to 10pm
Restaurant Hours
Tuesday to Sunday – 12noon to 8:30pm

Our venue welcomes all families. We ask that all children are always supervised and are not permitted to run on the bowling green unless they’re playing bowls.

 

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